With the exhibition «L’acqua le bagna come il vento le calpesta» Labs Contemporary Art in Bologna presents the inedited series of installations by Dario Picariello Cicli. This production started in 2020, taking its cue from the traditions of southern folk songs.
The installations, made with different materials and techniques, are displayed using backstage photographic equipment, such as umbrellas or stands. The focus is on the medium of photography, a bridge connecting past and present. The photographic images are digitally altered, transferred with the use of acids onto textiles or printed on strips of blueback paper and then used to embroider words according to decorative patterns from natural images or found on ceremonial clothing.
The songs selected for this occasion have different origins and are from different periods. What links them is the theme of violence – whether physical, verbal or psychological. Each work recounts a difficult issue, presented through short verses woven on fabric.
The first work, Cinquantaquattro (Fifty-four), takes up a traditional oral song from the Alto Jonio Cosentino to show the difficult working conditions of field labourers. Labourers, accepting hard working conditions in order not to lose their jobs – the only source of livelihood for their whole family – create a relationship of “dependence” with the landowner. This is still the case today and often involves people from the subordinate classes, who are forced to accept all sorts of abuse in order not to lose their jobs or face public humiliation.
The work, entitled Le buone misure (Good Measures), takes up the verses of A Partannisa, an old Sicilian folk song sung by girls during the olive harvest. It consists of an appeal by a girl begging her mother not to send her to the mill to avoid the miller’s abuse.
Finally, the third installation depicts an unconsummated love affair that has come to an end. The verses of Strambellate, a folk song which is sung in the first person, echo through the air:
“non mi mandà più baci per la posta
che per la strada perdono il sapore
se tu me li voi dare dammegli in bocca
così si proverà cos’è l’amore […]”
The exhibition concludes with two photographs displayed as a kind of polyptych. The images presented are the result of a digital process: the photograph is read by software that is not able to encode the original digital format, producing an error, or glitch. The resulting image is printed as a contact print, restoring images which are located in a vibrant, undefined spatiality.
The exhibition is accompanied by a critical text written by Eugenio Viola, Chief Curator of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá – MAMBO, Colombia and the next curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 2022 Art Biennale.
(from the Italian press release)
Dario Picariello. L’acqua le bagna come il vento le calpesta
Labs Contemporary Art, Bologna, Italy 11.09 – 13.11.2021
images: (cover 1) Dario Picariello, «L’acqua le bagna come il vento le calpesta», LABS Contemporary Art_Bologna 2021 (2) Dario Picariello, «Fior di Melarancio», 2021, photographic print on hahnemühle paper, 200g, 60 x 170 cm each. Polyptic composed of four pieces (3) Dario Picariello, «L’acqua le bagna come il vento le calpesta», 2021, photographic print on hahnemühle paper 200g, 30 x 50 cm each. Polyptyc composed of ten pieces (4) Dario Picariello, «Cinquantaquattro», stampa fotografica a contatto su seta, carta blueback, ombrello da studio fotografico in seta, Ø200 x 75 cm ca (5) Dario Picariello, «Non mi mandà più baci pe la strada», 2021, photographic press to contact on organze, fans, photographic statives, blueback print, 460 x 100 x 50 cm. ca (6) Dario Picariello, «Non mi mandà più baci pe la strada», 2021, photographic press to contact on organze, fans, photographic statives, blueback paper, 460x100x50 cm each