For the 2020 Art Quadriennale, Stucchi presents Light Switch (The Guy Next Door), an original project designed specifically for the spaces of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni walkway. Neon lights appear rolled up in packaging material or placed in semi-open boxes; a group of lamps emblematic of Italian design (including Magistretti’s Eclisse) are distributed in a disorderly manner, leaning against the wall, hanging in precarious places or left on the floor. The electrical wires are left visible and draw paths, climbing the walls or creating volutes on the floor. The work is inspired by the encounter with two paintings by Giorgio de Chirico, Arrivo del trasloco (Arrival of the Moving Van, 1951), where a package has rolled down from the caravan and rests in the shadow, and Il sole sul cavalletto (The Sun on the Easel, 1973), where the light of the sun and the darkness of the moon seem to be powered by an electric wire. The same topos is present in one of the most powerful stories by Alberto Savinio, published in the book Achille innamorato (Achilles in Love), which recounts the birth and death of the unconditional love of a couple through the metaphor of the sun being turned on and off. The artist interweaves moments from his biography with the peculiarity of the exhibition space in which he intervenes – a corridor and, usually, a transit area. The work is a reflection on intimacy, on the perennial movements of precarious and unstable lives, on the memory of desiring objects that have now acquired the ability to let go or the never-ending curiosity required to build new opportunities and relationships. The title evokes further narrative fragments and calls into question a possible charming neighbor, suggesting close encounters and sexual tension, as often seen in the poor plots of porn videos. The cautious, almost intimidated works, half-hidden by their envelopes, feed on darkness and the possibilities it offers. Stucchi approaches queer literature, often interested in public space, and refers the transgression of cruising (the search for sexual encounters with strangers in public places) and the exposure of the self to a domestic and everyday dimension, where the self is confronted with itself and most of its experiences finally take place.
From the Catalogue of the Quadriennale d’arte 2020. FUORI!, Treccani, Rome.