Camilla Gurgone and C. Sidonie Pellegrino. Softly ...

Camilla Gurgone and C. Sidonie Pellegrino. Softly Disappear

«Prima che di te resti solo la voce» (Before only the voice of you remains) recites a warning in which the transience of being and the inevitable disappearance resonates deeply. This poetic sentence is encapsulated in the site-specific work “Sibilla” (2024), born from the collaboration not only between Camilla Gurgone and C. Sidonie Pellegrino – the two artists who have recently presented the double solo show “Softly Disappear” – but also among mysterious prophecies and modern artificiality. The exhibition by Camilla Gurgone (Lucca, 1997) and C. Sidonie Pellegrino (Castellammare di Stabia, 2002), curated by Martina Campese and Sara Verde and exhibited at Arte Spazio Tempo in Venice, travels through the disintegration and disappearance of matter. The concept of dissolution is the irresistible muse that invites the two artists to explore the complex nature of absence, the transience of existence and consequently the adverse concept of presence. Different media are adopted that place the two artists in dialogue in the space.

Camilla Gurgone and C. Sidonie Pellegrino, “Sibilla”, 2024. Polyester paper print, 90 x 170 cm. Ph Martina Campese and Sara Verde, courtesy the artists

Camilla Gurgone’s works are manifestations of disappearance as an exploration of memory and intimacy. The artist deepens the potential of language and artificial intelligence by dealing with time and its transformative effect towards collective and personal memories. In particular, with “Process to shape the imaginary n°2 – n°6” (2023) the artists realizes the virtual representation of a dream: on a wall, strips of thermal paper show the images created through artificial intelligence – destined to disappear over time, leaving clouded traces of what has been – that question the fleeting nature of artificial intelligence itself and the impermanence of digital artifacts. Disappearance in the digital age is an ever-changing concept, Gurgone thus confronts the transient nature of virtuality. Moreover, the artist exhibits the complete series “Tachilalia” (2018-2024), twenty-eight thermal paper facsimiles of receipts that she has collected and whose contents she reinvents by shifting words and letters to generate new juxtapositions and contents. The resulting poems bring to attention various themes and introspective meditations, but – considering the series in its entirety – these have the power to alter society’s common view of receipts: often trashed or abandoned as an annoying discard, the receipt is instead an evidence of our passage and of the human activities of everyday life. Camilla Gurgone’s works hence revolve around an elegant reinterpretation of ordinary actions and, in this sense, they manifest the will to instill a bigger awareness in the observer.

Camilla Gurgone, “Process to shape the imaginary n°2 – n°6”, 2023. Thermal paper prints, order-holder rod, 140 x 175 cm e 30 x 60 cm. Ph Martina Campese and Sara Verde, courtesy the artists

In Pellegrino’s works the disappearance is also intertwined with broader sociocultural archival practices, bringing to light forgotten or marginalized histories. The artist’s books, “Drude” (2023), show an unprecedented narrative on the iconography of the brigandesses, faithful fighters whose history is still disordered and disjointed; the women’s images are blurred and difficult to identify emphasizing the ephemeral memory of their existence, making them more similar to ghostly beings coming from a distant time. Through language, the artist also transcribes some of her poetic compositions on nine leaves in the work “Litanie” (2021); with time and the inevitable decomposition of the leaves, the writing will retourn graphic sign again – unrecognizable and delicate – symbolizing and reflecting the corruptibility of linguistic culture. With her works, the artist offers a space for contemplation where it is possible to reason about how culture is a living and changing essence, developing along with the human being and that does not disappear, but it transforms itself.

C. Sidonie Pellegrino, “Litanie”, 2021 (series). Indian ink on dried leaves, 23 x 16 x 2,5 cm. Ph Martina Campese and Sara Verde, courtesy the artists

The heart of “Softly Disappear” is thus an invitation to confront inevitable dissolution without the decadent specter of the end, inviting the audience instead to contemplate absence. In this delicate exploration, the viewer can peer into the fading and listen to the fragile echo of presence in a world defined by perpetual change; it is a testament of the sweet allure of the unknown and the delicate, ephemeral nature of existence.

Irene Follador


Camilla Gurgone and C. Sidonie Pellegrino, Softly Disappear
curated by Martina Campese and Sara Verde
28/03/2024 – 27/04/2024
Arte Spazio Tempo
Campo del Ghetto 2877, 30121 Venezia


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