Today, Giulia Cotterli joins “Young Italian Artists”, an ongoing archive that gives space to key players in the contemporary art world, who are under 35, conceived by Antonello Tolve, and curated with Elena Giulia Rossi. We come closer to her work accompanied by her Ode to Slowness.
I’m what they call in English a slow learner, literally someone who learns slowly. I’m a person who needs time, who never had enough breath to run three laps and had to take breaks to get their breath back.
The artist – like Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times – has become a cog in the system where slowness is no longer allowed, where reflection must equal production time, fast, sometimes systematic, to meet an increasingly high and disparate demand.
Today, however, time seems to have stopped and in the middle of the second lap we find ourselves breathing hard to figure out what to do. Today the world is a little more like me: it’s paralysed, forced to reflect.
Despite this, inside our studios we struggle to find the right work to exhibit as soon as everything is over. We tire ourselves out with phone calls and emails to remind the world we exist. But now is the time to praise slowness: to reclaim our spaces, our time, to dedicate ourselves to the books piled up on our bookshelves, to watch the films we always wanted to see, to reflect on where we are going and the reasons for what we are doing, to focus not only on what happens outside but also on what happens inside.
I always work with my back to the window, heedless of the world that moves outside, looking at my bookshelf where there are postcards as well as books, small objects from my life and important photographs. While working, I realise I have to turn the light on when the sky turns dark and I find myself drawing almost in darkness. I was dressed as the night when I was only five years old. Look I’m the One Who Fucks the Stars was inspired by the time, during a kindergarten play, when I had to play the night. I was standing at the back, without even a line to say, as a backdrop for someone better and with more energy. That particular role has become part of my life-story; the night moves in and out of me, the stars escape and all that remains is the darkness that one day will prevail over the stars that strive to shine.
You look at the sky, the constellations, but you can also look at the darkness around them. And here, in the shadows, you can rediscover the value of essential things, rediscover your beautiful slowness and sink into darkness to finally find yourself.
Giulia Cotterli was born in Latina in 1994. After completing her studies at the Fine Arts Academy in Urbino, she moved to Turin where she currently lives and works.