Cinzia Ruggeri exhbition: La Leggerezza del Peso

Past exhibition

La Leggerezza del Peso

16 October - 26 November 2023



Cinzia Ruggeri

Campoli Presti is pleased to announce Cinzia Ruggeri’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

La Leggerezza del Peso (The Lightness of Weight) takes Ruggeri’s 1989 installation of the same name as a point of departure to explore her non-hierarchical, multidisciplinary practice, unfolded in three different environments.

Her installation on the ground floor features Ferenczi, a rarely known work designed in 1993. Named after the Hungarian psychanalyst, the zoomorphic divan is shaped as a manta-ray whose fins serve as blankets. Velvet plays an important role in Ruggeri’s furniture and respond to her fascination with the emotional potential of textiles and their sculptural qualities. In Ferenczi, it offers a sensory experience, evoking extravagance and fantasy while alluding to the most iconic item in the theatrics of analysis. The mirrored aviator glasses “Pensiero Fisso” (Fixed idea, 2019) also alludes to the subconscious, conveying a persistent or obsessive idea, often delusional.

Ruggeri’s textiles often work as a bridge between an alleged function and a body that wants to liberate itself from it. The tulle ruffles in Abito Led (1981) are the support of led lights that can be switched on an off by the wearer. Ruggeri was a pioneer in the use of electronics in fashion design, which she applied in her “behavioral garments”, a series of decomplexed, sensitive and interactive clothing. Abito Salame (1989) also plays with the role of the wearer in a derisive way. Made with a cotton twine similar to the ones used for cured meat, the dress would trap the body as if it were a sausage. Ruggeri’s objects, such as Pas de café (2009) or Borsa Gabbia (ca. 1990) based from domestic items, remind Meret Oppenheim’s fetishistic sculptures while taking their impassive nature to the world of the animate.

Two iconic furniture designs, Mano (ca. 2000) and Armadio Rocco (1993) dominate the first floor environment. Installed either as a modern, freestanding sculpture or as a functional, welcoming sofa, Mano distorts human proportions to bring design into the realm of the illogical. The Rocco closet is inspired by the red and black colors of the religious confraternities that paraded in Good Friday processions of Salento, where Ruggeri retired in the 90s after years of exposure and success. Her works also play with language through their titles, revealing tongue-in-cheek contradictions between form and function, like the mirror Guardando l’ombra (ca.1980), a mirror that includes its own shadow, or Bichiere vis-à-vis (2019) a glass that includes its own drinker.

The last room is dedicated to her installation La leggerezza del peso (1989), an installation conceived by Cinzia Ruggeri with Hanif Jan Mohamed and Paolo Cremonesi for the exhibition Domestic Rituals, in the context of the event Abitare il Tempo. In the work, the last living elephant, unable to genetically reproduce, explodes and preserves itself in household appliances. As in other Ruggeri’s pieces involving animal intelligence - like the manta ray, which has the largest brain-to-body ratio, or the octopus’, whose nervous system is distributed through in its tentacles- elephants have outstanding mental skills, and its trunk is all at once a nose, an arm, a hand, a voice and a straw. But for Ruggeri, nature is not embedded with a higher moral status nor it operates on a different level, it is part of what humans are and do. The natural and the artificial inevitably coexist and infuse our ideas of what constitutes fantasy, splendor and beauty. These eccentric scattered objects constitute an environment of symbols that do not delineate but rather mediate between the human, the artifact and the natural world.

An extensive retrospective of Cinzia Ruggeri’s work was held at MACRO, Rome, travelling to Goldsmiths CCA, London in 2022. Recent solo exhibitions include Home. A user’s manual at ETH Zurich and…Per Non Restare Immobili, curated by
Rita Selvaggio, Casa Masaccio, San Giovanni Valdarno in 2020; Déconnexion, Campoli Presti, Paris in 2018, and CIN CIN 1980-2015, at 10 Corso Como in 2015. Her work has been presented in Lives of an object, Andreas Melas and ARCH, Athens (2021), Lonely Are All Bridges, Birgit Jürgensen and Cinzia Ruggeri, curated by Maurizio Cattelan and Marta Papini, Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna (2021), Fuori, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2020), We need more than one term for these big things, University of Applied Arts, Vienna (2019), The Estate Summer, Contemporary Art Center, Riga (2019), Article 132–75, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Langenhagen (2019); Arts & Foods, curated by Germano Celant, Triennale di Milano (2015) and Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970–1990, Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2011).