Michela Nucera joins «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 have always had a craving for questions, answers, artistic experiences and study routes. I have consistently indulged in everything that I felt could potentially fill this insatiable stomach which I was born with. I have sunk my teeth into everything surrounding me, sometimes spitting out the pieces, sometimes finishing the entire dish and sometimes barely touching it. I have never known any other way to metabolise reality except by experiencing this hunger, observing how the objects of craving change. But sometimes I find myself gasping for air, with the sensation that I’m biting into nothing. Then I begin to fear that everything I have swallowed may disappear at any moment, without warning, along with me.
I’m afraid my appetite has no purpose. I’m afraid there is nothing left for my hands to touch. For my eyes to examine. That nothing that can really feed me. I find myself in a vacuum. I’ve never been able to conquer it and I’ve never learnt to stop my legs from shaking every time it appears. But I’m very good at being absorbed by it. I do it quietly, closing my eyes, waiting for the whole of my self to be digested this time. It never happens quickly or in the same amount of time as previously and the end of the process is never immediately evident.
All I know is that, in due course, with all the naturalness that a digestive process brings with it, it ends.
I realise that this dynamic may seem contradictory at times. And despite the time spent investigating its physical, psychological and surreal laws, the only thing I have understood is that in order to return to an experience of hunger, bite into things and transform energy, I must be cyclically devoured by the void. Only then can I reposition myself in front of the mirror to transform the outline of my arms, the outline of my hips, the outline of my tongue into a new form, able to open, embrace, surround, invade.
I suppose that the coexistence of destructive and creative forces is almost necessary in all those who work with art (in fact, to varying degrees, I think everyone must experience this). I wanted to explain my way of relating to this precarious equilibrium because, for a long time, I thought of it as something wrong, counterproductive. I was once told that the frustration entailed in this alternation will never pass and I still agree. I very much doubt that the secret lies in its defeat. Rather, I believe the key lies in the knowledge of the forces triggered within us and the faith we have in our appetites, as well as in the emptiness that comes to digest us.
Michela Nucera, Aprile 2020