Part 1 of 4
Alessandro Teoldi has previously explored domesticity, care, and intimacy through textile, but working from home without access to the materials and tools he typically uses has inspired him to look at these themes from an entirely new angle. For Homemade, Teoldi will turn to one of the most foundational materials for home construction: concrete. An initial inspiration for this project is Italian poet Eugenio Montale’s “Meriggiare Pallido e Assorto,” (1925) which mentions a wall topped with sharp bits of broken bottle glass that serves as an alternative to barbed-wire. Although this is a sign of security in Italy, glass can, of course, wound. Teoldi is interested in exploring this boundary between safety and harm as well as the notion of the wall as both a divider and connective structure.
"For Homemade, I will experiment with cement and work around themes such as division and ambiguity, and the understanding of home as an intimate container or sculptural entity. My research will investigate the shifting relationships between the domestic and industrial as well as the familiar and unfamiliar through materials and images that are part of our everyday life yet can be perceived with ambivalence due to their malleable identities. It feels refreshing to think about these blurry dualities from my living room, which provides the opportunity to reconsider what spaces of artistic production can look like. A poem by Eugenio Montale entitled “Meriggiare Pallido e Assorto” (1925) serves as a starting point of inspiration for this work." - Alessandro Teoldi
Part 2 of 4
While connection and intimacy are familiar themes in Alessandro Teoldi’s work, he is now exploring them in a radically different way. Utilizing a variety of paper types—from old photograph paper to the encasings of “fette biscottate” (traditional Italian breakfast biscuits)—Teoldi creates a series of collages depicting figures in a state of embrace or longing. Once completed, he covers them with fresh, homemade concrete. With its heavy weight and liquid consistency, this concrete destroys Teoldi’s paper constructions while it simultaneously assumes their unique imprint as it dries. Solidified in the form of a concrete bas-relief, these images of interdependence, yearning, and care become powerful and poetic meditations on what builds connection, comfort, and home.
The starting point for this project is collages made using different paper that I find around my apartment. Through this practice, I am able to reassign meaning to the materials I am using and to re-contextualize them within a new perspective. In my work,I often use objects that are available around me and make something else with them. It’s not only a process about resourcefulness but also one that considers the different histories of the materials I am transforming and engages with their past.
Part 3 of 4
From a makeshift studio in his living room, Alessandro Teoldi is continuing to experiment with concrete casting of paper collages. The protocols for this process have begun to recall actions of cooking for the artist, harkening to aspects of domestic life he reflects on in his oeuvre more broadly. Teoldi has been devising a way to preserve the original compositions, allowing for the potential reproduction; currently, the original collages are obliterated during the process of casting.
In the past couple of weeks, I have spent time mixing cement with tap water and have realized that my muscles have memorized that movement from when I cook and bake—which I have done plenty of lately. The very four walls that define my apartment and keep me “safe” are made of the same material that I am now stirring together. It feels impossible that something this stable can come from dust. Pouring this mix over the paper collages makes me think about how much destruction plays a central role in the creation of these pieces, which are ultimately about connection, touch, and the domestic space.
Part 4 of 4
Alessandro Teoldi’s final four bas-reliefs solidify the artist’s longing for touch in their hardened cement form. As the quarantine ensues and human contact becomes an increasingly foreign concept and feeling, Teoldi’s works memorialize acts of tenderness, intimacy, and care in an effort to remind us all of their healing power and significance in our everyday lives. Their visual recollection of moments of togetherness recall the days preceding the pandemic, leaving viewers yearning for the past; however, they simultaneously look forward, encouraging us to collectively dream of a bright future to come.
While looking at the series of finished pieces, I can’t stop thinking about how much they feel like intimate family photographs. A portrait, a kiss, and a lot of hugs and hands. Even in cement, I realize that I materialize the longing I have for touch, which feels metaphorical in a moment like this. Their imperfect form also makes them feel like objects that originated in a different era or a different world, as if I found them digging deep in my backyard and with them, another past or a distant future.
About the artist
Alessandro Teoldi (b. 1987, Milan, Italy) is an artist whose practice involves textiles, sculpture, drawing and painting. In his work, Teoldi hints at the dissociative trauma of separation and creatively transforms the human need to establish affective connections with simple, everyday materials into intimate artistic mediations. Teoldi has had solo exhibitions at venues such as Marinaro, New York (2020); Suprainfinit Gallery, Bucharest (2018); 11 Rivington, New York (2017); and Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York (2016). His work has been included in group exhibitions at venues such as Palazzo Reale, Milan (2019); Assembly Room, New York (2019); Galerie Derouillon, Paris (2018); Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York (2017); and International Center of Photography, New York (2013), among others. His work has also been exhibited at Artissima, Turin (2019) and NADA, Miami (2019). Teoldi lives and works in New York.
From July 9 through September 7, 2020, Magazzino presented Homemade, a special exhibition of new work created by eight New York-based Italian artists—including Alessandro Teoldi, Andrea Mastrovito, Beatrice Scaccia, Danilo Correale, Davide Balliano, Francesco Simeti, Luisa Rabbia, and Maria D. Rapicavoli—during the global quarantine. Originally launched as part of the Magazzino da Casa’s digital program, Homemade culminated with an in-person exhibition of the final artworks created over the project’s two-month duration, which opened to the public on July 10, 2020.
Magazzino Italian Art presents a live streamed conversation with four of the artists who participated in Homemade —Alessandro Teoldi, Danilo Correale, Davide Balliano and Maria D. Rapicavoli.
Magazzino Italian Art will begin welcoming the public back to the museum starting Friday, July 10, 2020 in accordance with state, regional, and local guidelines of the phased reopening of the Mid-Hudson region. Find out more information on Magazzino’s summer programming, as well as new health and safety protocols.
Francesco Simeti (b. 1968, Palermo, Italy) is known for his site-specific installations using wallpapers, sculptures, and 3D collage.
Beatrice Scaccia (b. 1978, Frosinone, Italy) is an artist and writer. Her visual works, which take the form of drawings, paintings, and digital animations, explore the absurdity of the human condition.
Maria D. Rapicavoli (b. 1976, Catania, Italy) is an artist whose practice developed from a background in photography, film, and video, and has expanded to include sculpture and site-specific installation.
Luisa Rabbia (b. 1970, Turin, Italy) is an artist whose practice encompasses drawing, painting, sculpture, and video.
Andrea Mastrovito (b. 1978, Bergamo, Italy) is a multimedia artist whose practice is characterized by its constant evolution.
Danilo Correale (b. 1982, Naples, Italy) is an artist and researcher whose work investigates labor, leisure, and laziness as metaphorical lenses into the post-modern sociopolitical and economic landscape.