GAM – Torino
21 October 2021 – 16 January 2022
TSE Art Destination, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
4 March – 24 April 2022
GAM in Turin is proud to present in Room 1 Sinfonia, an immersive and participatory installation by Alessandro Sciaraffa (Turin, 1976), curated by Sara d’Alessandro Manozzo. The project, selected by the Fondazione Torino Musei – GAM, won the Italian Council (IX edition, 2020) competition, an international program intended to promote Italian art by the Head Office for Contemporary Creativity at the Ministry of Culture, which includes financial support for cultural projects aimed at promoting, producing, spreading, and educating others about Italian contemporary practices, both in Italy and abroad, in the field of visual arts.
Sinfonia, which will become part of the GAM permanent collection, is on display for the first time in the museum and will be moved in the spring to the Foundation and TSE Art Destination, in Nur-Sultan, one of Kazakhstan’s most dynamic contemporary art spaces: this will thus consolidate the relationship between Turin and the Kazakh capital, during the celebrations for the thirtieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries.
Sinfonia is composed of a gong, a sound system, and a video projection on a reflective screen located in a dark room that joins two of the fundamental themes in Sciaraffa’s work: the primitive sound of the gong and observing the northern lights.
Sciaraffa’s career as an artist focuses on the invisible phenomena of nature, which he breaks down and explores through the use of experimental technologies that often include direct participation on the part of viewers. The result of his practice is characterized by the symbiotic presence of sound, technology, and nature and, as already seen with Aurora—presented by GAM in 2019 during Luci d’Artista—Sinfonia as well explores shimmering light, making it tangible, with its infinite nuances of colors and forms, and the inaudible sound created by the northern lights, recorded by equipment that is sensitive to low frequencies. In this case, sound and light are activated by visitors who interact with the gong. Alessandro Sciaraffa, while planning this work, stated: There will be the sound of the northern lights, which will start to pop, to sparkle. You can look at these flashing lights, like large paintings floating by in space-time, to then make them explode with the gong.
The work is dedicated to the sounds of nature’s profundities, from the aural choruses to the physical and archetypical vibrations of gongs, intertwining culture, natural events, sound waves, and technology to offer an experience that leads visitors along an imaginative journey through unknown physical realities.
The project, which also engages and is supported by the Italian Embassy in Nur-Sultan, was embraced with great enthusiasm by the Foundation and Gallery TSE Art Destination; its Director Baurzhan Sagiyev stated: Alessandro Sciaraffa’s installation reminds us that the language of art and the artistic gesture have no borders or distances. The work immerses us in a world of disincarnate and ephemeral emptiness where everyone can experience non-being while remaining part of something bigger. This work is both mysterious and understandable, and it is so particularly for the descendants of the ancient nomads who worshipped the sun, Father Sky, and Mother Earth, and who performed rituals that included practices of interacting with the sounds of nature and with the instruments imitating them. That’s why a work made in Italy finds followers in Kazakhstan and is engaged in a true dialogue with the eternal. During the exhibition, some events related to analyzing acoustic engineering and sound art will also be held.
Alessandro Sciaraffa (Turin, 1976) lives and works in Turin. After graduating in architecture from the Politecnico di Torino, his practice began to focus on sound art, the study of sound waves and invisible natural phenomena, represented with the help of technology. His solo exhibitions include: Aurora, Ground Moscow, Moscow (2019); The Winter Symphony, Hermitage, St. Petersburg (2019); De Umbris Idearum, Complesso Monumentale di San Severo al Pendino, Naples (2019); Cosmonautica, Castello di Costigliole d’Asti (2019); Between a Dusk and a Dawn there is an eclipse, Galerie Mazzoli, Berlin (2017); Fontanella, Galerie Italienne, Paris (2016); I Lunatici parlano alla luna, Galleria Giorgio Persano, Turin (2014); Greater Torino, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2013); VITRINE, GAM - Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin (2012); Ti porto il mare, Fondazione Merz, Turin (2011).
Sara d'Alessandro Manozzo (Rome, 1982) is an art historian and curator at large. She also founded the independent project The Garage (Canberra, Australia) and curated the Waiting Room Residency (Trento). Her collaboration with Alessandro Sciaraffa began in 2019 with the exhibition Cosmonautica at the Castello di Costigliole d’Asti.
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