Part 1 of 4
Beatrice Scaccia amalgamates painting, drawing, animation and writing to construct multidimensional narratives that follow identity fluid protagonists through ambiguously defined worlds. Her character investigations are rooted in rigorous intellectual study and a deep understanding of materials and craft. For Homemade, Scaccia will create a stop motion animation that explores the compulsion to hoard. Since the beginning of the pandemic, people across the globe have purchased and accumulated goods and products in mass quantities deemed necessary to survive the virus – from hand sanitizer and toilet paper, to pasta, flour, and frozen goods – leaving store shelves empty. Using materials and objects on hand in her apartment and 3D stop motion animation techniques, Scaccia will create a character from a found bust that is defined by the belongings they cling to for safety and comfort during these uncertain times.
Title of the project: She hoarded her intention (Quote by Virginia Woolf)
"In the last few weeks, we have been hearing the term hoard, hoarding, hoarders quite a lot, and I realized that I understand way too well the mechanism behind the act of hoarding: the illusion of comfort, the need of being in control.
Hoarding hides a void and/or a fear.
Probably almost every human being, entitled to hoard, does it. Hoarding is a privilege.
We do not hoard only during emergencies; possessions are seen as part of the self, as safety signals. It’s like a calming lullaby that tells us that we do exist and that we are permanent, steady, immutable. How couldn’t we be? We are surrounded by things that remind us of ourselves, of our place, of our presence, of our story.
My project will focus on this concept.
I will experiment in making a 3D bust with the materials I already “hoarded” in the last year or so, without buying anything else, and I’ll document the making through the stop motion animation’s technique.
Not sure what the result will be, but I firmly believe that this time, unlike any other time before in my life, is a perfect one to embrace uncertainty and even failure." - Beatrice Scaccia
Part 2 of 4
Although Beatrice Scaccia usually works in two-dimensional mediums, she has long nurtured a desire to move into three dimensions and has steadily accumulated objects in preparation for these future works. She is now considering these collecting habits alongside the current hoarding phenomenon. Using stop motion animation for the first time, Scaccia incrementally covers a hand-crafted bust with the items she has accrued over the years. Each addition involves learning, patience, and trust as Scaccia discovers how to best amalgamate and solidify this collection of objects on top of the figure. With every modification, Scaccia considers how the things we choose to shield ourselves with can shape or conceal our identity.
Days still fly. The shelter-in-place doesn’t make time slow down.
Listening to books: a daily practice that keeps me sane. I’ve listened to Ocean Vuong, Corey Robin, Marcel Proust, Italo Calvino, Arnold Weinstein, Ottessa Moshfegh, Valeria Luiselli, John M. Barry, Hanya Yanagihara, Lisa Halliday… I’ve tried to keep track, but I’m failing.
I think my bust will need eyes. I moved it from my “studio” to my bedroom and back again. I’ve tried several settings, even in front of a vanity mirror with orange lights. I still prefer a neutral background to sketch ideas.
Yesterday, while listening to Cuomo, I considered adding more hair on its head—black or white, or maybe something colorful.
I’ve dreamt about swimming in the ocean. I’ve also realized how deeply this city has changed and keeps changing me, even as I’m stuck in the “nowhere” of my four walls.
The bust needs eyes; some googly eyes might do the trick. I hoarded plenty of those a year ago because they seem to ease my mood.
The bust might also need some volume in the chest area: clown noses. It already got a little couch and polka dots—maybe soon an umbrella too.
Foggy dreams have stayed with me for days. I’ll write them down in fragments while wondering how to make this bust a soothing friend. Everything gets out of hand eventually…
Part 3 of 4
Using a chalkboard backdrop to portray hand-drawn text behind her central protagonist—a rococo bust—Beatrice Scaccia continues her stop motion animation film. Scaccia has begun to incorporate footage captured on the street in her neighborhood. She has yet to exhaust her supply of materials stockpiled in her apartment and has rediscovered items like googly eyes and doll-sized umbrellas. Scaccia seals the weight-bearing aspects of her compositions with beeswax, a precious material that emits a soothing scent.
My bust seems stable. I added an umbrella (thinking of Bacon) and plenty of eyes (thinking of Rama). Everything gets hidden underneath layers of plaster. I proceed, obsessed. I find it reassuring to save a ghostly memory of these objects, whose presence lingers through the irregularity of the surface. Isn’t that what happens to each of us? Our memories show through our vulnerable creases.
What is our identity right now?
Identity is the quality of being the same, the condition or fact that an entity is itself and not another thing. Are we really able to maintain such uniformity? Am I able to be my own entity and not something else? Will this bust be able to assume a permanent shape?
I read somewhere that humans are like rubber bands: flexible, adaptable, but unable to swap identities. I like thinking that people can change, but I also consider “identity” as something that rests on the surface of all things, not beneath.
Will this pandemic make us more authentic? Historical changes rarely happen in the short stack of our life’s years.
I went for a walk the other day and thought of De Chirico and his description of convalescent experiences. We are all convalescent right now, sick or not. We hold the chance to see the world with new eyes. I noticed a piece of broken fabric stuck on a metal structure, dancing with the wind; it reminded me of a fish, a sad and confused flag, and my bust, still in between the possibility of succeeding and the attractive temptation to fail.
Part 4 of 4
Totaling three minutes, Beatrice Scaccia’s final film shares an intimate look into her process –which has involved the patient accumulation of materials on the bust around which the work is centered – as well as a series of lessons. Focusing on evidence of hoarding in her own neighborhood, Scaccia calls attention to the tragedy of waste and notes that, while objects may provide a semblance of comfort and protection, nature will always reign supreme.
“The immediacy of experience is exchanged for the mediation of words.” Arnold Weinstein
Lacking space was never my issue. I grew up lacking space and have had my life scattered in boxes for over twenty years. This pandemic hasn’t changed that, but it has forbid the outside. I usually walk miles daily; all of a sudden, I wasn’t allowed. This made me look for new ways of decompressing, so I began reorganizing my material. That’s why I thought of hoarding.
Recently, I have felt the need to turn a page in my practice; this project helped me do so. The world is on pause; nevertheless, my interior, creative world seems to levitate in ways that surprise me. I am less afraid.
I started this project thinking of embracing failure: new medium, new material. But it was not only about attempting something new; it was about documenting a period of change. I kept repeating to myself that to be sincere is to be banal, that banality is truth.
Something special happened though, something I didn’t expect. This became, at least for me, more of a collective project. The product wasn’t the point anymore. Of course, I made a short animation I am satisfied with, but mostly I have changed. I have shared thoughts with the artists, with the incredible Magazzino family; I found a community. The idea of impressing those who had given me this opportunity faded away, while the idea of getting to know them and letting them know me became the real urgency.
It was never about the bust or productivity; it was about vulnerability, chance, accessibility, experience, sharing.
About the artist
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. At the heart of Scaccia’s practice is the need to create and follow various characters as a means to understand herself and others. Her characters are fluid beings that often remain genderless, faceless, and ageless, with only their most genuine vulnerabilities visible. Scaccia has had solo exhibitions at venues such as Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York (2018); Cara Gallery, New York (2016); Artists Alliance Inc., New York (2014); and Ugo Ferranti Gallery, Rome (2010). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York (2017); American University’s Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C. (2016); Museo Arcos, Benevento (2014); Ex Elettrofonica, Rome (2012); and AIR Gallery, New York (2011), among others. Scaccia 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.
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.
Francesco Simeti (b. 1968, Palermo, Italy) is known for his site-specific installations using wallpapers, sculptures, and 3D collage.
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.