The large sculptures with 'impossible joints' by the German artist, at the GAM in Milan until September 26, hybridize the idea of play as an educational device (with a reflection on the beauty of the defect)

Until 26 September 2021, the internal and external spaces of the GAM - Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano host large sculptures with ‘impossible fits’ by Nairy Baghramian that trigger a reflection, with playful and educational implications, on the experience of error and the beauty of imperfection.

Misfits, a new project of the Furla Series, the program promoted by Fondazione Furla in collaboration with Italy’s foremost museums, explores some of the pivotal themes of the artist's research, from her interest in crossing and redefining the border between interior and exterior to the relationship between the aesthetic object and its institutional context

Baghramian firmly believes that a work of art, despite its considerable autonomy, is always inextricably linked to the time, place and socio-political context in which it appears. Accordingly, for the Misfits project, she began with the specific urban setting of the GAM, that is, an English garden open to adults only when accompanied by children. The contrasting impressions created by a context that evokes the reassuring and playful world of childhood, while at the same time engendering a sense of frustration through its limited accessibility, provide the inspiration for Misfits, curated by Bruna Roccasalva.

By combining the idea of play as an educational tool with reflection on the experience of disappointment and inadequacy, Baghramian has created a series of large-scale sculptures, formally designed to inhabit both the interior and exterior spaces of the museum.

The exhibition unfolds across five rooms, each housing a sculptural piece, and continues on the adjacent outdoor terrace. Each work on display comprises two halves that are made of different materials – painted casted aluminum and wood for the interior pieces, marble for the exterior ones – and installed as the disjointed parts of a possible whole. The disassembled components of these sculptures evoke the structure typical of certain toys based on making geometric shapes fit together.

From childhood, we are taught to assemble elements that dovetail perfectly and hence to develop a way of thinking according to which things must necessarily fit one another. Baghramian’s sculptures negate this alleged coincidence: their forms do not dovetail perfectly; on the contrary, they offer the experience of error as the only possible one, inviting us to discover beauty precisely in their imperfect juxtaposition.

The impossible fits of these sculptures become the starting point for considering how disappointment, inadequacy and failure are not only part of the individual’s formation, but can even assert their independent raison d'être as formal manifestations.