Vin Vin is pleased to announce an exhibition by Rome-based artist Alessandro Cicoria (b.1980). In a recent series of works, Cicoria produces drawings originating from the artist’s research on the Aerofonisti at Museo storico dell’Arma del Genio in Rome. The Aerofonisti, civil blind men enlisted during both World Wars, were enrolled to intercept the enemy aircraft. Through giant mechanical ears, they caught the sounds that caused them visual sensations. The blind Aerofonisti talked about an acoustic goal as something visible to the eye. A medical report describes the views of these men. Spots and colorful shapes were used as a language to establish the air distance.
On the event of this exhibition a book dedicated to his work has been launched. The book is published by NERO, co-produced by Vin Vin, and contains a dialogue between the artist and the curator Luca Lo Pinto about the artist’s work and vision.
The impossible truth.
Alessandro Cicoria seduces, etymically speaking: se ducere, to pull towards oneself. Upon meeting him in Rome at an exhibition, he introduced himself in a slight manner as, “a Roman artist...”. At this point I had known him well and was familiar with his work. I had seen a piece of his not long before on display at a Roman gallery which much like the man himself, I found alluring, despite the fact that I could not place it entirely. Though I attempted to study the work in question more closely, the distance between said creation and the gallery window was too large for me to be able to do so thoroughly which in turn only attracted me more. It was elegant, something in the breath of Balla, Boccioni, Severini, but more ethereal, almost rarefied. We spoke for some time and decided to meet one another the next day at Studioli, the studio/home/space which he shares with his partner Valerie. Studioli itself is a conglomeration of garconnieres designed in the 1970’s on the outskirts of Rome. Quite a peculiar space indeed; charming, suspended in time, reminiscent of Alessandroʼ s personality and work. Our meeting proved fortuitous and we parted ways having agreed to a meeting in the near future, possibly in Rome, possibly in Vienna. After several months our promise came to fruition and we spent hours strolling the city, exchanging ideas, drinking Dry Martiniʼs (no ice of course) until it became clear that our discourse had evolved into something tangible.
Have you ever attempted to catch a chicken? Believe me it is quite the challenge. One must be agile and trained. I get the same sensation attempting to encapsulate Alessandroʼs work: whenever you find yourself nearing a position of understanding, the answer seems to fall through your fingertips and forces you to regroup and reconsider. As the answer becomes increasingly difficult to capture one is left with a single solution that being process of elimination, we must begin to rule things out: Cicoria is not a photographer, not a painter and he is not a sculptor, though he works with photographic painting, with sculpture and with photography.
Is he, to be concise; an artist of concept or an artist of imagination? What is, for example, the invoice in the middle of the galleryʼs wall? Technically speaking, it is a receipt produced for a consultation given to a fellow artist, for which Cicoria has been highly remunerated. The fictional aspect of such works as the invoice allows for a mysterious allure to captivate the observer. And all the while Cicoria posits that “Art is a lie per se” he manages to maintain an extreme, all be it contradictory faith in art. I honestly donʼt get the point. The dramaturgy of this exhibition is crystallized, a scenario fixed, artificial, and suspended. Having maintained a discourse with Alessandro for over a year, attempting to understand him, and thereby his work I noticed the influence of cinema too.
This exhibition, a flurry of gesture and impulse, absolutely indecipherable, or maybe a declaration of faith in fiction, given away by the classic aesthetic; hinting at nothing more than a manipulative act. As our friendship and dialogue has developed over time, I have attempted to delve, and to understand Cicoria more. Having once questioned his take on “contemporary” he responded very cryptically. Troughout our dialogue I repeatedly asked Alessandro to provide me with the truth to which he consistently refused. Considering this I will attempt to provide a partial answer by quoting the Taviani brothers: “Truth has to be invented”. I am sure Cicoria would agree.
Vincenzo Della Corte