Traffic Gallery is glad to announce the Third movement in Blackscale, double solo show of Corpicrudi and Mustafa Sabbagh. After returning from the important american experience in Los Angeles for Corpicrudi and from the Masterclass at the Maxxi in Rome for Mustafa Sabbagh, the artists will perform in the spaces of Traffic Gallery in a comparison-meeting that focuses on using photographic, installative, performative and musical of the concept of Nero, true common denominator between the works of the artists. It is a symbolic journey between past and present, where sculpture, photography, music and performance develop the perennial conflict between transience and immortality, debate full of quotes, conscious or unconscious, according to the personal styles that characterize the poetic of the artists.

Corpicrudi | Symphony in Black

The Symphony in Black installation is a monographic project presented by Traffic Gallery at Arte Fiera 2014. The concept is based on two citations and the corresponding references: the neoclassical sculpture of Bertel Thorvaldsen in the eternity granted by the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe, who served the nectar of immortality to the gods on Olympus (1815), and a 1962 piano performance by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli of the works of composer Fryderyk Chopin, with a special focus on the transitory nature of things expressed by his Funeral March composed in 1839. Musical and visual evocations come together in Corpicrudi’s little black and white photographs, in which white flowers bring to mind the imagery of a still life, even though they have been photographed in their natural setting; the suggestion is amplified by the upside-down image the artists propose, symbolically overturning life and death. The notes of the Symphony in Black inhabit a place of visual and acoustic cross-references in which the eternal and the transitory come together, seeming to penetrate one another. Boundaries are blurred, time is contracted and dilated in a single breath. The very divinity that symbolises immortality appears to start to crumble.

The project also includes a live section in collaboration with choreographer Matteo Levaggi entitled Prelude for a Symphony in Black, where Levaggi and Corpicrudi are on stage. The pièce premièred in 2014 at Teatro Elfo Puccini in Milan with the noise-rock band The Death of Anna Karina (included in the upcoming film Sexxx by director Davide Ferrario), and at Ace Museum in Los Angeles with the post-punk band Von Haze (in collaboration with Italian Cultural Institute and Concept Shows) for Los Angeles Fashion Week. Third movement in Blackscale is featuring the première of the film by Corpicrudi with the full show performed at Teatro Elfo Puccini in April 2014.

“It is a trip into the dark side, through life’s and death’s mistery. While in the Bologna’s installation it was linked to a classical style (...), the performance’s variation is imbued with influences coming from dark and postpunk culture, which have inherited and conveyed the dark attitude in a contemporary mood.”

Rossella Moratto, ATP Diary

Mustafa Sabbagh | Risen from the dead

Risen from the dead is about death between past and present, about life fragments trapped in specific moments and - like the entire artist’s production - it automatically establishes dialogues in time. Explicit dialogues and allusions to dialogues with the famous painters and sculptors of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th century. Sabbagh travels and works in all the world biggest capital cities; geographically speaking, he travels without breaks also in time, evoking in us the entire visual education present in the multiple collective imaginations of the different cultures across the world. Dario da Pordenone, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Lorenzo Lotto, Giovanni Battista Moroni, Giuseppe Sanmartino and many more, sometimes appear very clearly, other times more vaguely, in Sabbagh’s photographic creations where man, subject and object, is covered and protected from head to feet by everyday black fetish items, or left almost completely naked and defenceless at the mercy of his fate of physical and interior suffering. The photographic work of Risen from the dead aims at black in particular, as a classically sensual metaphor and at white as a clarifying and cathartic insight. A controversial, shining, alluring black, hiding the bodies of the depicted man; creating an overlying and stratified composition that modifies human figures and profiles without substance alterations. An embracing white, able to remark the border between what miserably perishes under the fleeting force of time and what revives forever in the eyes of the viewer after being blocked by the timeless snapshot. Resurrecting is like living in an infinite condition of love for life, love for neighbour and love for the inanimate beauty of things.

Corpicrudi is a visionary artistic project conceived by Italian artists Samantha Stella and Sergio Frazzingaro. The artists' work has been shown in international contemporary art galleries, museums and theatres; they work with writers, poets, choreographers, fashion designers, visual artists, musicians, composers, filmmakers, cultural magazines and networks. Their artistic careers have evolved over the years through the different idioms they use directly - photography, video, installations containing structural and bodily elements revealing their reflections on the body, death, beauty, harmony and eternity. The section in collaboration with theater and dance is followed by Samantha Stella under the name of Corpicrudi. In addition to solo and group exhibitions in art galleries and museums, they have presented live installations in unusual locations, including the opening event for Intramoenia at Castello Aragonese in Taranto, home of the Italian Navy, with scientific direction by Achille Bonito Oliva (2010). They have participated in international premiéres with choreographer Matteo Levaggi in the theatres of New York, Lyons, Belgrade, Miami, Biarritz, Aix-en-Provence, Los Angeles, as well as prestigious Italian theatres, and have collaborated with composers and musicians such as Clint Mansell and Von Haze, band founded by the guitarist of Death in Vegas. Also, they have presented events for fashion designers (AltaRomaAltaModa, Pitti Immagine Florence, Milan Fashion Week, Los Angeles Fashion Week) and have collaborated with filmmakers (their last project with Levaggi is included in Sexxx, the upcoming film by Davide Ferrario). Reviews of their work have been published in the Financial Times and The Brooklyn Rail in New York; they have been the subject of a documentary which aired on Sky Classica TV and a publication for Les Cahiers Européens de l'Imaginaire at the Ceaq-Sorbonne in Paris. Samantha Stella is currently collaborating with Slovenian artist Jasa at Venice Art Biennale 2015.

Mustafa Sabbagh was born in Amman (Jordan). Italo-palestinian, raised between Europe and Middle East, his imprinting is cosmopolitan, while his attitude is nomadic. Former assistant of Richard Avedon, and teacher at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, after a successful career as a fashion photographer recognized by the most prestigious magazines of the world, Sabbagh focuses his research towards re-sematization of art history through contemporary photography, by a kind of aesthetic counter-canon in which punctum is the skin as diary of individual’s uniqueness, transferred to livid backdrops, to ovals as cameos and diptychs translating form into context, strengthened by the multidimensionality of black and refinedly hallucinated stylings, subverting any kind of dress and gender codes. Often protagonist of interviews and documentaries inquiring into his work, in 2013 Sky Arte HD, through the series Photographers, elected him as one of the 8 most significant artists of the contemporary italian scene. To date, Mustafa Sabbagh is even recognized as one of the 100 most influential photographers in the world, and one of the 40 most important nude portraitists - the only one from Italy, on an international basis. His artworks are included in several permanent private and public collections, both in Italy and abroad (including the prestigious Farnesina Art Collection, and the recent acquisition of an artwork by Ente Bologna Fiere at Traffic Gallery’s stand, during ArteFiera 2015).