Press Release

From February 15 to July 21, 2024, Pirelli HangarBicocca presents Call and gather. Sisters. Moths and flame twisters. Lioness bones, snakes and stones, a solo exhibition by Chiara Camoni.



International exhibitions

International ongoing exhibitions

Chiara Camoni

Pirelli HangarBiccoca, Milan (Italy)

15.02 - 21.07.2024




The practice of Chiara Camoni (Piacenza, 1974; lives and works in Seravezza, Italy) ranges from drawing to sculpture and installation, with a focus on ceramics. Her work is characterized by the use of household objects or organic elements that the artist integrates into her production. Herbs, berries and flowers, as well as different types of clay and ashes, determine the distinctive natural tones of her works, recalling the earth and vegetation that Camoni collects and incorporates into her sculptures. The works are then reassembled through ritual actions that have a strong connection to the ancestral and archaic worlds and aim to explore the relationship between craft and spirituality. Community and exchange are also important: the artist often collaborates with friends and relatives in workshops and seminars to create her works. Camoni’s language adapts techniques and materials from everyday life, such as ceramics, printmaking or loom weaving, mainly from the toolkit of traditional women’s activities. In doing so, she adopts communal approaches similar to the practices of other historical Italian artists, such as Maria Lai (1919-2013) or the processual trajectories of Laura Grisi (1939-2017).

The exhibition at Pirelli HangarBicocca, curated by Lucia Aspesi and Fiammetta Griccioli, brings together the largest body of work ever presented in Italy by Chiara Camoni. With a series of new productions, it creates an architecture of collectivity and memory, whose forms are inspired by the Italian gardens of the late Renaissance and archeological sites. The symmetrical and radial design of the floor plan creates corridors and rooms, paths and environments that divide the space into several areas, in which visitors can linger or converse. The empty center is the nucleus around which the exhibition project revolves: the works are arranged as if on the bleachers of an arena, transforming the exhibition into a gathering or a performance. At the same time, the environment is designed as a physical landscape in which the boundaries between architecture, sculpture, and objects become blurred and ambiguous. While through the windows, opened for the occasion along the walls of the Shed, natural daylight gives way to dusk. This cyclical pattern is a creative and vital force, with its rhythmic sequence of moments of stillness and darkness and others animated by reflections and sunlight. Two new works, presented at the entrance and exit, open and close the exhibition in both directions. At the entryway, the visitor is welcomed by Lionesses (2024), two sculptural architectures in Lecce stone containing the remains of shells and animal bones, while at the end of the path we find the sculptural group Dogs (Bruno and Tre) (2024), two aluminum statues lying on a carpet: the figures represent a threshold, warning, and protection.

The title of the exhibition is formulated as a poetic composition or a spell. On the one hand, it echoes an incantation that invites the public to delve into an archaic and mysterious dimension; on the other hand, it condenses and anticipates some of the elements and images in Chiara Camoni’s practice, conjured by the artist’s own words. It is precisely on the basis of this idea of collective memory that the largest series of Sisters, which the artist has been working on since 2019, has been collected and exhibited. These anthropomorphic and zoomorphic sculptures are formed by an accumulation of different materials, from polychrome terracotta to wax, from stoneware and porcelain to vegetable elements and iron, plastic and found objects. For Camoni, they look like figures from the unconscious, primordial deities embodying an ancestral femininity. Their physical and material appearance is capable of evoking a sense of awe and wonder in the viewer, as if each one of them concealed a narrative that is at once intimate and mythical. Their presence conveys a message of sisterhood that encourages the desire for unity and community, and the assertion of identity.

The catalogue

The exhibition will be accompanied by a monographic catalogue, containing an in-depth documentation of the exhibition and critical texts commissioned from art historians, sociologists and archaeologists. Essays by authors such as Anna Anguissola, Domitilla Dardi, Gian Antonio Gilli, Chus Martínez, Alice Motard, and Andrea Viliani explore some of the concepts and themes of the exhibition. Designed by the graphic design studio bruno, the book also includes a conversation between Chiara Camoni and the curators of the exhibition, Lucia Aspesi and Fiammetta Griccioli, as well as an extensive photographic selection illustrating the collective processes through which the works were created.

Pirelli HangarBicocca, an institution founded in 2004, was relaunched in 2012 by Pirelli, which has been a founding partner since its inception. In recent years, the exhibition space has consolidated its role as an art center, attracting international audiences with shows characterized by high curatorial standards and visual impact, and offering unique exhibition projects. Pirelli HangarBicocca also hosts the permanent installation The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004–2015 by Anselm Kiefer, which has become a landmark for visitors from all over the world, and the sculpture La Sequenza (1971-81) by Fausto Melotti.

View of Chiara Camoni: Call and gather. Sisters. Moths and flame twisters. Lioness bones, snakes and stones., Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2024. Courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo: Agostino Osio.

View of Chiara Camoni: Call and gather. Sisters. Moths and flame twisters. Lioness bones, snakes and stones., Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2024. Courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo: Agostino Osio.

Exhibition 15 February - 21 July 2024. Pirelli HangarBicocca, Via Chiese, 2 - 20126 Milan (Italy). T +39 02 6611 1573. Hours: Thursday–Sunday 10:30am–8:30pm.





Chiara Camoni, Pirelli HangarBiccoca, Milan, Italy

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2024. All Rights Reserved