GALERIE CHLOE SALGADO is pleased to invite you to their inaugural exhibition, Calcare Il Mondo, a solo exhibition of LULÙ NUTI.
Inspired by initiatives combatting climate change, Lulù Nuti imagines Calcare Il Mondo : « If a scientist proposes to paint the roofs of the world white to reflect sunlight (White Roof Project), and others launch a call for applications to colonise Mars (Mars One), I propose to mould the world and reproduce it elsewhere. » A poetic gesture and an ironic, worried and provocative response to a society where the limits between fiction and reality are often blurred.
For this series, the artist conducted quasi-scientific research at the Bikini Art Residency in Lake Como in 2017 where she used her studio as a laboratory, imagining different ways to mould the world and what could happen if an error hampered her approach. The works on display are modelled from globes using a classic moulding technique incorporating construction materials, such as concrete and plaster, allowing the artist to reproduce the Earth in the symbolic form of a negative. Employing a technique similar to fresco painting, the artist uses a blue pigment that when dried reveals a surface occupied by seas and oceans. In the process, and each time in an unexpected manner, certain words and elements from the original globes are stamped onto the surfaces of the works leaving ghostly traces of the moulded objects. Considering also ideas of shock or disaster, the artist deflates the globes during the moulding process causing an unpredictable collapse of the work and the Earth.
Through her research, Lulù Nuti aims to evoke feelings of responsibility and helplessness generated by our contemporary moment. Through the exploration of construction materials and natural elements, her installations are marked by a constant duality between presence and erasure, balance and fragility.
« Brought up by the first images of Earth seen from space taken by NASA in 1972 and the successive discoveries of so-called livable planets, Lulù Nuti took note of the Copernican revolution operating at the time the famous Blue Marble Shot was published. Cradled by the blockbuster films starring images of an exploding Earth, she wondered about future habitable places. Who are the colonizers of the universe ? How do astronauts go about exploring the world ? She provides them with portable matrices from our planet Earth to take to Mars and Pluto, like souvenirs or models. This gesture, poetic and absurd, is illusory and more like an intellectual speculation rather than a pragmatic solution.
Child of the Chernobyl generation, Lulù has been intimately marked by the disasters of the end of the century : nuclear accidents, the AIDS epidemic, global warming and the migration crisis. While the phenomena that she witnesses transcend borders and are intrinsically international, she questions how to define their forms and limits. From which follows a reflection on contamination, propagation and its consequences : cartography.
Lulù Nuti indisputably represents the everchanging moment in which we find ourselves. Inscribing herself in Anthropocene, she announces disaster– the end of the favorable influence of a star– the downside, a reversal that surpasses and upsets us. The artist is like a firefly which Pasolini laments the disappearance in L’articolo delle luciole. The Italian filmmaker stated, « In the beginning of the 1960s, due to air pollution and, especially in the countryside, water pollution (azure flowers and clear canals), fireflies began to disappear (L’article des lucioles, Écrits corsaires, Paris, Flammarion, 1976, ed. 2005, p. 180-189). »
Yet, they survive, and serve as the light to follow, as described by Georges Didi-Huberman. These dim lights are our guides in case of ecological danger or political dictatorship (Survivance des lucioles, 2009, Les Éditions de Minuit, p. 44-50) : « The glow, or “glimmers of hope”, disappear with innocence condemned to death (...) it is not the fireflies that were destroyed, but rather something central in the desire to see, in desire in general, thus in the political hope of Pasolini. » He stated that « the experience is indestructible, even if it is reduced to the survival and secrecies of mere glimmers in the night (p. 128). »
Lulù is the glimmer in the darkness. She proposes intermittent and fragile images, full of duality between presence and erasure, balance and fragility. For Didi-Huberman, the « “firefly-image” can be seen not only as testimonies but also as prophecies, predictions about political history in the making (p. 119). » This is also the case for Lulù, for whom art is a tool for awakening and representing the consequences of our actions in our environment. Her work is both her visual manifesto and her means of action. In the face of disaster, the artist proposes a new alignment of the stars, that she molds, classifies and ranks. Although the artist and her work may be full of awareness of danger and our responsibility for the consequences (the series is entitled Beyond our control), she avoids an apocalyptic tone and promises no resurrection. She creates objects that gracefully freeze « a form of infinity crystallized in an instant to endure the infinite. » In her work, survival is understood as a means of resistance. »
Translation by Katia Porro