Arianna Carossa: Limoni at Casa Jorn Museum

Arianna Carossa, Museo Casa Jorn


When you go see a show of Arianna Carossa, you know you’re not going to be bored. The Italian-born, New York-based artist focuses on site-specific, almost environmental installations, that engage in an ever-changing dialogue with the exhibition space. With a process similar to that of Philippe Parreno, Carossa conceives the whole exhibition as a single artwork, each part linked to the other and to the space to create a harmonious whole.


Arianna Carossa, Museo Casa Jorn
Arianna Carossa, Museo Casa Jorn


On the occasion of her first solo show at Casa Jorn, a museum in Albissola, Italy, founded in the former house of the artist of the Cobra group Asger Jorn, Arianna Carossa lives up to our expectations, approaching the space in her usual, unconventional style. A mannequin is scattered around, its arms and legs hidden in corners or against the walls in the fashion of a fancy and shiny Robert Gober, the rest of his body arranged in big, sculptural installations. The dismembered mannequin shares the rooms with small pieces of gold ceramic, hands, feet, a watermelon. Since Carossa started exploring ceramic in 2014, her relation with the material yielded unexpected, impressive results. Being, as she defines herself, “obsessed with remains,” Carossa started collecting pieces of broken statuettes, vases and ornaments, and melting them together to create new works and give the abandoned objects a new life. Her work has a perceivable complexity, both aesthetic and conceptual, yet being at the same time pleasantly cheerful and ironic. To better understand her practice, and also to have some fun, I decided to let Carossa explain herself in an interview. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.


Arianna Carossa, Museo Casa Jorn


Ludovica Capobianco:  The interaction with the exhibition space is a pivotal element of your practice. What kind of relation did you feel with a strong environment such as Casa Jorn?

Arianna Carossa: I wasn’t fascinated by the house itself, as I perceived it as an actual house and not as a museum. The place is incredibly beautiful, but that didn’t affect what the house was and is to me, a house, someone else’s house.

LC: In recent years, you’ve been working with ceramic using a “Duchampian” approach. What inspired you to explore this medium, and why did you decide to direct your research towards a process of reuse and somehow rebirth of the objects, rather than creating something ex novo?

AC: I’m obsessed with order. I can’t stand the idea of something unused, it bothers me when something doesn’t have its own space. My urgency is that nothing is left behind. The object left unused in favor of something new leaves me full of sorrow.

LC:  What’s the area of the house you felt more connected with, and why?

AC: The bathroom, because I felt it was more connected with the pieces I had in mind for the exhibition. Furthermore, it was a space both intimate and recreational at the same time, strongly characterized, and that gave me more inputs to work on.


Arianna Carossa, Museo Casa Jorn


LC:   What’s the biggest challenge you faced during the show?

AC: I’ve always thought that the biggest challenge of an exhibition is not that of creating and presenting great artwork, but that of connecting and communicating with the audience, that’s the most complex part. Because, at least for me, it’s not easy to verbally explain my practice, especially in situations like this one, where I have to contextualize my work in a place that for many people is so important it’s almost untouchable.

LC:   The pieces you created for the show have strongly anthropomorphic features, was it due to a subconscious desire to “repopulate” the museum?

AC: Not really, honestly I think that the Jorn museum is already pretty alive. I had this mannequin hanging around in my studio for a while, probably I would have used it anyway, but I especially liked the contrast between its apathetic, grey skin, and the lively hues of Casa Jorn.

LC:   You recently published a book about the possibility of creating imaginary exhibitions without actually producing any artwork. Is this a statement that you feel you’re somehow employing in this exhibition, or that it has in any way influenced your artistic process?

AC: The show at Casa Jorn and the book are surely connected, first of all by me. The empty and the full, pieces and remains. Everything we’re talking about that seems to be my work, it’s not. Germano Cecere, a scientist and a good friend of mine, once told me that the real issue is not that of knowing the human genome, the DNA, but that of understanding what’s around it. When I think about it, what we look at, what we find under our light, sometimes it all seems to me like something more. I’m obsessed with remains.


Arianna Carossa, Museo Casa Jorn


LC:  The pieces exhibited were also made in Albissola, at studio Mazzotti 1903, one of the city’s well-known ceramic factories. What kind of relationship was created between you, the city, the museums and the artwork?

AC: I became attached to Albissola, to its ceramic and to the area, I felt at home there. I became attached to all the people I worked with, and they taught me a lot – even though I’m still not sure about how I employed their teaching in the exhibition. I met a very special person, Tiziana Casapietra, founder of We may start collaborating on some projects together, so Albissola brings me luck not only because of the ceramic.

LC: If you could pick an artist, dead or alive, for an exhibition at Casa Jorn, who would they be, and why?

AC: I would invite Tino Sehgal, no doubts about it. I think he’s an extraordinary artist and I hope to have the chance to meet him soon. I would be curious to see what he would create in Casa Jorn’s rooms, which are so different from his usual contexts.

LC: What’s the feeling you wish to arise in the exhibition’s audience?

AC: I’m amused by the variety and complexity of people’s reactions, especially in front of a work with which is not easy to connect and relate. For example, there’re people who laughed, and then told me that my work was touching.


Arianna Carossa, Museo Casa Jorn


LC: If you could bring back to New York a piece of the house or of the exhibition, what would it be?

AC: I’ll bring back myself, and everything I carry with me, what exceeds but also what I need to create something new. Yet it won’t be bad to bring back the bathroom, given the dimension of those in New York.

LC: Who would you like to thank, or dedicate this exhibition to?

AC: I want to thank and dedicate this show to all the people who trust me, and show it everyday, participating actively in my projects and giving me the possibility to realize them.  I dedicate the show to Laura and Antonello. And I want to thank you, Ludovica and Matilde for this interview.

Arianna Carossa: Limoni, curated by Luca Bochicchio at Casa Museo Asger Jorn, Albissola, Italy through May 29th, 2016


Arianna Carossa, Museo Casa Jorn

Leave a Reply

by Ludovica Capobianco
in Focus on Europe

Wed Development by Digital Art Factory