You decided to visit OUT THERE before the overcrowding of events and people of the Design Week gave you no choice but to move with a frenzy in a Milan that aspires to be as before, but which will no longer be. Look at the crumpled masks on the cup you use as a pencil holder. Open your computer to google some information before crossing the city by metro and getting off at Lambrate. You type OUT THERE Gianni Lucchesi: three hundred and fifteen thousand results in seventy-eight seconds. You open the first link and read: “Sculptures, installations and paintings are examples of Lucchesi’s investigation focused, since its inception, on the psychological aspects of the individual”, writes the journalist. The article continues with a quote from the artist. “However, there is a turning point in my work. At Galleria IPERCUBO I approached Timothy Morton’s concept of ‘hyperobject,’ understood as something we can reflect on but which we keep at a distance without fully perceiving the extent of what we are facing. In this sense, OUT THERE represents a change of course”.
You enter Scalo Lambrate but before arriving at the exhibition space you have to cross the large garden that surrounds an old twentieth-century industrial building. A former railway yard. You feel like you are in a bar on the beaches of Bali or Malindi. Curly-haired guys in vintage shirts shake cocktails against a background of a DJ and the sound of footsteps on the gravel. Despite this, you immediately realize, raising your head towards the surrounding wall, that you are in Milan: a bright and very pop yellow and blue sign indicates that there is a LiDL right next to it.
You cross the tree-lined space and climb over the old rails. There’s an aroma of incense and lounge chairs where you can lie down and have a drink. You walk a few steps further towards the sign of the exhibition but before arriving you stop at a tent that offers Tarot Reading and Henna Tattoos. You’re finally there. You move the velvet curtain, the curtain opens. After a few steps you immerse yourself in OUT THERE leaving behind the light of day and candles. Now you are in dim light. Every detail of the set-up has been thought out in a maniacal way. The lighting is expressed as an integral part of the works and emphasizes the shadow in its physicality. “Davide Groppi curated this aspect” you hear the artist behind you, busy with a collector, say. You observe, make free associations. Suddenly you remember the word gesamtkunstwerk. A total work of art.
You approach the first series of sculptures entitled Across the River (2021), Piove (2021) and Ginevra (2021). They are the “interior environments,” the artist’s stylistic code, and memories. Lonely men are depicted through bronze miniatures and enclosed (protected or alienated?) in thick frames, an iron box that transcends its essential function as a pedestal. You pause in front of these works. You think of Bourdieu’s “structured-structuring-structures”. You don’t quite remember the premises of this theory but you manage to summarize the concept in simple terms: individuals only have room to carry out adequate, coherent and functional actions to the very order that created them.
A little further on, on a rough concrete wall, you can see two paintings measuring one and a half meters by two. Large white backgrounds painted in bitumen instead of watercolor. There are two, but for expressive eloquence you choose to focus on Cernonnus (2021): a herd of deer moves from right to left chasing its own shadow. You bow your head to look at the scratched screen of your mobile phone and read the press release you scanned with the qr code: “Before being fascinated by the symbolism of this animal, I was captivated by its elegance. It also allows me to emphasize the sense of a group, a community on the one hand and instinct on the other, the one towards which we hardly linger,” declares the artist.
You look around. On a circle hanging from the ceiling, no more than a meter and a half from the floor, a couple leads a melancholy dance on the edge of the abyss. The installation is titled Tangueri (2021) and reminds you of that city at the end of the world called Buenos Aires. From this iron ring a shadow is projected, drawing a circle on the ground from a solid that is not there. From empty to full. As if women, men, the whole of humanity were about to collapse.
“Faced with the evidence of current dramas, we can do nothing but look away” the artist continues in the statement. You wonder if perhaps the work Il golfista (2019) does not refer to this. To the commitment of energies in the leisure and entertainment industry. Are we really on the verge of annihilation? Compressed Nature and Humanity? You remember Ian McEwan’s recent book, you never understand the meaning of these free associations. You read the quote from Virgil in the notes of your cell phone.
Sunt lacrimae rerum: there are tears in the nature of things.
Ana Laura Esposito
OUT THERE by Gianni Lucchesi.
curated by Nicolas Ballario. Light designer Davide Groppi.
Scalo Lambrate, Via Saccardo 12, Milano.
Until September 26, 2021 by appointment: email@example.com
Gianni Lucchesi, installation view OUT THERE, 2021. Courtesy Gianni Lucchesi and Galleria IPERCUBO
Gianni Lucchesi, In consapevolezza, 2021, concrete and bronze, 20 x 20 x H194 cm. Courtesy Gianni Lucchesi and Galleria IPERCUBO
Gianni Lucchesi, Cernonnus, 2021, 250 x 150 cm, bitumen on canvas. Courtesy Gianni Lucchesi and Galleria IPERCUBO
Gianni Lucchesi, Cernonnus, 2021, ceramic. Courtesy Gianni Lucchesi e Galleria IPERCUBO
Ana Laura Esposito obtained a Master’s in Media Communication at the University of Buenos Aires and a Master’s in Curatorial Practices at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, where she has lived and worked for over twelve years. She writes articles, interviews and essays on contemporary art for Italian media, including Exibart Magazine, HR OnLine, Juliet Art Magazine and La Mia Finanza web TV. She also collaborates with Colección Cisneros (New York), Magenta Magazine (Buenos Aires) and PAC (Madrid).