Opening on Tuesday, June 6 from 6.30 pm
through July 22nd
Photography is for me a place of visual and semantic experimentation; it creates connections to other languages, amplifying the possible translations of the perceptible and becoming a bridge to other artistic expressions such as textile, writing, sculpture and sound.
What changes over time is not the act of seeing, but the experience of it.
– A. Piolotto
Alessandra Piolotto is an explorer of anonymous photographs. The focus of her investigations is an image, the author of which is unknown, as is its context and origin. Piolotto has developed, through an intense exercise of attention, a method for navigating the image, inhabiting it. The practice is slow and precise: she follows clues and collects evidence, from the simple and precious — an inscription on the back, say (a dedication, or the name of a place) — to the microscopic, inaccessible to the untrained eye.
One fragment of reality refers to another and yet another, as in concentric circles: the world of the artist mingles with the universe of the image; hints and inquiries interweave with her own speculations. The resulting work is a new, unexpected reading. On the back of our photograph surveyed here is a date and a note: ‘It was dawning, we would get up early in the morning. The vocalizaton of the Rustica Hirundo enchanted us in a swirl of refrains, like a morning prayer. Remember Ester? It was the happy hour in A major. When the weight is laid down, it rests”. (Berne, 22 October 1967).
What amazes us about this rediscovered photograph is its density, represented in such a confined space: textile writing on wraparound walls made of geometries with Persian references and Ester, a little girl listening to those codes. She is suspended in a moment of meditation, inhabited by the sound architectures registered on a tape she has just listened to.
What is young Ester listening to, surrounded by Persian carpets? Alessandra Piolotto’s work seeks to answer this question.
It seems a desperate and apparently absurd operation, yet it is absolutely legitimate to think that it is the task or the possibility of art to find answers to to unfathomable mysteries, questions that might sound absurd.
Piolotto experiments with various materials, collaborates with other artists, delving into new territories. The one unfailing element is the written text, a short story. The found photograph and the story are the basic elements, which the artist, just as a researcher would do, then orders in an archive.
On Micamera’s walls we find also a tapestry, textile script of millenary tradition, and a number of aluminium and copper objects on which the visual representation of sound is imprinted through aquatint technique – inspired by Hans Jenny’s experiments in Cymatics. Finally, a soundtrack realized in collaboration with artist Gea Brown. A hybrid, three-dimensional narrative montage, which well conveys the space that Alessandra Piolotto inhabits and constructs. From an image, a new world that intertwines different rhythms and expressive languages.
Alessandra Piolotto’s explorations are also exhibited at Cinema Beltrade in Milan.
The works in aluminium and copper are realized in collaboration with Daniela Lorenzi / Studio A14
Friday, June 23rd, 7pm: live performance by Gea Brown
+ launch of the special edition in 50 copies dedicated to this work – including a print of the found photograph, the text and an audiotape (with download code).
ALESSANDRA PIOLOTTO (1976) After attaining a degree in History of Art, a master’s degree in cultural planning between art and design at the Catholic University of Milan, and a postgraduate course in museum and art anthropology at Bicocca University of Milan, Piolotto became interested in the anthropological and botanical investigation of historical contexts, cultural identity and environmental practices, starting from aesthetics and ending with art criticism.
In 2014, she completed a course in Textile Art at the Academy of Fine Arts “Wladyslaw Strzeminski” in Łódź, in collaboration with the Department of Graphic Art and Painting, Artistic Engraving and the Department of Textile Art, Printing on Textiles, Faculty of Textiles and Fashion.
Her research is cross-disciplinary, ranging from archival photographic research to botanical research under a microscope, through a path of translation of underlying and invisible aspects. The ‘microscopic’ becomes a paradigm of reference, branching out from archival photographs to the written word, textile or sculpture.
She has collaborated with various independent contemporary art spaces, including O’ and Micamera, and has written for RVM Rear View Mirror magazine. Since 2019 Piolotto reguylarly exhibits her work at Cinema Beltrade in Milan.
In 2020-2021 she produced two art editions related to the ‘Compost waste and fertility’ section of larger archive of images and narratives (2015-ongoing), also presented at the PAC Museum in Milan in December 2016.
She is currently collaborating on a research and exhibition project conceived together with Fabio Marullo, entitled ‘Parasitic Sublimities’ at the Botanical Garden of Turin.