Alessandro Pessoli

Born in Cervia (Italy) in 1963. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and in 1993 moved to Milan, where he lived until 2010 when he relocated to Los Angeles. He has been showing in many galleries, including Studio Guenzani, Milan (1994, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2008); greengrassi, London (1998, 2002, 2007, 2011); Anton Kern Gallery, New York (1999, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009); Xavier Hufkens, Brussels (2004, 2011) and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles (2003, 2004, 2008), and Museums, like The Drawing Center, New York, in 1997; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, in 2002; Palazzo Grassi, Venice in 2008 and the Biennale di Venezia in 2009.

 

Caligola is the only animation movie I have ever realized. It’s the natural development of a long-term project that I was working on during the ‘90s. I started making this animation movie at the end of 1999 and finished it in 2002. During that period, drawing on small and medium format represented the center of my interests: often a single work was formed by a series of 100 or 200 drawings. I was fascinated by the associations that single images create when they are arranged in a sequence and by their power to create multiple stories and meanings.

The lightness of the drawing gave me the possibility to insert within the same work the most diverse sources: comics, art history, cinema, literature, images of big battles, science fiction, newspapers etc. All this material was fragmented and recomposed in sets of drawings which, even today, I consider to be short intellectual movies.

 Caligola is the apex of this phase; the drawings are really transformed into moving images. Caligola does not have an actual beginning or an end, nor does it follow the development of a single story; rather it is similar to the free structure of dreams, sharing with them symbolic richness; human beings, animals, inanimate objects appear and disappear in a continuous movement from construction to destruction, caught in a state of feverishness, between a possible meaning and its dissolution. The movie presents alternating moments of playfulness and desolation, violence and resignation, death and renaissance, sexuality and religious symbols, a sort of mise-en-scène of the human tensions, conscious and unconscious, a hallucinated world in which the majority of the actions seems to be performed in a state of somnambulism.

 The iconographic sources that I have used are disparate and a lot of them come from Eadweard Muybridge. I have included whole movement sequences from Animal Locomotion, The Human Figure in Motion and Animals in Motion. I have also used several manuals of anatomy for artists, an image of a wooden sculpture of Donatello, and a Christ on the Cross. Other iconographic material is drawn from various illustrated books on World War I, an illustrated book on the weapons of elite army corps, various books on horror movies and science fiction, magazines and newspapers from which I have often taken advertisement images. The soundtrack is a compilation mix of the music that I was listening to while I was drawing, bands like Spiritualized, ORB, Autechre, Suicide, Pansonic and Pier Sebastien.

 

        

                                                                                              Alessandro Pessoli

 

Photos

2002, Animation film, duration: 10΄30΄΄, Courtesy Studio Guezani
2002, Animation film, duration: 10΄30΄΄, Courtesy Studio Guezani
2002, Animation film, duration: 10΄30΄΄, Courtesy Studio Guezani
2002, Animation film, duration: 10΄30΄΄, Courtesy Studio Guezani
2002, Animation film, duration: 10΄30΄΄, Courtesy Studio Guezani

Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011 Biennale de Lyon