June 2017_by Federica Tattoli
British artist Gino Saccone - 1979, Jersey (Channel Islands), based in London, United Kingdom - works in a variety of media, creating chaotic, cacophonous exhibitions that address the communication of information—and the way we digest the glut of it today. Along those lines, he explores the mutability of objects and language in sculptures and drawings by arranging color and texture into form, often referencing numbers. Two-dimensional objects are interjected into three-dimensional space, as gestural, childlike paintings of flowers wrap around corners, and colored textiles based on scanned watercolors and computer-generated forms (as in L7, a collaboration with Elliot Dodd) are set at the intersection of the wall and the floor. Similarly, Saccone explores the relationship between dimensions in textiles based on the autostereogram, a technology that allows flat images to be seen in 3D.
From sculpture to tapestry, how is going?
I started working with Jacquard tapestry because of the ability to create an image on both sides. The first project, Lacuna, was focused on the contingency of three dimensional objects manifesting in the two dimensional medium of a double-sided single image stereograms. Single image stereograms found popularity in the 80’s and 90’s through publishers such as Magic Eye. The images allowed viewers to experience and form three dimensional sunken reliefs when they converge or cross their eyes.
In another tapestry project titled Jaoui I set out to create a typeface for a ouija board. I started out making objects and letters from plasticine and rigged up a homemade 3d scanner. This allowed me to transfer them into 3d objects on a computer program (C4D). Later I generated skins to wrap these objects in by painting watercolors and scanning them . The programmes are amazing for image making and allow an endless amount of play with editing compositions, form and lighting.
It is quite interesting the way color works on a loom because you have to develop a pallet to reflect your image which could be 80 colors for example, however you can only use up to 12 colors of thread which are mixed and bound together to create each individual variation. This is the most time consuming process in Jacquard weaving and can take a few days to develop. I relate the color reduction process to when sound is produced at 8-bit.
Which are the subjects of your works and why?
The subjects can come from anywhere, I like putting together different elements and seeing where they go and what else gets thrown up. I find interesting results arise when the process is most fluent and then refine or edit it later - or not, and leave it raw. It's the development of language that I am most concerned with and having the freedom to work at different speeds, so I can respond and let the content drift and grow. I have been focusing more on figurative elements in my pictures mostly using watercolor as painting offers a very direct process that can keep dancing and moving and let the scenarios appear in their own way.
Could you tell me something about the series you showed in Grand Palazzo 2017
I started by looking at the natural world when I was on a residency in L.A and became interested in plant consciousness, the way plants work together - have a different sensory network, their lack of a centralized system and how the “brainlessness of plants turns out to be their strength” as described by Michael Pollan. It also coincided with some figures I was doodling about with and a bit of an obsession with plant based weightlifters and ultra-endurance athletes such as Rich Roll and Vegan Gains.
In the show there are three tapestries on painting stretchers. One of the pictures features four plants lifting a barbell together as a team, the second a plant DJing while simultaneously being a gramophone and lifting a barbell. The third image shows two men and a door in a forest, the door has a cat flap which the two men have their guns trained on.
How would you present your work?
The works from Grand Palazzo have quite a specific aesthetic. The pictures have a gaudy border pattern which is a stock filler from photoshop and they are all displayed on easels. Unlike the other tapestry series these have a much more direct translation from watercolor. I wanted them to have the same feel as mass scale reproduction images that you might buy for 35 Euros, while still being unique works. I’m having fun and playing about with the space in the world that these objects can occupy, a cheapening of the media - 'Paintingless Paintings’.
Where do you make your works?
When I am in London I work in a decommissioned morgue at the back of my house, It's a great place for channeling the spirits and always someone to talk to on those lonely days.
I make the tapestries with a small team of people in Tilburg at the Textiel Museum
What can’t be missing from your worktable?
A collection you wish at least one work of yours was part of?
The Golden Record on Voyager 1 Probe.
A museum where you’d like to have an exhibition?
I am intrigued by buildings that have an indoor-outdoor, public-private feel - where there is an interface with the public but where other areas retain intimate space. There are lots of museums like that, the Neue Nationalgalerie by Mies van der Rohe for example. I loved the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, for their brilliant and varied program mixing shows by artists at different points in their careers. The park setting of the Serpentine Gallery is beautiful. My practice is quite contortionist regarding its environment - we live in a time where you can exhibit anything in a gallery and a gallery can be anything. Whether artists push these outer limits or not, it’s important that that the freedom to do so is always an option. Shows normally come about through a social network and what is important is the support and belief of others. For me it's just a joy to create a vision and put together something special for a place and its traffic.
The market or your need to express?
One for all and all for one.
Lightness or depth?
Day or night?
Dusk and Dawn.
A question you’ve never been asked but one you’ve always wanted to answer? Answer that question…
White onion and zucchini linguini with tarragon
Red snapper edamame bean frappe with self-steamed beetroot
Rum Baba with smoked raspberries.
Could you briefly describe one of your latest works?
I made some watercolours recently on a residency at Zennor Project Space in Cornwall. One picture Tutti Frutti is an open mouth occupied with some objects and light, it is not discernible. Shapes and light or better probably something you can feel but I quite like the mouth as a space for things to be housed and shown, a good machine for making abstracts with all the baggage that passes in and out of it. You can see images on the ZPS Instagram feed.
What are you reading?
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Tales of Power by Carlos Castaneda.
Sweet Smell of Success (1957).
Where would you like to live?
London town, it is my home, it has good culture and diversity but somewhere over the rainbow where it also has a consistent 23 degree climate, a beach on every doorstep and a mountain behind every door.
Do you have reference artists? Artists you’d like to work with?
I don't have any artists that I reference directly, at least not consciously but I have enjoyed recently discovering Victor Brauner and his depictions of ghosts, the watercolors of George Grosz, Laure Prouvost installed an interesting show at Witte de With called - the wet wet wanderer. Terre Thaemlitz's film 'Interstices' at Documenta 14 is a brilliant and a beautiful handling of sound and image. Rose Wylie, just because ... I could go on 4 eva...
I have worked successfully with other people in the past. If the wind is right, the process can sprout off in unusual directions and spit out interesting results. I would definitely like to go down that road again as there is much that can be gained.
A project, related to art, that you’d like to do?
If you weren’t an artist, what job would you like?
I think that I would have been a midwife or bramble picker.
Let’s imagine a group show. Who would you like to exhibit with?
I think I'd like to be involved in a show where incongruous artistic alliances were made to work together in media they are unfamiliar with. Bill Viola / Sylvester Stallone for example.
Yes or no to curators? If yes, who would you choose?
Yes curators can do brilliant work that can move you Inform you and bring things together that can break down your preconceptions. There was a really strong combination of work at MOCA Geffen recently. A huge room with the film Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death by Arthur Jafa with Sterling Ruby's SOFT WORK. This was powerful, a proper crazy emotive off the scale slap round the chops combination. I don't know the curators but well done - Helen Molesworth and Bennett Simpson.
A dream of yours?
Installation view at Granpalazzo 2017
Weightlifters, Courtesy Mieke van Schaijk
Plant-based workout, detail
Green light papa, Zenno Project Space
Tutti Frutti, Zennor Project Space
Interlaced T1 (Lacuna), Jacquard Tapestry
Paco Robanne, cotton woven jacquard tapestry, Courtesy Mieke van Schaijk 230 x 160 cm
Jaoui, cotton woven jacquard tapestry, Mieke van Schaijk, 230 x 160 cm