CHIARA CAMONI: CALL AND GATHER | ITSLIQUID

CHIARA CAMONI: CALL AND GATHER

Art | June 23, 2024 |

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Image courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca | Photo by Agostino Osio

Chiara Camoni Call and gather. Sisters. Moths and flame twisters. Lioness bones, snakes and stone
Pirelli HangarBicocca Milano
February 15 – July 21, 2024

The exhibition at Pirelli HangarBicocca, “Call and gather. Sisters. Moths and flame twisters. Lioness bones, snakes and stones.”, curated by Lucia Aspesi and Fiammetta Griccioli, brings together the largest body of work ever presented in Italy by Chiara Camoni. With a series of new productions, it creates an architecture of collectivity and memory, whose forms are inspired by the Italian gardens of the late Renaissance and archaeological sites.

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Image courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca | Photo by Agostino Osio

The symmetrical and radial design of the floor plan creates corridors and rooms, paths and environments that divide the space into several areas, in which visitors can linger or converse. The empty center is the nucleus around which the exhibition project revolves: the works are arranged as if on the bleachers of an arena, transforming the exhibition into a gathering or a performance. At the same time, the environment is designed as a physical landscape in which the boundaries between architecture, sculpture, and objects become blurred and ambiguous. While through the windows, opened for the occasion along the walls of the Shed, natural daylight gives way to dusk. This cyclical pattern is a creative and vital force, with its rhythmic sequence of moments of stillness and darkness and others animated by reflections and sunlight.

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Image courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca | Photo by Agostino Osio

The title of the exhibition is formulated as a poetic composition or a spell. On the one hand, it echoes an incantation that invites the public to delve into an archaic and mysterious dimension; on the other hand, it condenses and anticipates some of the elements and images in Chiara Camoni’s practice, conjured by the artist’s own words. It is precisely on the basis of this idea of collective memory that the largest series of Sisters, which the artist has been working on since 2019, has been collected and exhibited.

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Image courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca | Photo by Agostino Osio

These anthropomorphic and zoomorphic sculptures are formed by an accumulation of different materials, from polychrome terracotta to wax, from stoneware and porcelain to vegetable elements and iron, plastic and found objects. For Camoni, they look like figures from the unconscious, primordial deities embodying an ancestral femininity. Their physical and material appearance is capable of evoking a sense of awe and wonders in the viewer as if each one of them concealed a narrative that is at once intimate and mythical. Their presence conveys a message of sisterhood that encourages the desire for unity and community, and the assertion of identity.

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Image courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca | Photo by Agostino Osio

The relationship between the natural and animal world is central to Chiara Camoni’s work and is evident in the construction of the exhibition space, which is designed to resemble a garden or a walk in the woods, where even natural light and shadow reveal and conceal a metaphysical landscape. Zoomorphic figures, carpets woven from plants, and vegetal prints influence the visitor’s experience and movement, such as the new series The Three Snakes, (2024) and Serpenti e Serpentesse (2024), created for this exhibition. These sculptures consist of assemblages of onyx scales or porcelain elements that, when placed on the floor, obstruct, and constrain the audience’s passage into certain areas of the space. Meanwhile, the idea of home as shelter and protection is evoked by the presence of various tents and hanging drapes. These are installations composed of vegetable prints on fabric, often made during workshops organized by the artist. They are obtained by pressing plants and flowers directly into silk or cotton, and their colored traces create abstract or anthropomorphic patterns. Camoni manipulates and reworks natural elements to highlight the deep connections we can establish with them, but also the infinite possibilities of transformation and metamorphosis of matter that reveal the deep meaning of existence.

more. www.pirellihangarbicocca.org

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Image courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca | Photo by Agostino Osio
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Image courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca | Photo by Agostino Osio

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