Where: Museo d’arte contemporanea Villa Croce
When: 14 July – 24 September 2017
Opening 13 July 2017, 6pm – 9pm
Project by Ilaria Bonacossa
Assistant curator Ginevra D’oria
Shadow Tests is a work by Nicola Pecoraro created for the Project Room of Villa Croce through a particular investigation of the museum’s collection. The starting point for this experimental process on the less familiar items in the holdings of Villa Croce has not been the works themselves, but their documentation. Using archival materials such as printed catalogues and digital photographs, the artist has manipulated their content, scanning pages, editing, and juxtaposing new elements he has inserted. He has intervened on some of the documents in an intuitive way, changing the light or the color, as in an entropic process; in other cases, he has made drawings or geometric patterns, at times removing certain elements from the page. The work is presented as a digital slideshow projected inside a space where the continuous flow makes it possible to conserve the “liquid” character of the composition. This free and continuous process makes the images more autonomous, distancing them from their context of origin to suggest other possible interpretations and associations. In this new narrative, where an element of chance also emerges – a factor that recurs and is sought out in his works – Pecoraro uses artworks as narrative material, where the soundtrack has the job of reinforcing the process. Entering this environment created by the artist, the viewer becomes a fundamental part of the installation, free to interact with and interpret the work, whose presence transforms the space anew. Shadow Tests begins as a book prototype made page by page, but presented as a series of projected images, without any particular order. The title conveys much about the creative process of Pecoraro, who often proceeds by trial and error, through “tests” in a series of subtle interventions, sometimes clearly defined, sometimes somewhat obscure. Through an intuitive approach that consciously leaves room for “chance,” the artist puts himself to some extent on the same plane as the viewer, being able to sense what is about to occur, but without certainty. He thus keeps the same curiosity alive that comes into play when one sees his installations for the first time. The environment made for Villa Croce is completed by a soundtrack that amplifies the perceptions of the viewer and the possible interpretations. This soundtrack is an edit of material gathered by the artist in his everyday studio activities; as often happens in his research, he allows the material to accumulate and settle, then selecting from it and manipulating it through a series of attempts to achieve the frequency suited to accompany the projection. As if Pecoraro, through the items in his personal archive, were extrapolating what he needs to complete the installation, making it flow through his aesthetic, hybrid, deforming sensibility, bringing it back to the foreground and creating a particular relationship between the soundtrack and the succession of images.
At the base of Shadow Tests lies an interest in the initial materic aspect of the works, which range from physical objects to printed matter to light projections, nally becoming something tangible only through the retina. Working on the catalogues of the works in the collection, Nicola Pecoraro utilizes an already mediated documentations, already distant in a certain sense from the work itself, which allows him to freely intervene without the influence of the authorship of the work or history, creating a new dialogue, an evocative, unstable and contaminated path through the sculptures of the Villa Croce collection.