ArtNoble Gallery presents the artist's solo exhibition with a critical text by Irene Sofia Comi. A wake-up call that warns of reality eroded by consumption and reveals new ecologies

What is the alarm bell that the artist wants to ring, calling back to reality, to the responsibility of being human beings aware of the choices made and their consequences? Luca Staccioli, through experimental research modulated by different media (including video, sound, photography, sculpture, drawing, painting, collage), interprets art as narration. His works investigate and question the distance between individuals and pre-established values, between expectations and imaginaries that have become standardising trends.

A personal narrative

By layering and combining micro-stories, uprooted memories, everyday objects, nomadic images in global-local dimensions and technological apparatuses, he reproduces models of representation through a personal narrative and unveils new ecologies. Wake-up call (at ArtNoble Gallery in Milan, via Ponte di Legno 9, until 9 March by appointment: 3249974878 - transforms the gallery space into a place of play and re-imagination. The dialogue between the artist and his child alter ego acts as a centrifuge: leisure and recreation, productivity and work, places and dreams mingle and intertwine, offering the visitor unexpected glances full of questions.

A gymnasium of homologising consumption and productivity

Toy-sculptures of shopping trolleys are scattered on the ground to form an alienating playground, remnants of a recreation that, instead of being a spontaneous and carefree construction of identity, is actually eroded by consumption. The Checkout series reformulates in this way the hyper-present and hyper-fast icon of online shopping, which becomes a fetish, as fetishised are the goods it contains. The trolleys are shown both as a votive ruin and as precious material with which childhood trains for adulthood: a gymnasium of homologising consumption and productivity.

Inhabiting places of the imagination

On the walls, a photo series immortalises maquettes of domestic places reconstructed in play-doh (a modelling dough for children Ed.) and inhabited by figures from archive photos of prisoners, redrawn and shaped. The artist imagines a child flipping through family albums, finding figures of war and violence and turning them into characters in his game. His gaze lays bare the absence of freedom, the anguish and the theatricalisation of our intimate places in the mass media, revealing the nightmares hidden in everyday life. In dialogue, always on the walls, drawings of landscapes where prisoners free themselves, dance, transform themselves into patterns to build and inhabit places of the imagination.

Dreams and wealth, limits and constraints

Proceeding into the exhibition space, here is Castle (of sand?), a ceramic installation that refers to bas-reliefs of antiquity, to decorative Greek, metopes and columns. Instead of battles, heroic deeds, excerpts of bucolic life, the work reproduces streets imprisoned by traffic, car parks, supermarkets, offices and aseptic domestic places, emptied of all human presence. A collection of false contemporary myths that gives form and life to the turrets, battlements and loopholes of a dream castle, a projection of beauty and future riches, but also of limitations and constraints.

Are we still free? The artist and curator answer

And suddenly, Wake-up call! Are we still free? The sound of bells fills the space, a call to arms awakens and urges us to transform the reality in which we are immersed. We asked the artist and the curator to reveal the meaning of the sound of these bells...

Luca Staccioli, what is the focus of the exhibition?

"The exhibition focuses on the dialogue between materiality and concept. I work on different levels, playing with different childish and very handcrafted materials: this is meant to be a political vehicle to question the absence of creative freedom and the ever-increasing difficulty the individual encounters in constructing a personal point of view."

And what is the underlying 'critical' attitude?

"We are disempowered by a world of work that is increasingly focused on performance and the execution of tasks. Through the reworking of icons, logos, everyday objects in a playful way, I try to criticise the standardisation that we undergo in every aspect of our days."

Matthew Noble, why the choice of an artist like Luca Staccioli and his works?

"I decided to work with Luca and exhibit his work in a solo show because I respect the artist and respect the person. After two years of getting to know him and paying attention to his work, I found his current research to be very fresh, very original and very important because it represents issues that concern us all."

What strikes you most about Staccioli's work?

"His playful gaze that hides very deep political themes, managing to convey personal and alternative aesthetics compared to what we are normally used to seeing."

Top, photo by Michela Pedranti