The man who sat on himself

10 September 2015 – 11 October 2015

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

“I hope you will do me the honour of considering the following. In 1903, when I was eight years old, I had my first aviation accident. A large scar on my forehead, still clearly visible, constantly reminds me of it. With my siblings we built flying kites (which we called ‘stars’). One day, while I was looking up to my star, which was flying very well, attached to a long thread, I suddenly hit my head against an iron pillar, which produced a wide, deep cut.” 
Extract from: Riccardo Giacconi, Controvena

Curated by Kate Strain, Angelica Sule e Zsuzsanna Stànitz.

Since you were a child you’ve been constructing your own reality. You collected fragments of the world, built castles from sand and played out the stories from your imagination. The older you got, the weaker your grip on fantasy became, and the tiny thread that tethered your dreams to your hands became frail and perhaps disappeared. Today you are reminded of the concrete reality of life at every impasse. You see it most clearly in the built environment, in infrastructure, in habitations, and in the chairs in which you sit.

The physical world coerces and corrals. By touch and instruction, it teaches you how to be in the world, how to act, and what shape to take. It is the fodder of fantasy but also the structure to which your reality is anchored. Each of the artists in this exhibition have found ways to circumvent the iron pillars of reality, by becoming the architects of their own mythologies.

Riccardo Arena traces the epic journey of a mystery enigmaacross the landscape of his metaphysical environment, while Matilde Cassani pulls the ceiling down to the floor in tendrils and tendons that conceal and connect. Throughout the space Tomaso De Luca’s choreographed arrangement of panels play with the absence of a single protagonist. In remembrance, a flickering light bulb speaks of the inventions and misadventures of Riccardo Giacconi’s great-grandfather. As a means of interpreting and reconfiguring the artists’ ideas, Matteo Stocco re-imagines the exhibition through visualising alternative spectres of space, creating a potentially infinite sequence of digital possibilities.