Adrift, the exhibition of contemporary arts with the work of the American sculptor Justin Peyser, is coming to Venice. The 17 pieces displayed in the rooms of the Ca Zenobio span over different artistic periods of Peyser but are assembled here together to represent the theme of diaspora, not by chance in what houses today the Armenian College. The curator of the exhibition, Roberta Semeraro, says: Peyser knows from personal experience the sacrifice of those who have to fight in order not to loose their ethnic and cultural identity and is close to the descendants of the people who fled Armenia and came to live here. Whilst seven of the displayed sculptures date back to the beginning of Peysers career and are made of sheet metal, the remaining ones speak a different all-inclusive language and by representing 10 well-known characters, they take on shapes and depths that melt different metals without attempting to conceal the thick welds that join them together. Peyser himself has commented thus: I have left the heavy welds and the burn marks of the flames visible.
Of the ten characters/symbols of Peyser displayed in the Venice exhibition there are some that refer to the lagoon city and these are: The Doge, Platform Shoe, Tricorno and Pot Belly Stove. The latter according to the artist could be a representation of a pregnant woman whose womb contains the alchemic principles of creation - water and fire. Another characteristic is the fact that sculptures are kept in position with a sand counterweight at their base but at the same time appear out to be leaning sideways, a seemingly representation of the diaspora and the hanging in balance between two native lands. Justin Peyser graduated at Harvard at the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies. From the start, he was interested in space in relation to architecture and in particular, to the suburbs and urban areas in disuse. He is currently engaged with an ethical bank to undertake projects to restore derelict urban areas in the city of New York (Bronx, Brooklyn and Newark).