Christian Jankowski “No Profit”

Christian Jankowski 
“No Profit”

Base / Progetti per l’arte
Via San Niccolò 18r
50125 Firenze / Italia


curated by Lorenzo Bruni

BASE / Progetti per l’Arte is pleased to
present a site-specific exhibition by Christian Jankowski featuring
works created in dialogue with the local context, the city of Florence, and
with the artist-run space BASE, which was founded eighteen years ago.
Christian Jankowski’s project “No Profit” has
been conceived specifically for the occasion. The artist repurposed the term as
an object (a neon sign) and also as a story (visible through a list of
statements on the wall, which highlight everything that made the realization of
the neon sign possible). With this “intervention via a conceptual and
relational matrix,” Jankowski suggests a different vision of BASE, shifting the
focus from the physical space to the mechanisms that underlie the self-taxation
of the artist collective. In the process, Jankowski revealed organizational
dynamics that usually remain hidden. The size of the neon, in point of fact,
was defined by the economic power of those who run the non-profit space.
All of this inevitably serves to confront the current
situation––which is characterized by the economy of new immaterial
finance––with the fact that information on the Internet is never totally
correct or verifiable. In the same way, virtual friendships on social networks
exist everywhere, but where no one is actually present. Jankowski’s
observations do not end with BASE, though. They also includes the city of
Thus, the flip side of the installation is a second
new work exhibited in the adjacent room, “Friends of Friends”. This work
consists of a map of the city, a series of photographs, and other signs that
testify to the artist’s happenings in trattorias and restaurants throughout the
city. Oftentimes, restaurants display photographs showing the owners and staff
with celebrities in an attempt to emphasize the importance or quality of the
place itself. Jankowski was photographed with the same restaurant owners in the
same places, recreating the exact pose of the celebrities photographed. The
only things that have changed are the appearance of the people photographed
with the artist, who in the meantime have aged, even if only slightly––and a
sign, handwritten by the restaurant owner and held by the artist, with a phrase
that answers the question Jankowski asked them: “What is the quality of a

The process is to be completed during the opening,
with the artist returning the framed new photographs to the restaurants where
they were originally taken. The photographs are placed next to their models
thus creating a diptych staying as a permanent Jankowski–Installation in the
restaurant This project investigates the concept of celebrity, of intimacy, and
of friendship in the age of the so-called global village. It proposes a reading
of the work of art and the space of art as a means for discussing their roles
in the society of which they are a part.