“Recognition notoriously marks the transition from ignorance to knowledge. Recognising, therefore, is not the same as coming into contact for the first time, nor does it need words: recognition is almost always mute. And recognising does not in any way mean understanding, as understanding has no role in an act of recognition. The most important aspect of the term “re-cognition” therefore lies in the first syllable, which refers to something that comes before, a pre-existing awareness that makes the transition from ignorance to knowledge possible. Recognition occurs when an earlier awareness flashes before us, causing a sudden change in our understanding. And yet that flash cannot occur spontaneously; it cannot flare up without its lost other. The resulting knowledge is therefore different from the discovery of something new; rather, it derives from becoming aware of a yet unexpressed potential.”
In this project, Francesco De Prezzo delegates the choice of elements that will constitute the final exhibition to an automatic algorithm designed to recognize similar images on the web. Taking advantage of the online search for objects visually similar to images provided as a starting point (images of the artist’s previous works), the algorithm identifies items for sale that are as similar as possible to images of jobs uploaded to the network, automatically purchasing and sending them to the place of the exhibition. The negation and removal of the artist’s hand from the work is one of his central research themes, along with the relationship between finished and unfinished work, the narration and negation of visual content, and the contrast between cold structural elements and soft/organic installation structures such as cotton sheets or industrial components in eco-leather. In Francesco De Prezzo’s practice, the delegation plays a fundamental role; in fact, the presented objects are the result of an indirect choice. This aspect reflects the daily operations that we delegate to a computer or third-party algorithms. Starting from this utopian delegation in order to create an entire exhibition, the result speaks to the weight of the relationship between new technologies and the contemporary image. The automatic visual search, practiced today, interacts with and modifies our reading of the real, interfering in the gap between represented and physical objects.