Francesco Gioacchini joins the project «Young Italian Artists. Contemporary Art Stories», ongoing space and archive dedicated to key players in the contemporary art world, who are under 35, conceived by Antonello Tolve, and curated with Elena Giulia Rossi.
I remember my high school days with pleasure, when words and images took shape on a green school desk, which was my physical support. There, ideas and visions were outlined; boredom and laziness combined; the irrational and the indecent were given free rein. What could not be drawn or written in the “official” medium – i.e. the exercise book, the book or the blackboard – ended up in the area surrounding the white edge of the paper. The school desk was then diligently cleaned and the little world it contained was thus absent-mindedly, or deliberately, erased, censored. Its correct moral purpose regained, its virginity restored, as if by miracle, the school desk was thus prepared to be violated again, over and over.
I remember the sheets of squared paper, the lined paper, and I see their beauty again today. In those sheets of paper, and in the margins of the book pages – the margins at the top, bottom and sides – I found the space to say things and not to say them. Benjamin’s words come to mind, when writing about the children’s books which he collected (Die Kinderbuchsammlung Walter Benjamin), he specifically refers to the small space left in a book, that narrow white area surrounding the text or the picture in the middle, and to the impossibility of learning or practising anything in that small space. A limited space, then, but not limited enough to prevent thoughts from emerging.
And then the mark as an end in itself, the scribbling, testing out the pencil to find the appropriate hardness, choosing the right colour, which all become part of the work or even replace it. The image, stuck on with tape, used as a reference for work to be done, equally becomes the work itself. So I understand now that my interest was, and still is, in what happens slightly off centre, just a little to the side, in what should not be there, but is there nonetheless, in the marginal, the daring juxtapositions, those visual short-circuits that contain one thing and its opposite, and both reason and planning being confronted with randomness. And so what was supposed to be outside rightly enters the final composition, as a fundamental element which produces and sustains a chromatic, geometric and, if you like, poetic balance.
Francesco Gioacchini, January 2021
Francesco Gioacchini was born in Loreto in 1985. He lives and works in Berlin. Instagram: francesco.gioacchini, www.francescogioacchini.com