BEHIND THE TRICK
a group show with Alan Maag, Alex, Gilles Gallicchio, Fabio Prosdocimi & the Warriors family
- At or toward the back of someone or something, and often hidden by it or them
- Do you remember the night before the trick in that photo? We slept in a parking lot and sang stupid songs until sunrise.
- He spent two days thinking about it and then he did it first try.
- We met him at this spot and we ended up staying at his house for a week.
- Luckily this lady gave us a wooden plank otherwise he would never have done it.
- Making less progress than someone or something
- He just did a shitty ollie but he fought so hard for it that when he did it everybody went wild!
- Who cares about tricks?
- Giving support to, or approval of, someone or something
- Get it!
- Have it!
- Next one!
- 50 bucks on the next one!
- My car on the next one!
- Responsible for starting or developing something
- Tomorrow we should go to that new DIY they built.
- You want the sticker of this small brand I started with my friends back home?
- Their new video premiers tonight.
- Used to say that something is in someone’s past
- “I am too fat to skate” said the guy who was cheering the most at the session
- I can’t come skating, they will fire me if I get hurt. On a different note, I’ve got the perfect song for your next videopart!
- He skated with us but after he broke his knee he couldn’t do it anymore. Anyway he’s doing these really cool skate photos…
Fabio Prosdocimi BEHIND THE TRICK | wall painting | 295 x 1000 cm | October 2020
A trick, for those who don’t know, is what we call a skateboard manoeuvre. A trick is what could name the individual accomplishment of skateboarding. Tricks are what we see in skateboarding photos and videos and they are also the part of skateboarding that has managed to reach the mainstream media.
It’s only normal that tricks have such a central role; after all, that’s what skateboarding is about. But tricks are not everything! So for a change, we would like to give a different perspective on skateboarding, one that instead of focusing on tricks – the individual climax of a skateboarding experience – focuses on what is going on behind them. In other words, we’d like to show the perspective of more or less talented skaters that did more or less interesting tricks at a certain time in their life, a perspective of those who share an experience related to a trick that goes behind and beyond the trick itself.
So what is behind the trick, you might ask? Well, many things.
First of all, humans living in society: with their relations, their connections, their everyday life and their experiences, some of them very common and others very peculiar. These experiences, these shared moments come through Gilles Gallichio’s work and in the more figurative and narrative part of Alan Maag’s works.
There is also a different analysis of the built environment, of our surroundings and of our relationship to it. The use of a skateboard to do tricks can develop a set of skills that allow one to abstract and then recompose the built environment, possibly creating what can be described as an ambience. This different reading, made possible by skateboarding, is symbolized by Alex’s work.
The built environment that is usually behind the trick, seen through the eyes of a photographer, can also offer some openings for abstraction. Alan Maag’s abstract photos are, as the word suggests, abstracted from scenes and moments related to tricks. They represent shapes, materials and colours that were behind or around a trick, but through the abstraction Alan’s work allows, these shapes multiply their meaning and allow us to give our own interpretation of what happened behind a trick.
There is also what the trick left behind once it happened: traces. The most visible traces of a trick are the ones skateboards leave on curbs and walls. These traces are recreated and enlarged on the gallery walls by Fabio Prosdocimi.
Through individual interpretations of what “behind the trick” means, this exhibition, with its range of abstract and figurative works, tries to shine a light on those aspects of skateboarding that often play a secondary role. While these details may usually remain hidden, they are part of the reason why we love skateboarding.
BEHIND THE TRICK | exhibition view, October 2020
“Higorrreeehhh!!” grunted the group’s farmer while his dirty nails skewed the friend’s side and the others held him tight. There were also but cheek squeezes, kisses and much more. Poor Igor did nothing to deserve it, he was among the nicest guys in the group, maybe the most tender and peaceful, but unfortunately for him he could not stand physical contact. So that is what we, who cared for him and grew up learning how to prove that by challenging each other without too many complexes, had in store for him and too much of it, to the excess.
“Bitte folgen” was blinking on top of a plainclothes police car that just got ahead of us on the highway. Nine dirty and sweaty males, that haven’t been showering for days and that were trying to win the “who can keep the same pair of boxer on for longer” competition were pressed in the van, stopped to wait for the police check. “Hide the beers, hide everything!!!” Silence. Then a head pops in, the cop smells the air (the air in the van is really disgusting), he does not put his hands in there, let alone his nose or his eye: he wave us to go.
“The Hooook!!!” was screaming the one that, hidden behind the shoulder of the more or less unaware unfortunate, managed to stick two finger in his nose like a hook and flip his head backwards, while somebody else hit him with his hands on the throat. “Co-clocc!!!” was the sound of the throat among the laughter.
“Piiiggia di biirraaa!!” announced beer and spit throw in the air, or in somebody’s face. Tradition of our “Toga party”, unfortunately less appreciated in bars and at the carnival.
