Interview with artist Guendalina Cerruti

Cabinet, a not-for-profit space founded in Milan by Antonio Di Mino and Maria Chiara Valacchi, for several years now it has been running the Studiolo project, an exhibition platform for showing new work by Italian and international young artists. The artists represented by Studiolo distinguish themselves for their simple and often similar aesthetics. Studiolo recently presented the first solo exhibition of artwork by Guendalina Cerruti. The young artist (b. 1992), who lives in between Milan and London, has developed and tries to carry forward a formal artistic taste with a mature critical sense.

 

Guendalina Cerruti at Studiolo, Installation view, 2015  - Courtesy Artist and Studiolo, Milan

Guendalina Cerruti at Studiolo, Installation view, 2015 – Courtesy Artist and Studiolo, Milan

 

ELEONORA SALVI: Looking at your artworks here exhibited – bundles filled with gravel and tied with rubber cables – I could deduce a strong attention to contrasting materials. What is the expressive component of the materials you use?

GUENDALINA CERRUTI: I am very interested in the narrative aspects of materials, in the reflections that are generated by the project: as contrasts or convergences; and by following the process from a material’s physical and aesthetic properties to practice. Tying a rubber band around the bundles stuffed with gravel isn’t simply connecting these elements, it becomes a denial of separation. Gravel, a material that comes from the natural fragmentation of solid rocks, plays a very important role in the installation. It is a key point in the investigation on the differentiation of the self, starting from early mother-child separation.

 

Guendalina Cerruti at Studiolo, Io-Sè con corda, 2015  - Courtesy Artist and Studiolo, Milan

Guendalina Cerruti at Studiolo, Io-Sè con corda, 2015 – Courtesy Artist and Studiolo, Milan

 

ES: You are very young, but you seem to have taken a very coherent artistic path. Is there something that haunts on you, from which you cannot free your work?

GC: I am very attached to consistency, as a synonym for constancy and, in some way, continuity, even in restoring a reflection on its opposites. In my opinion, it represents an openness at work, an emotional availability. There is something that fascinates me greatly and, perhaps haunts me somehow. Maybe because I identify it every day. It is the importance of emotional and cognitive development in the relationship with external reality, with the environment as well as with the expression of this complexity in the relationship with any object.

 

ES: Compared to many similar artistic operations we are witnessing nowadays, your work stands out because of its formal sense. Could you describe your imagery? Who are your mentors? What do you gain from their work?

GC: My imagery is based mainly on places, such as large stores with large amounts of objects and materials. I like shops that include a wide variety of different products, from linens to electronics. I’m interested in IKEA, because of its spaces built from items for sale, and because of partially divided items intended for installation; I am also interested in experiencing environments, like public swimming pools, hospital bathrooms, the bedroom, the dressing room, the basketball court, the broom closet, Stonehenge. I have many mentors; for example, in terms of approach to sculpture, Robert Gober, Jimmie Durham, Alex Da Corte, and Louise Bourgeois with her reflections, writings and diaries. Then I’m interested in Austin Lee’s research on the pictorial surface, and Cathy Wilkes’ awareness of materials.

 

Guendalina Cerruti at Studiolo, Ritratto Fagotto #1, 2015 - Courtesy Artist and Studiolo, Milan

Guendalina Cerruti at Studiolo, Ritratto Fagotto #1, 2015 – Courtesy Artist and Studiolo, Milan

 

ES: The concept is very deep and brings about antinomical and universal reflections. What is your real intention? The delicate way you deal with the subject made me think of Jacques Lacan’s “mirror stage”, what do you think about this?

GC:  I really like Lacan’s image in his “mirror stage”, and certainly it is a topic that interests me a lot. I have read several studies about the subject written by other psychoanalysts, like Winnicott, Fairbairn, and Bowlby. They have studied the dynamics and problems of this step towards identification, and the relationship with the other, once taken awareness of this separation. These discussions are very important in my research, and more specifically they influenced the installation on show here. Its intention is to restore a reflection through objects, and then, to experience it as environment.

 

Guendalina Cerruti at Studiolo, Ritratto Fagotto #1, 2015 - Courtesy Artist and Studiolo, Milan

Guendalina Cerruti at Studiolo, Ritratto Fagotto #1, 2015 – Courtesy Artist and Studiolo, Milan

 

ES: This exhibition seems to crown the research “Giocando sulla Soglia”, guided by Adrian Paci, a group exhibition that took place in June. In what does this exhibition diverge from that experience, and what are its connections with it?

GC: I think that “Giocando sulla Soglia” had more interpretive levels because of the diversity of exhibited works in terms of research and language, despite their strong synergy. Instead, what puts the two shows in contact is a certain atmosphere, a careful attention, and a care for spaces, in favor of a broader system. And, in my opinion, this is due to a complicity in sharing studies and experiences among ourselves and with Adrian.

Guendalina Cerruti at Studiolo, Milan, September 16 – November 8, 2015

 

Guendalina Cerruti at Studiolo, Installation view, 2015 - Courtesy Artist and Studiolo, Milan

Guendalina Cerruti at Studiolo, Installation view, 2015 – Courtesy Artist and Studiolo, Milan

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by Eleonora Salvi
in Focus on Europe

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