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How to wash your tail and get rid of stains by Alice Pilusi e Niccolò Pagni @ LAVAPIU

The Cure 2023/2024

How to wash your tail and get rid of stains an exhibition by Alice Pilusi e Niccolò Pagni

7th October – 7th December 2023

Curated by Celeste

On Saturday, October 7th, at 6:30 PM, on the occasion of the 19° Giornata del Contemporaneo bigins the new and third season of the LAVAPIU exhibitions project curated by Celeste. The site-specific work, installed in the launderette of the Gammarana neighbour in Teramo, is a new installation by Alice Pilusi and Niccolò Pagni, created in collaboration with Davide Di Bella. The exhibition will be accompanied by a conversation between Heartbreaker and Andrea Croce.

How to Wash Your Tail and Get Rid of Stains is a site-specific work conceived by Alice Pilusi and Niccolò Pagni in collaboration with Davide Di Bella. The artists present the further development of Heartbeaker, a project started in 2023, a kind of episodic saga of which this constitutes the third act. Heartbreaker narrates the story of a fictional character: a young emerging star, to whom Pilusi lends her interpretation in the guise of a mermaid. Vulnerable and insecure, grappling with a desperate thirst for success, this figure encapsulates the fears of its creators, investigating the boundary that separates success from failure.

How to Wash Your Tail and Get Rid of Stains consists of a trompe-l’oeil inserted in the external window of the laundry and an audio track played in a loop inside the space. Observed from the street, the window faithfully reproduces the interior of the premises with its washing machines and other furnishings, revealing, however, a minimal yet impossible alteration: a digitally recreated liquid floor, perspectively impeccable and therefore illusionistically credible. The artists transform the laundry floor into a slightly rippled liquid expanse, within which the fish-woman can “immerse and purify herself.” The post-internet mythological bather dedicates herself to the ritual washing of her tail, to “eliminate the traces of a previous life from which she has definitively decided to cut ties.” The iridescent and reflective blue and pink detergent pond alludes to a baptismal source, while the sound track reproduces a female voice overlaid on a distorted audio of the sound of a functioning washing machine. The story the girl tells describes her past failures and the journey that brought her there.

Alice Pilusi (Pescara, 1997) lives and works between Milan and Venice. Her work slips in and out of reality, traversing an imaginary world characterized by hyper-bright, caricatural, and grotesque visions. By animating and overturning stereotypes, her works draw attention to the darker nuances of a value system that fetishizes youth, beauty, innocence, and success.

Niccolò Pagni (Livorno, 1996) lives and works between Venice and Livorno. His research explores, through introspective processes, the concepts of memory, nostalgia, archive, and community. He uses sound and images as tools to create immersive environments, suspended places that stimulate internal investigation.

Andrea Croce (1996) is a curator and artist. He graduated from the Università Iuav di Venezia in Fashion and Visual Arts in 2021 with a thesis that investigates the performativity of daily life and the ambiguous relationship between fiction and reality. He moved to Brno (Czech Republic) to work as an assistant to the artist Julie Béna between 2021-2022. In 2018, he founded Unpae, a project characterized by a free and spontaneous spirit. Since 2021, he has been working as a curator and producer for Una Boccata d’Arte.

How to wash your tail and get rid of stains an exhibition by Alice Pilusi e Niccolò Pagni. Exhibition views from LAVAPIU, Teramo 2023 © Celeste.