Currently showing at Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue is an exhibition of work by Elisa Sighicelli entitled ‘The Party is Over.’ The show encompasses nine photographic works and two video installations that explore themes of stillness and motion – specifically, of places ‘suspended in time.’ Sighicelli’s images capture a variety of structures, from billboards and a planetarium to tangles of bamboo scaffolding against a building. Different qualities of light are used in each piece to convey the information of an infrastructure in all it’s mood and glare – materials of metal and concrete begin to take on emotional qualities. “I always think of my photos as shot by an alien somehow– you have a feeling of displacement, but at the same time you think you recognize something…”
Sighicelli, Untitled (Empty Square) 2009 Via Gagosian
More text, images and related links after the jump…
An installation view of Sighicelli’s ‘The Party is Over’ Via Gagosian
In her work, Sighicelli focuses on what would normally be perceived as ‘ordinary’ architectural detail. Capturing the intrinsic properties of structures through the use of light, her work functions as a kind of revelation on the complex and intricate geometries of our everyday surroundings. The artist uses an intriguing technique to achieve strong contrast in her work – her photographic works consist of partially backlit prints on light boxes. Large portions of the prints are masked out on the back, allowing only specific areas to show through. The technique produces a stark contrast between the darker areas of the work and the brighter areas, which emanate with a kind of pulsating, vibrant light.
Sighicelli, Untitled (Prop) 2009 Via Gagosian
In Sighicelli’s work, the back of a billboard transforms from mere infrastructure into wondrous abstraction. In a recent interview, Sighicelli explains, “I was interested in the billboards, the bamboo and the planetarium as geometric objects. A theme that runs through all the works in the show is a search for geometry in the details of everyday life…” “I always try not to give too many references to a real space in order to distance myself from documentary material. I try to subtract the characteristics that make an object or a space immediately recognizable; I try to de-familiarize what we see in our everyday life.”
Sighicelli, Untitled (Triangle) 2009 Via Gagosian
Sighicelli, Untitled, (Video Projection) 2009 Via Gagosian “My works are mute and time is suspended, but light indicates a wish to communicate. It keeps a moment belonging to the past continually alive and present,” Sighicelli has stated.
Born in Turin, Italy in 1968, Sighicelli studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. She currently lives and works in Turin, and has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in New York, Milan, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Turin. ‘The Party is Over’ marks Sighicelli’s fourth show with Gagosian Gallery.
Sighicelli, Untitled, (Sphere) 2009 Via Gagosian
Sighicelli, Untitled, (Objectless Composition no.3) 2009 Via Gagosian