The Dutch artist Dré Wapenaar will present his latest work at the Lia Rumma Gallery in Naples; this is the first time he has exhibited in Italy.
Since 1987 he has worked as a sculptor, using architectural elements such as doors or window frames taken out of their context and assembled in a way that gave them autonomous sculptural value. From 1993 onwards Wapenaar has devoted himself to designing and making tents. With their allusion both to the archetypes of social life and of form, these tents represent the artist’s reflection upon and research into the ways groups of people and individuals relate: “Because, if I often don’t understand something, it is the behaviour of people. People who have been friends for years, living as close neighbours in a togetherness, suddenly find themselves at war, just because somebody has ignited a long forgotten ancient fire.”
The first tent to be designed in 1993 was, not by chance, a Family Tent. The family is the first social group and the need for a “home” created the first architectural space. Since his first Family Tent, Dré Wapenaar has produced tents for specialised activities designed to be installed in public spaces and intended to celebrate the simple rituals of everyday life. Here the artist searches for a form which characterises the essence of the function fulfilled by the tent whereas the designer attracts passers-by and “provokes” their reaction when using the tent with other people.
Two sculptures will be on display in the gallery: the Shower Tent and the Newspaper Kiosk. The outer form of the “shower tent” represents the crystallisation in metal frame, wood and canvas of the jet of water from a shower head while the inner tent, made out of transparent plastic, provides the space for the actual act of showering. The “Newspaper Kiosk”, with its metaphoric shape, simultaneously provides temporary isolation from the outside and occasional contact between readers who share a circular wooden platform.