Inspired by the legacies of real historical events and manufactured myths, American Fables re-imagines through video vignettes some of the most celebrated moments in American History. I have long been influenced by the comically one-dimensional and inaccurate accounts of history common to most US textbooks, where ethnocentric perspectives create propagandistic narratives of American exceptionalism. Continuously, I find myself fascinated by the subjectivity of history, its vulnerability to partisan ideals and nationalism, rendering historical accounts more akin to folktales than facts. This inspired me to create my own library of counterfeit and re-imagined American History in an effort to submit my own voice into the ever expanding campaign of misinformation entrenched in Western rhetoric.
Federico Solmi (Italy, 1973) lives and works in New York. His work utilizes bright colors and a satirical aesthetic to portray a dystopian vision of our present-day society His exhibitions often feature articulate installations composed of a variety of media including video, painting, drawing, and sculpture. Solmi uses his art as a vehicle to stimulate a visceral conversation with his audience, highlighting the contradictions and fallibility that characterize our time. Through his work, Solmi examines unconscious human impulses and desires in order to critique Western society's obsession with individual success and display contemporary relationships between nationalism, colonialism, religion, consumerism. By re-configuring historical narratives across eras, he creates social and political commentary works which disrupt the mythologies that define American society. Scanning his paintings into a game engine, Solmi’s videos confront the audience with his own absurd rewriting of past and present, merging dark humor and sense of the grotesque with new technologies. He creates a carnivalesque virtual reality where our leaders become puppets, animated by computer script and motion capture performance rather than string. In 2009, Solmi was awarded by the Guggenheim Foundation of New York with the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in the category of Video & Audio. His work has been included in several international Biennials, including: Open Spaces: A Kansas City Arts Experience (2018), the Beijing Media Art Biennale (2016), Frankfurt B3 Biennial of the Moving image (2017-2015), the First Shenzhen Animation Biennial in China (2013), the 54th Venice Biennial (2011), and the SITE Santa Fe Biennial in New Mexico (2010). Solmi has several forthcoming museum solo exhibitions, including; The Block Museum of Northwestern University (2021), Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro New Jersey (2020), Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson Arizona (2021), and group exhibition at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Washington DC. Most recently, Solmi’s work was featured in Times Square New York for the Midnight moment and in a solo exhibition in the Ronald Feldman Gallery booth at the 2019 Armory Show (NY).
(photo credit: Andrea Blanch)