17 December 2023–07 April 2024
Michele Ciacciofera. Condensing the Infinite
Curated by Alessandro Castiglioni
From 17 December 2023
Opening Saturday 16 December at 6 pm. Free entrance
The exhibition, curated by Alessandro Castiglioni, presents a project that evokes the artist's journeys from Sardinia, through the Alps to Brittany and finally to Scotland, in search of those archetypal forms that are at the basis of the cults and identities of peoples who through archaic sculptural practices aspired to create a dialogue between earth and sky, between the finite human and the absolute infinite. Ciacciofera's direct experience of places and above all his internalisation of them are fundamental factors in the creation of the work of art.
Condensing the infinite reveals the artist's fascination for megalithic or monolithic forms, such as menhirs and stelae, capable of conferring sacredness and recognisability to certain territories, as well as immortal symbols of an important technological, social, cultural and economic revolution such as the one that characterised the Neolithic period, or civilisations such as the Etruscan, Phoenician or Egyptian.
The story of these archetypes seems to want to reconnect Ciacciofera's biography, his microcosm, with the macrocosm of universal narratives: symbolised by the great stones that, following an imaginary geographical line, cross the Mediterranean, continental Europe and northern Europe, from Sicily, the place where the artist grew up, to Sicily, the place where the artist grew up, to Sardinia, his homeland, passing along the Alpine and pre-alpine arc around MA*GA, to the Celtic territories of Brittany in France and the Channel Islands such as Scotland.
The exhibition will thus take the form of an environmental installation, subdivided into three partitions, recreating sculptural alignments in the MA*GA exhibition space, as in the regions where the menhirs stand. In a poetic dialogue, three-dimensional vertical forms will be confronted with horizontal installations or even with pictorial or sound works, all together capable of evoking both the cult of water dear to the Mediterranean and the sacred cult of stones, in a great hymn to nature to which Ciacciofera's work is addressed. The visitor is immediately greeted by a series of glass sculptures, created at the CIRVA-Centre International de Recherche sur le Verre et les Arts Plastiques in Marseilles, which rework the not only physical dimension of the Menhir, coexisting with spherical shapes referring to the myth of water. In the second room, small boxes with a votive flavour dialogue with nine colourful stelae, similar to small theatres with a complex architecture produced by the artist through the reuse of paper, cardboard and waste materials in a symbolically and intentionally eco-sustainable creative process. A sound work specially created for the occasion accompanies these stelae, creating a synaesthetic and immersive environment that invites the spectator to lose himself in a place that is as natural as it is imaginary. These sounds recorded live in nature and rhythmically reworked through the use of electronic patterns continue the sound work already presented by the artist for Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel with The Density of the Transparent Wind. The exhibition at MA*GA concludes with a site-specific installation in ceramic and natural moss in dialogue with a pictorial work in the form of a triptych.
The exhibition is completed with the section set up in the ViaMilanoLounge at the Milan Malpensa T1 airport, where one can admire the Janas Code wall sculptures emblematic of Ciacciofera's production. Rhythmised by perpendicular lines that evoke the axes of space and time that intersect to form the grid, these works are created from a construction material, which is given a new meaning but whose original function as a support is preserved.
Michele Ciacciofera (Nuoro, 1969; lives and works in Paris).
Michele Ciacciofera's work is characterised by the use of various mediums, from painting to sculpture, with the use of ceramics, glass, bronze, stone and assemblages of materials, as well as drawing and sound.
Using an anthropological approach, the artist explores different themes linked to the islands he is from, Sardinia and Sicily, through the prism of the Mediterranean. Collective memory, revisited myths and contemporary political reality mingle in works characterised by a sensitivity to matter and a keen awareness of current issues related to the reconfiguration of socio-economic and environmental balances.
Driven by constant reflection and research based on numerous sources, Ciacciofera is first and foremost interested in the subject and its narration, as well as the feelings he intends to convey through the choice of materials used. He constantly draws on his training in political science, his interest in anthropology, archaeology, environmental issues and his obsession with individual and collective memory to materialise poetic experiences with a strong communicative capacity.
His works have been exhibited at the 57th International Art Biennale in Venice, Documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens, the MAN Museum in Nuoro, the CAFA Museum in Beijing, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rochechouart (France), the Museum of Rennes, Summerhall Edinburgh, the IMMA Museum in Dublin and numerous other international museum institutions. He received the Civitella Ranieri NYC Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship for 2015-16.
He is preparing two solo exhibitions in France and one in Scotland, two major public works in France and Italy, and a site-specific work with which he will participate in the 6th Mardin Biennial of Contemporary Art in Turkey (May 2024).