Kunsthalle Lissabon presents A house for a gentleman, the first solo show in Portugal by the Italian artist Giulio Scalisi.
A house for a gentleman is both a story of a house and a story of a gentleman set in a not-so-distant dystopic future. In this future humanity has been forced to make a switch toward a lifestyle that is predominantly spent inside the domestic space as the conditions for human life are no longer met in the outside world.
Every aspect of this life is now concentrated in the four walls of the house: sleeping, exercising, eating, dating, working, with minimal physical human contact, apart from couriers or sporadic lovers.
Giulio Scalisi’s research has always been focused on the creation of parallel scenarios which try to mirror ours through different mediums and forms, such as videos, comics, installations, and drawings. Often, Scalisi’s works are imagined as hyperboles, which represent situations, deliberately simplified, in order to highlight the ways in which our daily life could easily degenerate. A resigned dystopia with a good dose of introspection seems to be the sharp weapon for inner analysis, and for the production of alternative futures.
The exhibition conceived for the Kunsthalle Lissabon presents two aspects of the same sci-fi reality. Entering the first room, the atmosphere is that of a hi-tech shop where the latest products on the market are exhibited. A detailed maquette of The Obelisk, the housing prototype launched by Babel, is exhibited on a plinth. On the walls three prints are showing the buyer, on one hand, the benefits of the new housing model (The Obelisk Ad, 2021; What’s the right size for you? 2021), on the other the terrible risks of outdoor life (Do yourself a favor, 2021).
In the second room a typical day of Paul Baseth, the main protagonist of this dystopia, is projected. His daily routine, made of exercise, chatting, work, dates, and research does not escape the watchful eye of Home, the virtual assistant that comes with every house made by Babel.
However, A house for a gentleman is not only a dystopian world, it’s also a journey through the ghosts that populate our gloomy days of solitude, those in which we really seem to have lost any contact with reality, or at least with that reality that now only lives in our idealized memories of the past.
Giulio Scalisi (Salemi, 1992) lives and works in Milan. In 2014 he completed his BA in Visual Arts at NABA, Milan, and in 2016 a MA in Visual Arts at Écal, Lausanne.
Among his recent shows: Good Guys (Gran Riserva), Gasconade, Roma; tAPC/the Artist’s PC, Le Botanique Centre Culturel, Brussels; Life is a Bed of Roses, Fondation Ricard, Paris; Homesick, Futuredome, Milan; Alghe Romantiche, Tile Project Space, Milan; “Fedeli alla linea”, Sonnenstübe, Lugano; “Every breath you take”, Galleria Umberto di Marino, Naples; Dripping in crocodile tears, Like a little disaster, Polignano; 1999, Kaleidoscope @ Spazio Maiocchi, Milan; A healthy dose of confusion before the bang, Federica Schiavo Gallery, Milan; Basta, Palazzo Monti, Brescia; Primary Domain, Ordet, Milan; Fotoromanza, Ville de Genève, Geneva; Videocittà, Palazzo dei Congressi, Rome; Il Pianeta, Spazio Maiocchi, Milan.
Kunsthalle Lissabon is kindly supported by República Portuguesa / DGArtes, Coleção Maria e Armando Cabral. Additional support for A house for a gentleman is provided by Case Chiuse by Paola Clerico. A very special thanks goes to FabLab Lisboa; Hugo Gomes; and Dafne for the musical score of the video.