Milan, at GAM, Elisa Sighicelli's exhibition about the museum's deposits

From March 29 to July 3, 2022, Milan's GAM is hosting "As Above, So Below," an exhibition by Elisa Sighicelli that tells the public about the fascinating world of the museum's deposits.

The Galleria d’Arte Moderna (GAM) in Milan presents, at the opening of Milan Art Week, the exhibition As Above, So Below, a solo show of new works by artist Elisa Sighicelli (Turin, 1968), scheduled from Tuesday, March 29 to Sunday, July 3, 2022. The motra, curated by Paola Zatti, curator in charge of the Milan Gallery of Modern Art, brings to the stage a never-before-seen narrative dedicated to the deposits of the Milanese museum, which is developed through a special installation conceived by the artist herself along the five rooms of the Villa Reale dedicated to temporary exhibitions. The exhibition brings together a corpus of about 25 images including photographic prints on paper, a print on plaster and two sculptures from the sculpture depot of GAM in Milan.

Depots are fascinating places that cannot normally be visited because they are deputed to the conservation and study of works for scientific necessity. On the eve of the rearrangement of the deposits, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano therefore entrusts Elisa Sighicelli with the task of recounting a hidden world close to disappearance, inhabited by about 800 sculptural objects: a population of plaster casts, bronzes, marbles, waxes, mutilated bodies, languid female figures, epigraphs, condottieri and funerary relics that, unbeknownst to museum visitors, inhabit the basements while waiting to find a more functional location on the upper floors. From this combination comes the title of the exhibition, As Above, So Below, which reflects the concept of mirroring between human behavior and that suggested by the sculptures, but also the recognition of the correspondence between a higher order and a different underground dimension.

Underlying this work is the relationship between photography and object, image and real, sculpture and humanity. Indeed, the artist chooses to measure himself with the deposit by investigating the expressive potential of single or group works, revealing in random juxtapositions interesting formal relationships and silent dialogues. Elements such as dust, inventory tags, bubble wrap protecting the bodies, mutilation and decontextualization of the sculptural groups, become crucial nodes of a spontaneous script activated by the artist’s gaze on the sculptures. A statue whispering in the ear of another, a glance of bias that seems to cross the eyes of a companion, a close contact that suggests a loving encounter, but perhaps also something else. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication edited by Silvana Editoriale, which includes contributions by Paola Zatti, curator of the exhibition, Jennifer Higgie, Salvatore Settis and Francesco Stocchi, along with extensive iconographic documentation.

Elisa Sighicelli holds a BA in sculpture from Kingston University and an MA from the Slade School of Fine Art in London, the city where she resided for seventeen years. After living two years in New York she currently lives in Turin. His solo exhibitions have been held at museums and institutions such as: Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Turin; Museo Pignatelli, Naples; Palazzo Madama and GAM, Turin; Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; Centro de Fotografía, University of Salamanca; Fondation Salomon, Annecy. He has had solo exhibitions at Gagosian Gallery in London, Los Angeles, New York and Geneva; at MOT International and Laure Genillard Gallery in London; and at Gió Marconi in Milan. He recently exhibited at Rossi & Rossi Gallery in Hong Kong and in a double solo show, with Carla Accardi, at 55 Walker Street in New York, a space run in collaboration by Bortolami Gallery, kaufmann repetto and Andrew Kreps Gallery. Sighicelli’s work has been included in group exhibitions in numerous public institutions: MAMbo, Bologna; MAXXI, Rome; PAC, Palazzo Reale, and Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan; Mart, Trento and Rovereto; Palazzo Fortuny, Venice; Reggia di Venaria Reale, Venaria; MCA, Sidney; FACT, Liverpool; Herzliya Museum of Modern Art, Herzliya; Národní Muzeum, Prague; Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts, Hanoi; ETH, Zurich; ICA, London; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; LACMA, Los Angeles.

Image: Elisa Sighicelli, Untitled (9426) (2021; fine art pigment print, 157 x 157 cm)

Milan, at GAM, Elisa Sighicelli's exhibition about the museum's deposits
Milan, at GAM, Elisa Sighicelli's exhibition about the museum's deposits

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