Alfredo Aceto “Azure” at DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin
DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM is proud to present “AZURE”, the first solo show in Berlin by Italian artist Alfredo Aceto (b. Turin, IT, 1991 / lives and works in Lausanne, CH). Aceto continues his interest in creating hybrid spaces populated with objects engaging in a symbolic dialogue concerning sculpture and narrative. For Azure, Aceto has created a new cast of objects— referring in form to automobile parts, jewelry, logos, a gutter-hydrant or an arm with a pen—all precisely positioned within the gallery space directly on the floor, on shallow pedestals, hung on the wall or protruding into the room. The environment emulates classical museum-like arrangements while the objects themselves remain as fantastic approximations of the originals, either oversaturated in color, uniform in surface texture, or diminished in detail, recalling an almost digital world.
“Alfredo Aceto works at the frontiers of the vectors used to define a thing and an identity. Interested in the nature of the object, he explores its attributes in order to reconceive it in some new form that expands its narrative possibilities.
Azure is a convertible designed by the automobile maker Bentley to offer drivers and their passengers a panoramic ride. Evoking the colors and atmosphere of the French Riviera (the “Costa Azzurra” or “Sky-blue Coast” in Italian), the prestigious vehicle was conceived to enhance the visual experience while driving along the coast, following the imaginary lines of the horizon and the road. The flowing lines of the auto’s body develop in the direction of the sea and the land’s promontories. Azure is itself a horizon, its folding roof allows it to merge with the coastline, on the border between the fragrance and sensations of a color and the hues of an authentic landscape.
In the same way, the mufflers (Echinoidea, 2018, and Olive Sea Snake Digesting a Watermelon, 2018) imitate with their surfaces the intriguing nature of an automobile’s body of whose ecosystem they alter only an extremely technical role. Through this parody of their status, the sculptures acquire the liberty of a character capable of transforming his inadequacies into a new narrative structure. In Juste un Clou Rose (2018), Aceto considers the shape of an object with strong connotations, in this instance a Maison Cartier ring, by modifying its color and size in order to reach a formal neutrality that is stripped of any evident aesthetic allusions to the jewelry industry. Through this procedure of eliminating details, the object in the sculpture discovers itself to be a new entity, liberated from what usually defines it and limits it to one single productive, historical, and geographical context. The shape of a nail bent over onto itself can become an amulet for another culture. A muffler can transform into the image of a snake digesting a watermelon.
In a constellation of timid, inept objects, Gutter-Hydrant (2018), a hybrid gutter/fire hydrant with the features of some underwater creature, and Pen with an Arm (2018), an arm/fountain pen that serves as a street sign, were conceived by Aceto as index hands that guide the viewer’s gaze. Composed of double and even triple identities, these works work as “chimeras” that despite being clumsy and grotesque are capable of triggering an anti-narration and alternative model of using space, of observing and understanding works.”
The above is an excerpt from Alfredo Aceto and the Anti-Heroic Object, an essay contributed by Caterina Molteni, published in the exhibition catalogue available in the gallery in December 2018.
at DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin
until 9 February 2019