Patrick Tuttofuoco “Ambaradan”, Milan
He gave one last fleeting look at the semi-hollow tray that laid in front of him – the crumpled paper, residual remnants of sauce and chips, a straw still wrapped in its white envelope – then he stood up, with a slow but firm movement; both hands against the table, calves slightly pushing away the chair, his back assuming an upright position. Only a vibration in the front right pocket of his pants broke the continuity of his motion. He took out his phone and passed his thumb gently across the screen, leaving a trace on the otherwise immaculate surface. Another customer, not far from him, and he too sitting alone in front of a half- empty tray, watched the dazzling light of the display reflecting in his eyes as he read the content of the message: “Via degli Omenoni number 3”. He then put the phone back into his pocket, took the tray with both hands and placed it on top of the trash bin behind him (the one with a double golden arch engraved on it).
After slipping on the jacket, one sleeve at a time, he descended a flight of stairs and went out into the square. The air smelled of autumn. Before him stood the cathedral, all lit up, and to his left were the porches, with the shops illuminated as well. If he had shifted his gaze to the right and upwards he would have noticed the big red neon sign that seemed to float in the darkness of the night. He decided to take the scooter. It was parked next to a small white taxicab, and from afar the bike looked e-x-a-c-t-l-y as big as half the car. After a two-minute ride, with a cool breeze on his neck and on his gloveless hands, he reached his destination. He stopped on the sidewalk; she was standing few feet away. Before he had time to take his helmet off, she said in one breath, and with some trepidation: “And now, what shall become of us without any barbarians?” He did not answer but as he stood down from the scooter, turned it off and put it on the stand, he thought, with a mix of regret, frustration and grief: “Those people were some kind of solution. “
After 5 years, Patrick Tuttofuoco returns to Milan with a solo exhibition curated by Nicola Ricciardi. To the city that has seen him grow – both personally and artistically – Tuttofuoco has dedicated this new series of works, which arise from the need to deal with the transformations of the urban context, the mutations in consumption patterns, and the permeability of the local art system. Five sculptures, loosely inspired by the facade of the “Casa degli Omenoni”, continue the artist’s research on and around the human image and its possible transformations.
The works are scattered within the gallery as well as in other spaces – both public and private – that lay outside the context of art, but that nonetheless decided to get involved in a process of negotiation and exchange. Besides hosting some of the sculptures, these spaces have loaned the artist some of their iconic objects that will be displayed in the gallery for the duration of the exhibition. Not ready-mades or simple appropriations, but tangible signs of a thought – that is, it is only in the predisposition to be “contaminated” that a culture can affirm itself. In the background, a soundtrack cooperatively created by Tuttofuoco and an American composer plays in loop.
The project originates from the desire to materialize a conversation between the artist and the curator that started in Milan in the summer of 2013 and continued over the following months between Berlin and New York, which was based on a shared interest in the processes and practices of transformation of cultures. Since then, many have joined this open dialogue, with contributions of a different nature; among them Claudio Guenzani, Novo Line, Ermanno Previdi, McDonald’s and – unknowingly – Alessandro Baricco. To them goes the most heartfelt thank from the artist and the curator.
at Mc Donald’s Passaggio Duomo, Milan
until 17 May 2014
Patrick Tuttofuoco, “Ambaradan” installation views, Milan, 2014
Courtesy: Studio Guenzani, Milan. Photo: © Andrea Rossetti.