Artist: Alessandro Ceresoli
Venue: Francesca Minini, Milan
Exhibition Title: Ritorno al Futuro
Date: January 19 – March 5, 2011
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Francesca Minini, Milan
The project that Alessandro Ceresoli is presenting in the gallery for his second exhibition with Francesca Minini is the fruit of a long stay in Asmara in Eritrea that gave him the opportunity to live the experience in depth and to get into contact with the history of this country. The realization of the exhibition took two years of work, the first dedicated to the conception, permanence and creation of the pieces exhibited, the second year to the problematic exportation of the pieces produced with the artisans of Asmara. Due to the autocratic and totalitarian policies of the Eritrean government, exportation and importation are in fact very limited and extremely controlled. So with this process of conceiving, realizing and exporting a product, the artist has in a certain sense achieved an opening, a breach in the system.
On display are drawings and sculptures produced in the six months spent in this reality geographically far, yet culturally close to Italy, in a process of rediscovery of a part of forgotten history. Eritrea was an Italian colony from 1880 to 1947, the year of the Peace Treaty after which Italy had to renounce its territorial possessions. The traces of the Italian colonial period on the Eritrean land are still very evident.
The subjects of the new drawings are invented images that are born from an experience and maintain a dimension of incompleteness. Alessandro Ceresoli reached a totally new level in respect to his first works, that of textuality. The works do not only represent the artist’s imaginative world, but tell the story of part of what were Italy’s overseas territories.
In this pictures history becomes an added value, his works accompany us on a journey of rediscovery of our historical patrimony, retracing the weaving of events from the colonial period.
The artist highlights how the main protagonist of these occurrences is the local population. The Italian struggle to have Eastern Africa among its colonies was an ruinous undertaking that brought tangible consequences to the territory of the African state around which their society developed. After the illusory enthusiasm of the Italian colonial period, the Eritrean citizens began an autonomous path that through thirty years of wars, led to independence from Ethiopia, obtained some 19 years ago.
The objects in glass are the fruit of a real collaboration between the artist and a glassworks of Asmara. Thanks to this experience Alessandro Ceresoli got closer to the community and rhythms of the city, getting a deep feel for the atmosphere. The inspiration for these works in glass and mirror is born from the observation and study of the Italian modernist architecture from the colonial period that is present in the capital, in particular the “Fiat Tagliero” service station of 1938, planned by the futurist architect Giuseppe Pettazzi.