Cleo Fariselli

Cesenatico (IT), 1982

The chief characteristic of your art research.

Reality is the most visionary science-fiction and the ordinary is considered such only by habit and often by disenchantment. My research is based on the solicitation of a state of receptivity and imagination toward the experience of the present.

Your favourite occupation.

I just can’t choose, that’s probably one of the reasons why I became an artist.

Your idea of happiness.

Be present to what you are doing and enjoy doing it at your best. Find a good balance between your own ideal of yourself and your objective characteristics and possibilities. Live in a pleasant environment in both human and environmental terms and, if not possible, work to improve it or move.

Your main fault.

A damn combination of laziness and impatience.

What you hate the most.

Homologation, commodification, blind individualism, hypocrisy, obtuseness. And I always found putti pretty disturbing.

What you appreciate the most in a curator.

Respect for the artists, courage, ethics, independence of thought.

Your idea of a good exhibition.

It has to put me in the condition to live a qualitative and autonomous experience of the pieces and of the exhibition itself. This depends on a number of both artistic and contextual factors, it’s not just a matter of technique or grandeur: it may happen with a show of pebbles organized by a child as well as in a large museum retrospective.

Your idea of a wrong exhibition.

I am generally disturbed by those exhibitions realized with little love, ideas, or sufficient commitment. I don’t like when the layout is pretentious or poorly made, and I suffer when I see innocent pieces badly installed or presented within reductive, mono-directional or distorted interpretive schemes.

If not an artist, who would you be?

A witch or a blue heron.

Your favourite artists.

One of my main sources of artistic nourishment comes from authors whose names are lost in the cauldron of history, tradition or folklore. Talking about artists in the modern sense, I am grateful to many names among which I just can’t choose.

Your favourite working space and time.

When I think I like to walk or travel, by train, by car, to stay in motion and in open air. I’m a lover of public libraries, that I attend to study and write. The best time for me is always the morning, but I also enjoy those long working afternoons when your head overheats and the eyes glaze over until you can’t use them anymore. In my working space I need light, a good table, silence, water and heating (cold paralizes me like a lizard). I can share the studio with the right people, with whom having breaks and discuss about the work during its making. But also in these collective situations I need to have the possibility to isolate myself and being alone.

Your favourite museum.

I appreciate big museums and I visit them whenever I can, though the exaggerated abundance of pieces tires me a lot and a part of me is always unconfortable with the imperialist policy that has founded them. I generally prefer smaller museums, connected to the local context. I have just moved to Torino, that hosts the fantastic Cesare Lombroso’s Museum of Criminal Anthropology close to the lovely Museo della Frutta.

Your favourite art critics.

In this moment I think of Gillo Dorfles and Lucy Lippard. Gillo is also an artist and this is important for me, I like artists who write. I also like when thinkers that I admire write about art, such as John Dewey, Roger Caillois, Gregory Bateson, James Hillman, Roland Barthes or Paul Valery.

Your favourite art books.

I like catalogs in general, both from museum and thematic collections, even when the attempt to make them “exceptionally comprehensive” make them clumsy, pretentious or anachronistic. These days at home I often leaf through a huge Ukiyo-e book and a catalog of folk-art sticks. I feel an almost sensual pleasure for fabric patterns compendia, which intensifies even more if they are printed on matte paper.

Your favourite musicians.

As for the artists it’s so hard to choose, I just can’t.

Your heroes in real life.

Beekeepers, partisans, firefighters, Naga’s and Emergency’s doctors and in general all those people who, like wisteria, enrich the ground in which they live with beauty and nourishment.

Your favorite title of an art work.

I appreciate so much those titles that, apparently simple and descriptive, open the artwork to a further imaginative dimension. Arturo Martini is a master in this, for example in sculptures such as “Le stelle” (“Stars”) which depicts a couple looking upwards leaning against a tree or “Gli amanti” (“Lovers”) which portrays a clearing hidden in the wood with a horse waiting aside. You don’t directly see any stars nor lovers, and it’s precisely the absence of these subjects evoked by the titles that make the sculptures to be completed by the vibrant matter of the imagination of the viewer.

Your idea of the future.

Sooner or later all our atoms will spread around and return to mix in the great space mess <3

Your drawing for Mould.

With tinfoil I modeled a bas-relief of an eye-looking subject and I reproduced it three times using graphite with frottage technique. I obtained three different though very similar figures, all generated by the same matrix. I am obsessed with eyes, and in particualar with those fake eyes generated by the bodies of insects and other animals. The drawing refers, both in the subject and the technique choice, to the “organic seriality” that determines the appearance of such animals.