Artwork’s Title: C0037: A Gleam in the Fog
Materials Used: Three unknown findings. Materials after analysis: Flexeine, urethane, silicone, CR-39, PMMA, steel, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, cellulose, aluminium
Studio Based: Pregnana Milanese (Italy) and London (UK)
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
I recently left my teaching career in the arts to fully dedicate myself to pressing research and investigations. I predominantly work in British and Italian territories; through my profession, I study the mysterious events that influence the development of individual and collective identity.
In other other words, I don’t make work, it comes to me in unpredictable ways.
How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?
How did you come up with ‘C0037: A Gleam in the Fog’ ? Is there any story behind the three sculptures?
It all started on the 18/11/2020, when a young boy discovered an unknown object in Scorzarolo (Italy), where the river Oglio flows into the main stem Po.
My colleague Julia, who operates in the Emilia Romagna region, quickly informed me about the finding and after reaching her in Scorzarolo the next day, I was finally holding in my hands the mysterious object.
I have to admit that I was very confused by the form and colour of the found object. Not too sure about what to do next, I began circulating the image of the item through my cultural and investigative channels.
The response was contrasting, some affirmed that the unusual object might belong to the half-exiled dramaturge Fernando Arrabal, others that it might be a lost property of Edaordo Monti, founder and director of Palazzo Monti.
After meeting the young boy personally, he confessed to me that he had seen the object flying and subsequently gliding on the river shores, and that he was hiding this detail to his mum, worried that she would think he had lost his mind.
At this stage, I was extremely doubtful and suspicious about the matter.
Despite that, I had a strong presentiment that the found object might be a new form of U.P.O. (Unidentified Performing Object) sent to us from a parallel dimension by the visionary filmmaker Lina Mangiacapre.
After this first finding, in date 06/12/2020 and in date 15/12/2020, in relation to the flooding of the river Panaro in Emilia Romagna (Italy), other two unknown objects, similar to the one discovered in Scorzarolo, came to light.
Following complex and detailed analysis, I can now officially confirm you that all the three found objects are new forms of UPOs (Unidentified Performing Objects); which I named the following:
- UPO (A Gleam in the Fog) because it was discovered while flying and glimmering in the fog.
2. UPO (Glaucus Atlanticus) because its form and chromaticism are comparable to the ones of the Dragon Slug, an hermaphrodite which inhabits the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, scientifically named Glaucus Atlanticus.
3. UPO (Grapsus Grapsus) because of its form and chromaticism are comparable to the ones of the Abuete Negro, an agile crab which inhabits the coast of Central and South America, scientifically named Grapsus Grapsus.
Do specific artworks have been created by random experiments in your studio or do you always come up with a particular concept or narrative in the very beginning?
As mentioned earlier, I don’t make work, the work comes to me.
To expand this, I can say that the company from which I am hired, TLSB, sends me to different locations depending on where each conundrum is located.
Therefore, I don’t know when and where a conundrum will manifest itself; but I am aware that for some reason, these strange events arouse great interest in the artistic community.
In fact, I am regularly approached by curators, journalists and gallerists to put on shows, performances, interviews, workshops; all of which does not concern my official duties with TLSB.
Is there any particular theme that utterly triggers you to engage your art with?
I am desperately looking for a good reason to wake up tomorrow morning.
What would be the best way to exhibit your work?
The results of my research with TLSB are not supposed to be shown to anyone outside the company, but sometimes I leak some information on purpose. Even if they never told me, I think that, deeply, Tommaso and Sybil like that.
I might share information in the following ways:
a) Through the physical evidence of a specific conundrum, preferably on white MDF plinths, 110cm in height, 50x50cm base
b) Through the photographic evidence of a specific conundrum, digitally or physically as Inkjet prints 50x33cm
c) Through the official report of a specific conundrum, written with my typewriter Olivetti Lettera 32 on the certified pink gazzetta A4 paper, with TLSB stamps and my signature. Each page of the report is then attached to a wall with four 9mm steel nails.
d) A conundrum might present itself in a specific location and time; and you might be so lucky to assist to the unfolding of mystery in front of your eyes.
Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
My profession doesn’t relate to art so directly, therefore identifying artists that clearly influence me it is not such an easy task.
Trying to answer this question, I can tell you that I just finished reading Jules Verne’s ‘Journey to the centre of the Earth’; and I found a lot of similarities between what I do daily and what the protagonists are trying to do in the novel.
Do you ever wonder if additional work was needed, when an artwork’s making process is finished?
I have to confess to you one thing: I never ever solved any of the conundrums that have been assigned to me!
If I was Sybil, I would definitely fire myself.
What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?
I have two offices, I don’t have any studio.
My offices are pretty basic:
- A desk
- A comfortable chair with wheels
- A computer
- A typewriter
- A printer
- A black Bic pen
- Another black Bic pen
- Square block notes (white or fluorescent)
- A4 Pink Gazzetta paper
- A4 white paper
- TLSB stamps
- A glass always half full of water
- Wireless headphones
- Tissue paper
- Food (optional)
What does your mum think about your art?
I am not sure about what my mum thinks about what I do, but I am sure that she loves the sound of the word ‘UPO’.
Which exhibition did you visit last?
Secret Cabinet at Dimora Artica, Milano (Italy), where UPO (Glaucus Atlanticus), physical evidence related to C0037: A Gleam in the Fog, is currently resting.
Which are your plans for the near future?
X. Prepare the installation of C0032: I Masnadieri Volanti for the finalists exhibition of Premio Francesco Fabbri at Fondazione Fabbri (Pieve di Soligo, Italy)
XX. Trying to solve C0037: The Upside Down Rainbow.
XXX. Open my Italian office to two curators which manifested interest in my profession.
XXXX. Trying to solve C0034: The Gargantuan Shoe with a solo presentation and live event at San Mei Gallery, London (UK) in 2021, dates to be announced.
All images are courtesy of the artist