Art Tracker, discovering new talents. Interview with Clarissa Baldassarri.

Clarissa Baldassarri was born in Civitanova Marche in 1994. In 2013 she enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Macerata where she graduated in Decoration. In 2017 she decided to move to Naples, where she is now completing the Specialistic Biennium in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts. In the same year she started working with the GMCG gallery in Livorno which exhibited her solo show "Eikòna". In 2019 she was one of the three recipients of the Combat Prize in the Art Tracker section that led her to participate in a collective exhibition, together with Anna Marzuttini and Giorgia Valli, at Lucca Art Fair 2020.

Sound data logger. installazione site specific Le Scalze, Napoli, 2020 Photo credit: Iolanda Pazzanese

How would you define your artistic practice and what are the issues you investigate?

It is difficult to give an absolute definition to my artistic practice. What I follow, rather than a well-defined modus operandi, is the dimension of listening. I think this is the right word. I always try to understand the message I want to communicate first, then the means and roads change accordingly. A guiding thread certainly lies in the voice that I try to listen to and which up to now has always led me to investigate beyond the surface of things, beyond what we see, hear or touch.

I have a call to the invisible and the imperceptible and what I try to do is to restore a physical, real dimension to what normally escapes, disappears.

When did you decide that you would have been an artist?

I didn't decide. It was an almost necessary path. Art was a necessity, a way to be undertaken in order to transform into something else what I was unable to keep inside of me. A cleansing ritual started about five years ago when I started having problems with my eyesight. That was the moment when I started to wonder about the reality that surrounded me, and about the desire to tell what I felt. Seeing beyond the physical dimension of things was an obligatory path, a feeling too strong that found freedom of expression in the image, regardless of the final form.

Appunti Carte Tintoretto. Installazione site specific Le Scalze, Napoli, 2020 - Photo credit: Iolanda Pazzanese

You have just finished your studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples: how has this specific context influenced the definition of your work?

More than the Academy itself, what influenced my work the most was the city of Naples. I moved to this city after attending the three-year period in Decoration in Macerata and they were completely different experiences. Here the weight of the urban context is felt and breathed in everything. It is impossible not to be overwhelmed.

Transferring here was a precise choice, Naples had been calling me for some time and after three years I can say that I found what I was looking for. The dimension of the sacred and the profane, human contact, the spirit of sharing, the dialogue that overcomes barriers. These are aspects that I wanted to know and are a visible trace in my latest works.

Ausiliare. Installazione site specific Le Scalze, Napoli, 2020 Photo credit: Iolanda Pazzanese

We started this interview in early February but then our world changed radically. How are you facing the current pandemic crisis and how has this emergency affected your practice?

Exactly, it was a great change and only with time we will be able to understand its real effects.

I certainly cannot say that I have lived badly my quarantine. Indeed, it was a period of long reflections where I felt freed from the frenetic rhythms of the clock and I was able to reconnect with my inner time. Paradoxically, I think that this physical distance made us experience another way of getting closer to each other, which crosses all borders, and it happened precisely because we all experienced the same temporal condition; that time that Peter Handke wanted to communicate through the concept of duration.

I developed new ideas during this period which touch on these aspects, but they still need further elaboration.

On the other hand, I was initially shocked by the sudden silence that fell on my city. Just before the lockdown I had just inaugurated the exhibition “Ausiliare”, in the Scalze church of Naples, curated by Marianna Agliotte and Rosaria Iazzetta. In the exhibition I dealt with the theme of listening in relation to the position that a person occupies in a given space and time, enhancing the concept of silence. Being in the position of really feeling these surreal sensations was like living a lucid dream.

Visone mostra Eikona Altarino 1° e Altarino 2°. gmcg gallery, Livorno, 2018 Photo credit: Francesco Levy

- CampoBase Team (Irene Angenica, Bianca Buccioli, Emanuele Carlenzi, Gabriella Dal Lago, Ginevra Ludovici, Federica Torgano, Stefano Volpato)


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