“Se limoniamo noi poi limonate voi”. Two Warriors (more or less males) kiss each other before the two girls they just met, then three-way kisses, or four, … or insults.
For the umpteenth time: “Vans is paying for my room, if somebody needs it, he can sleep at mine in Basel!!”. A dozen persons in one hotel room above a brothel . No it was not an orgy, more a pile up. Drunks sleeping on top of each other after partying all night together, talking, among other things, about spots to skate and tricks to do the day after, or after the European Opens, once the amount of alcohol in the body will decrease.
And much more: hugs, pats on the back, burps in the years like screams; cries, kisses, spanks, hand shakes, fights, philosophical chats, shared beers, spiced up cigarettes passing from hand to hand, from mouth to mouth …
We lived united, sharing practically everything, in certain moment almost melting into one organism only built out of passion, friendship, openness to the other, understanding and sense of adventure.
Behind every trick there are also the others! There is the group, there is who was there. There are shared moments, people, personalities, faces, expressions, participation, support, human and physical (therefore social) proximity, answers, waits, boredom, joy, anger, disappointment, different characters, courage, affection… There all the emotions and the lived experiences of who is present that melt together, creating that situation that is not only our and personal but also of who is next to us and lives it with us.
All of this makes our memories, our narrative, our story, our personal and therefore social life, our personal way to perceive the other.
We lived closed to one another, brought together in between tricks, living life as a game; like kids that run after each other having fun, carefree and happy, without concern or fear. One trick after the other, we lived enjoying together of what life can give us, a communitary experience in its simplicity and beauty, in its fullness: human, emotive, sensorial and experiential .
We did not live in fear and distrust. We did not live in any of the Orwellian oxymorons that influence our lives today. We did not live “Distant but close”.
A car score wheels.
I go and have look at what is happening, behind two thanks I find the other with their hands raised. A few meters away, the cop car is positioned at a ninety degrees angle from the others and an agent, from behind the car’s hood, is pointing a gun at them. “What do I do now? How will he react if he sees me? I am right behind him… and fuck! We agreed you guys would have waited outside, in order to avoid drawing attention. But no, everybody had to slide under the fence and see if for himself if the full pipe was here.” He sees me, fortunately he keeps his calm, with my hands up I reach the others. He starts asking questions from behind the car, he understands that we are a group of weird young guys searching for a place to make skate photos, even if it is a strange thing to believe it behind the fences of an Enel propriety in Ostia.
He puts the gun back in the holster and allow us to come closer, he tell us that he thought we were Greenpeace activist, he’s more relaxed now, even funny.
He has to call a colleague to come and check anyway, it’s standard procedure. They check our IDs. We then had wait for more than one hour for them to stop talking about theirs daughters, the weather, politics and much more (nothing of which had to do with the situation) and let us go.
Nobody checked the van, luckily! We move on. There it is, finally, the full pipe, a few kilometers and two fences away.
Yes! Now we can all go inside and skate!
“Where are we going? It really stinks in here!”
“Oh I am sorry! We didn’t see you were shooting up. Nor we realized that we entered your house, under this staircase that you use as bathroom, bedroom, dining room and place to make your life more tolerable. We just wanted to reach the spot over there, after the bridge. Sorry again and have a good day!”
Big party in Berlin! Then it is time to sleep! Sleeping bag under the arm you go in search of a quiet place. This park looks safe, behind that bush will be perfect; there is even a meadow. When we woke up, when there was light, we saw that we’ve been sleeping among other homeless. We said goodbye and went skating.
Barcelona, a triple set in front of a mall. There are way too many people, but Geri is trying is backside flip anyway. Somebody is filming, somebody taking photos and somebody is trying to stop the people to make some space. Some people complain, other are intrigued by what is happening and other stop to cheer Geri. Try after try, two groups form: a crowd cheering for Geri and a small group of people complaining and arguing that we should not be there. The show ends when “mossos d’Esquadra” arrive and we are kicked out. The debate continue between the police and the locals who took our side and express their dissent.
Behind every trick there is a search, a context, different situations! There are places, cultures, persons, habits; a routine for certain people that has been broke by our arrival.
Behind every trick there is sociality, urban life moving, stirring.
We have been is many place places, we had many encounters and clashes , we have experienced many different dynamics by venturing in the world in search for spots. We lived a life reach of experiences, of memories and meaningful moments, going and stopping wherever the desired to skate and live shared moments will take us.
All of this makes our memories, our narrative, our story, our personal and therefore social life, our personal way to place us in the world.
We did not live staying home.
We did not live in fear of infecting people’s lives. We did not live with a fear of the other .
For love of life we lived there where things happen: outside, on the streets, in a square, in public spaces, …spaces of life par-excellence.
Gilles Gallichio BEHIND THE TRICK | exhibition view October 2020
Alan Maag BEHIND THE TRICK | exhibition view, October 2020
Alan Maag BEHIND THE TRICK | exhibition view, October 2020
Alex BEHIND THE TRICK | exhibition view, October 2020