FAMILY REUNION
PLASMA, MILAN
SOLO SHOW, 2017

[read press release]

I followed the genesis of this project just like I watched Jacopo grow. In the meantime, Jacopo’s family suffered a few blows: it fell apart, came back together, fell apart again – as families are wont to do. Jacopo was overwhelmed by these blows, despite not having remotely caused any of them… And often – he is the eldest of three brothers – he found himself having to play the referee… I write all that because I want to lay the cards on the table at once so that this project doesn’t – despite Jacopo and his turbulent blood relations – end up being interpreted as a celebration of the values of “hearth and home,” and still less as a representation of a family nucleus. It is a “family,” yes, but of works. There are “The ancestors,” who may or may not be Jacopo’s grandparents; “The living”; and “The descendants” – but Jacopo isn’t even a dad… Nor should we assume that these works were born from one another, or that they were born in the order suggested by the disposition of the family tree. Historically speaking, the first to arrive were in fact “The living”: bedcovers made of retroreflective cloth. On one side of each cover, Jacopo has printed a pattern that he generated by fusing an image of a meteorite with that of a crystal. The technology employed for the print is peculiar: it’s called “dye-sublimation printing,” implying that the transfer of color from the printer to the support happens through the emission of heat – the ink is brought to high temperatures and soaks into the cloth by sublimation. I’ve slept under one of these covers. Many times. Officially, for seven nights in the context of an artist’s residency in Florence, in Villa Romana to be precise, which Jacopo has been organizing since 2011 and which is called “A Bed is a Door.”

The idea is that, mixed with the “emulsions” of meteorites and crystals, the retroreflection of the cloth can stimulate dream activity and retain its products. During those seven days in Villa Romana I slept and wrote a great deal… The cover effectively functioned like a spatio-temporal door onto a reality other than my daily one. In the “family” of works, “The living” are suspended mid-air – as in the REM phase, they are asleep and yet supremely active. They form a pentagon that creates a continuous surface on which “The descendents” can be projected, like the potential figures that they are. “The descendents” appear in the form of holographic haloes produced by simple light-emitting diodes – pure energy. The pentagon is like a chapel and, rightly enough, contains “The ancestors.” These are true funereal sculptures. A base in marble or granite – widespread cemetery materials – floats on a surface of water. The graveyard is like a Japanese garden, an environment not dry but alive. The bases support tentacular objects. Their surface too appears mineral. Seen from above, they look like the letters of an alien alphabet, or otherwise labyrinth plants, or… Jacopo talks to me about exoskeletons and lymphatic systems: conductors – and indeed it soon becomes clear that they are tangles of tubes. An aqueous vapor comes out of their extremities. The dead breathe? Their souls gradually disperse from their bodies? Adolfo Wildt 2.0. But also a wink or two at Giacinto Cerone… On top of the lymphatic forms/systems, in correspondence with the sexual glands, Jacopo places jewels – gifts. And so, from the dead to the nascent, the circle of life closes and reopens. Jacopo thinks of his show as a funeral, a wedding and a baptism… in a blender. Even though the show, as such, would be enough for a rite… In any case, welcome.

Michele D’Aurizio

installation view

THE ANCESTORS

ancestor
2017
ultrasound nebulizer, water, fossil fuel, marble,
sls nylon, bronze, 24k gold, aluminium, silicon,
plexiglass, acrilic paint, wood
200×200×70cm (78×78×28 in) each
4 exemplars

THE LIVINGS

2011-ongoing
retroreflective surface,
sublimatic print on setaflag tissue
250×150 cm (100×60 in) each
5 exemplars

THE DESCENDANTS

2011-ongoing
holographic lights (wires, led systems)
environmental dimensions

SUNFLOWER
(PHARAOH)

2017
sunflower, industrial lathe
40×40×20 cm (15.5×15.5×7 in)