Michele Ciacciofera. Condensing the Infinite
16.01.2024 – 17.02.2024
BUILDING TERZO PIANO is pleased to announce Condensing the Infinite, a solo show by Michele Ciacciofera curated by Angelo Crespi and organised in collaboration with MA*GA Museum, on view from Tuesday, January 16th to Saturday, February 17th 2024.
The exhibition in the gallery space of BUILDING TERZO PIANO comprises a series of sculptures in coloured blown glass from Murano, some of which have already been shown at the Petit Palais in Paris (Fiac 2019), together with a large-format painting entitled The Translucent Skin of the Present (2015–2016), an aesthetically powerful work that can be regarded as a kind of visual manifesto of Ciacciofera’s poetic vision.
The sculptures – produced in the Seguso Vetri d’Arte glassworks in Murano – are part of the Tales of the Floating World series. Conceived as fragments from another world, their organic forms evoke the human and the natural universe, both mineral and animal. They are part of an inquiry by the Italian artist – who has been based in Paris for many years – into the formal ambiguity between the different realms of the living, in the context of current ideas about “infra-lives” and global collapse. They are a continuation of Ciacciofera’s reflection on the question of time, in which hypotheses regarding the end of civilisation modify or subvert the relationship between present and past, and in which the end seems to blend in with early origins, and primordial archetypes re-emerge powerfully from chthonic depths or from the recesses of the unconscious.
The works on display in BUILDING TERZO PIANO were deliberately chosen as a tangible extension of the show at MA*GA Museum (17.12.2023 – 7.04.2024). Occupying three rooms, the exhibition consists of a site-specific installation with 164 small ceramic pieces positioned on natural moss, which dialogue with a triptych that further specifies Ciacciofera’s inquiry; a sound environment accompanying a group of sculptures made from recycled materials, which highlight the artist’s fascination with steles and votive niches; and finally, a group of large-scale vertical works in blown, sandblasted glass which evoke megalithic or monolithic forms such as menhirs. Used in antiquity to confer sacredness and recognisability to certain sites, they are a link between the horizontality of the earth and the verticality of the sky, and thus between the physical world and the spiritual one of infinity. Today, they are symbols that seem designed to reconnect Ciacciofera’s biographic microcosm with the macrocosm of universal narratives.
The chapters of the project (MA*GA and BUILDING TERZO PIANO), with two different time spans and venues, complement each other and focus in a comprehensive and specific manner on the work of an artist who has always stood out for his multifaceted formal inquiry, the fruit of a coherent idiom but also of experimentation with materials, conducted from the perspective of a penetrating gaze that takes in classical anthropology and anthropologie du proche.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a monograph – published by Johan&Levi – containing previously unpublished material and photographic documentation covering the various phases of Ciacciofera’s creative journey. The volume will offer an in-depth study of the artist’s work, in dialogue with the institutions collaborating on the development of his project. Unlike a traditional catalogue, the book will have the form of an atlas, in which the theoretical component is interwoven with the visual one, representing a journey encompassing the ancient and the modern, geological memory and human memory.
In collaboration with MA*GA
 From Infravies, le vivant sans frontières by Thomas Heams-Ogus.