Interviews and texts

interview by Frederic Bonnet

Frederic Bonnet: Your exhibition at Saint-Etienne Museum shows a lot of very different kind of works (sculptures, photographs, collages, models, modules, etc.). Has it been conceived as a retrospective, an overview of your work, or more as a kind of scenario to tell a story ?

Loris Cecchini: The show is an anthology born in collaboration with the museum Pecci of Prato and the museum of S. Etienne. The chance to exhibit simultaneously such a number of works and projects has allowed me to frame the spaces without chronological order, allowing to simultaneously illustrate the processes, the subjects and the techniques of my work. I believe that to show such a wide range of works demonstrates and underlines my attitude toward a continuous process of formation of the works, whilst putting on the same plane modes and poetry of differing pieces. The show translates sufficiently well a vision made of poetry and technique, of nature and artifice, which also becomes a narrative. The title " DOTSANDLOOPS " is a beautiful sound that somehow points out the dots and loops within my way of working.

F.B.: It looks in many pieces that you are very concerned in the private space. Why this strong interest ?

L.C.: The architectural box and the private space are one of the principal subjects in my way of work. I try to interpret poetically the idea of enclosure and space as a private place, thinking of it as a form of distance between us and the world: often this space assumes the form of a container, and in this sense it becomes architecture. The idea of architecture remains even if it is almost always thought of with a quality tied to sculpture and disjoint from function and utility. In this sense, what interests me is to make workable sculpture, playing with the idea of destructuring, morphological distortion, or fragmentation. In this sense the represented space is subject to a sort of psychological interpretation, and the materials which constitute my pieces are the psychological translation of something.

F.B.: Are you concerned in the idea of creating some new worlds, new ways of life, new uses of things (through utopia), or only leave the spirit to develop some possible things since we know they cannot never be real ?

L.C.: The approach is exactly dual: I’m attracted to showing possible worlds, and at the same time I react to the world of images by answering with my own images.
I’m very interested in the utopian dimension which bonds technology and nature. And I try to interpret a cultural landscape made of different "realities ", working on a diffused perception made of virtuality and consistent matter; in this sense I try to bridge. Naturally my work opens that to the wandering thoughts of the spectator.

F.B.: I’d like to know more about the way you’re embrassing the relationship between dream/imagination and reality (and for example, are the modules spaces for dreaming or spaces for living ?) ?

L.C.: I often try to bring in an element on the plane of dream and imagination, for example by working on family models of something. Or in the case of the camper vans, they are identified as such only because they are small structures on wheels somehow accessible to the public, or otherwise they reverberate as a form of space in another space. I like my works to become a stimulus for the imaginary; in this sense they become dreamt spaces to live your own imagination actively.

F.B.: In a general way, do you try to explore a gap between the natural and the artificial ?

L.C.: I live in a world where the artificial replicates largely the natural processes. I don't know if a gap still exists between artificial and natural. The qualities of nature have become the model in a wide range of relationships and techniques. In this sense to place synthetic and natural elements side by side leads me to interpret affinities and differences, and perhaps to underline the evanescence of those confinements. My works are often a laboratory to test confinements and the rules that define them.

F.B.: There’s an organic aspect in your « architecture » and in many of your sculpture. Are you interested in vernacular architecture, and if yes why ?

L.C.: I am very attracted by this type of constructions for a sort of artistic quality that is intrinsic to spontaneous architecture. The formal inventions of the vernacular architecture, like mobile houses or tree houses, is always a transitory form of living; in this sense they are always a nomadic form, and never a definitive way of life, where the idea of change has an important role. I am greatly attracted to the forms of the anthropological design, tied to the subjects of a place; as well as to the reworking of high technology practised in more recent times.

F.B.: About your modules, you said « My tendency towards affecting possible transfigurations allows me to bring together different levels of reality and hyper-reality… ».
- Can you tell me more about what you consider as transfiguration ?
-Can you explain what are for you reality and hyper-reality ? What is for you the gap between them, and why are you concern in both of them ?

L.C. :I often use the word transfiguration: in this sense I refer to the possibility of reading the constitutive elements of a piece towards a different dimension, thanks to representation. The model of represented reality becomes a medium to pass to another reality, transforming and altering the psychological vision / version.
As I said before, the distinction among the two concepts becomes thin: the concept of hyper-reality as a copy of reality, both regarding perception and the environment of action, makes these two concepts overlap: the media and reality are so connected and interwoven that it is difficult to separate them.
The whole work of my rubber sculptures was related to this concept, looking for the metaphor of the impossibility of support, the impotence of a glance, the stagger of reality.
In the modular works, the organic, the morphology of the natural elements, transform themselves, initially into analysis and project, to eventually revert to art.

F.B.: Are you interested in a possible ambiguïty of the image, and the different possible readings it brings ? 1

L.C.: For me it is very important the opening of senses and interpretation given by the ambiguity of an image: this allows me to illustrate different situations while leaving an ample space for the spectator. In this sense the reinterpretation of the constitutive elements of the image stratifies inside the spectator, depending on his cultural baggage. I hope to activate a critical attitude thanks to a sense of wonder or paradox, capsizing some points of view where the tangible becomes mirage and the imagined thing become doable.

F.B.: Would you say that you are creating some « incredible » situations, but made with a true or real background/content ?

L.C.: I don't know if my situations are less believable than others that really happen.
I am very tied to physical reality, to the qualities of the subject and to the functioning of things. But these are perhaps not enough for me. I have always had the necessity to manipulate, to intervene on the objects, to appropriate myself of them. And in this way I have great trust in imagination.

F.B.: What is your interest in the distorsion of shapes, and the loops (you used the word in the title of the show) ?

L.C.: The distortion, the structural changes, the biological changes, belong to nature, everything is destined to change in this form of vitality. I try to favour this movement of the objects, and in some works this it is more evident than in others. Up to the project level the natural morphologies of plants and organisms are often the point of departure to reformulate other things. Perhaps the idea is to look for a continuous measurement that can be never defined, but in continuous change. The curve is a border always in movement.