Press release | Comunicato stampa | List of works exhibited

Invited by Martina Simeti to develop a project for her gallery, Valérie Da Costa stemmed from the history of the venue - an old silver factory - to hold a reflection on the connections between art and the domestic object. To build a narrative on those links which are cherished by many artists, the curator has identified artists of different generations, gathering Italian names well established in their country, Elisabetta Benassi, Alberto Garutti, Piero Gilardi and Fabio Mauri and two French, Mimosa Échard and Chloé Quenum, whose work has never been shown in Italy.

The title: "Non si può essere incolti al punto di amare solo cose di alta qualità" comes from Fabio Mauri’s work, in particular from one of the sentences printed on strips of carpet (again, a material belonging to the domestic space) which is a part of his latest great installation: L’Universo d'uso presented in 2008 in Rome at the Auditorium Parco della Musica on the occasion of the Festival of Philosophy.

 « This cross-generational, cultural and material encounter is above all an intimately personal choice. The gallery is considered here as a place of experimentation where various practices, gestures and interrogations meet. Carpets, cushions, hidden food products, traces of embroidered objects and a model (a maquette) make up this exhibition, which is akin to a spatial device in which visitors are invited to circulate and experience the constraints and the elasticity of the exhibition space » says the curator. « Discharged of, or even, diverted from their functionality, the works gathered in this exhibition underline the porosity in tension between the intimate and the collective and thus in order de-hierarchize the modes of creation ».

To recall Fabio Mauri’s installation which gives the title to the show, its maquette is exhibited: L’Universo d’uso, the work synthesizing the artist’s long-life reflection on ideologies becomes here a sort of transportable sculpture, or "travel sculpture", as someone would say, which leads us to an intimate dimension.
In the middle of the gallery a carpet by Elisabetta Benassi (Cosciente Solidale, 2019) displays the text of a telegram in which the composer Luigi Nono announced his refusal to take part in the 1968 Venice Biennale, an edition marked by a collective political protest ("coerentemente mia cosciente solidale partecipazione movimento studentesco giusta contestazione contro biennale in nessun caso partecipero biennial festival musica stop segue lettera cari saluti"). A tappeto natura by Piero Gilardi (Incendio a Madeira, 2018) somehow echoes the constant political and collective voice of the artist who has, from the early 1960s, expressed ecological issues.
It is in this dialogue that the evolutionary installation by Chloé Quenum (Châtaignes, 2018-2020) lies, made of fruits and vegetables wrapped in fresh clay which, as time goes by, crumble and reveal the constant evolution of the living. Likewise, the big cushions by Mimosa Échard (Friends 2, 2019), filled with Chinese medicinal plants, chrysanthemum flowers, lotus seeds, ginkgo eggs or cleansing sponges, have lost all functionality while embodying the sphere of intimacy. As I Still Dream of Orgonon (2016) which is a condensed of several materials, bottles of energies inspired by the psychoanalysis of Wilhelm Reich. It is precisely these "domestic ghosts" that Alberto Garutti convokes in his series of embroidery (Ricamo di uno spazio vuoto tra piccoli oggetti, 1996-2018) representing a series of absent objects throughout their outline thus inviting us to imagine their presence.