Distortion and inclination of an empty space: Italian artist Jonathan Vivacqua talks about his past and future works. Interview by Maria Abramenko.
Which are your main inspirations (art /music/literature)?
I’m not sure I ever made anything by taking inspiration directly from artistic sources such as music or literature. My work is very simple, it has an emotional component linked to the basic sensations of the human body and is inspired by common real life, the one that normally does not think it has to do with culture or at least that completely ignores its existence. I reconstruct images or experiences that I have already lived or at least I think I have lived, but I don’t do it from the memory, if I plan I stop, but if I build it without thinking about it, I find it even before I realise it. Our brains enter and process pine memories of images and emotions, the strongest remain and return in the most unlikely moments.
How do you define your artistic style?
Although in some ways it can be recognised as a minimal and geometric work, I do not feel able to channel it within any real artistic style. I believe that a bit all contemporary research must reserve the privilege of not having to bind to too many definitions, they must live with time, and evolve with it and this age of ours is doing it very quickly. I try to express the period in which I live by contributing with my language. Since art is a language that uses infinite communication frequencies compared to other disciplines, I think the way to disclose something must be that thing directly. My works show a period where industry and building evolution explode like a huge meteorite on earth, completely losing control. And what I try to do is reconstruct that memory that shone in a mountain of rubble.
What are you working on these days?
These days are the beginning of a strong worldwide change, I am living my quarantine at home, due to contagion alert. I alternate my days by drawing a lot, sketching new plasterboard sculptures and working on fixing old cars. Unfortunately all schedules and show dates have all been postponed because of the pandemic, so I will wait for everything to return to normal. In this period it is as if we were in the OFF state where we have the duty to make ourselves useful through a civil commitment that makes us grateful and part of a community,
Tell us more about your next exhibition in Rome.
The exhibition in Rome should have been on April 3’rd and will probably be postponed to October. The show is going to take place at White Noise Gallery, and it will be my first solo show in their Roman space. I met Eleonora and Carlo (the founders) a little over a year ago by pure coincidence, one evening at Germano Bonetti’s (collector) home, it was a pleasant meeting since the very beginning and some time later I was asked to be officially represented by their Roman gallery. After a few months we started to think about my exhibition and when I submitted them my project proposal they seemed to be really excited. We had an excellent dialogue and fundamentally they immediately perceived my work in the most correct way, they conquered me as soon as I showed them my studio. It is a very private place and I showed it to a few people but the two of them were fine alongside my works. We are working very well together.
What will you bring to the exhibition?
Now that the exhibition is postponed something might evolve, so I cannot tell you about the individual works but I can tell you that I have been given the opportunity to make major interventions and distort the gallery space! It’s like giving the playroom to a child. The new works will have a very strong human component, a visceral force linked to moments of stasis, to frozen images in the hottest moment of a catastrophe. I thought of space as a path where the first room will be very delicate and not too invasive, then move on to the second which will be occupied with a larger installation of the room itself and finally the third where it wants to be more scenic and work on the atmosphere. See you in Rome.