Paolo Topy, ‘Workers’, 2016, Area35 Art Gallery

Except for a single piece, all the artwork in the rest of the exhibition has in common the absence of representation of the body. From there on in, the body is referred to, or suggested – like in Workers, a series produced with industrial rubber gloves in which, in a ploy that is atypical for him, Paolo Topy arranged the subject that is presented and photographed. This iconoclastic gesture evokes the modernist movements that, in turn, deconstructed, fragmented and deformed – in a nutshell, manipulated – the body throughout the 20th century. Despite being absent, the body is still very present through evocation alone: the point of the gloves is to protect it from a dangerous environment. Another body bursts into this series in an unexpected manner: the artist’s, who acts upon the gloves through the gesture of arranging them as a subject to be photographed. That gesture, the artist’s physical intervention, echoes the thought process, the mental organization that systematically precedes the photographic act, which simply reveals.

Image rights: paolo topy

About Paolo Topy

italian, french, b. 1966, Tripoli, Libya, based in Nice, France

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