Luca Staccioli at ArtNoble gallery / Milan

Luca Staccioli – WAKE-UP CALL

26th January – 9th March, 2023

ArtNoble gallery

Via Ponte di Legno 9

Wake-up call 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 critical perspectives.
Toy-sculptures depicting shopping trolleys are scattered on the ground to form an alienating playground, remains of a playtime that, instead of being a spontaneous and carefree construction of identity, is actually eroded by consumption. The series ‘Checkout’, in fact, reformulates the hyper-present and hyper-fast icon of online shopping that becomes a fetish, as fetishised are the goods it contains. The trolleys thus appear both as a votive ruin and as precious material with which childhood trains for adulthood: a gymnasium of homologising consumption and productivity.
On the wall, can be found the photographic series Familiar Stories (returns), which immortalises maquettes of domestic places reconstructed in play-doh and inhabited by paper figures from archival photographs of prisoners, redrawn and shaped. The anonymous characters are decontextualised, their unspoken origins externalising History and its oppressive presence.
The artist imagines a child who, browsing through family albums, finds figures of war and violence and turns them into object-actors in his game. The instant of the game, stopped by the photographic shot, reveals the nightmares hidden in everyday life, the theatricalisation of intimate places in social networks and our being puppets of a play already written.
In dialogue, also on the wall, drawings from the series Studio per una protesta: cieli in which prisoners and everyday memories free themselves, dive, and dance together, opening up the imagination of new possibilities. Entering deeper into the space of the gallery, one finally finds oneself in front of ‘Castello (di sabbia?)’, an installation made of ceramics that recalls the bas-reliefs of antiquity, decorative greeks, metopes and columns. Instead of battles, heroic deeds and moments of bucolic life, however, the work depicts busy streets, car parks, supermarkets, offices and aseptic domestic places, stripped of all human presence. A collection of false myths characteristic of the present, thus composing the turrets, parapets and loopholes of a dream castle, a projection of future beauty and prosperity but also of limitations and constraints.
And suddenly, Wake-up call! Do we still feel free? The sound of bells fills the gallery, a call to arms that awakens us and urges us to transform the reality in which we are immersed?