The title of the exhibition, Nothing to understand, together with the decision not to provide any explanatory-critical apparatus, is the artist’s first provocation. Her work, in fact, seeks to lay bare certain contradictions and weaknesses of the “art system” and of the conventions to which it often falls victim.
For Ciriaca+Erre, creativity is an unconscious act that requires a heightened awareness. Only the work of art itself can connect the spiritual dimension to the material, enabling us to extend and transcend a shared vision.
Every attempt to rationalize the creative act is destined to fail, just as mere logical thought is incapable of producing any knowledge of the empirical world: all knowledge of reality starts with experience and ends with experience.
The theme of this exhibition is thus the artist’s experience, reflections on her identity. The force of the works on display lies in the sense of truth they emanate, in the artist’s courageous staging of her own life, a violation of her privacy. Here the artistic work is an extension of the artist herself, a reality so true it can sometimes seem fiction.
Her work concentrates on identity, seeking new relationships between the artist and her work (Please don’t use me I’m an artist), man and the environment (Breath), children and adults (Please don’t move), but above all society and a new female identity (In the name of doG; Women may be more vulnerable to the effect of marriage and Marriage causes ageing of the skin in the Warning labels series).
Ciriaca+Erre works in different styles and techniques, all underpinned by an idea of art that looks inwards to discover the springs of its own existence. The works on display explore a wide range of idioms, techniques and codes, from video-installations to sculpture and photography, in a gradual stylistic shift towards a nomadic, eclectic concept of art. A work of art, for Ciriaca+Erre, is part of a continuum. The task is to eliminate confines, to focus thinking on improving what already exists, to experiment with change. Ciriaca+Erre interprets the process of change in the world of art, responding to contamination with other media by using any technological innovation capable of extending the artist’s sphere of action.
The works displayed at Palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi effectively illustrate the “objectival” poetics of Ciriaca+Erre, whose creations employ a series of day-to-day objects (or fragments of objects), some worn out, all bearing signs of deep emotive significance. Such objects are transfigured by the act of artistic creation, modified by the relationship that the artist establishes with it, which makes it part of a story, a life. This is a personal vocation for experimentation that can be seen throughout her works but which always involves her own (also physical) experience. For Ciriaca+Erre uses her own body as the primary implement of artistic creation. In her most recent works the Body dematerialises and the soul takes shape under the action of Art, which has the power to “render visible the invisible”.
The works of Ciriaca+Erre are underpinned by a complex system of symbols, an idiom that often uses unconventional materials, such as the wax seal she puts on her work, a 3D signature and guarantee of uniqueness, a symbolic tribute to art and life in the past, the point of departure for all intellectual inquiry.