Giuseppe Licari

ecologie - installatie - natuur - sculptuur - sociaal-maatschappelijk

With my practice I focus on the anthropological metabolic processes devising contemporary landscape. I am particularly interested on how our environment has been transformed in the last century through the industrial revolution and great acceleration. Capitalistic society has been driven by the constant exploitation of natural resources, and infinity growth. This has left behind a new layer of cultural heritage (trash, mines, pollution, depleted soils), which speaks out loud of our society and its habits in anthropogeological terms. This new layer we have created is the humus on which future generations of humans and non-humans have to live, and it is central in my practice.

I often collaborate with geologists, lawyers, botanists, and professionals from different fields in a multidisciplinary dialogue, addressing the work from different points of view. Through a socio-political lens, and with bolt and ephemeral interventions, my work addresses topics of ecology, cohabitation, and coexistence.

Terraformation - Terraformation is a research project on the use of polluted soils and slag as ceramic glaze. It builds upon my previous work and research on soil Terra Moderna introducing a new medium and technique. Since soil and slag are not commonly used for glazing, I have been preparing and testing the material in order to create the standards: a set of tests to domesticate the material and use it as glaze. The final research crystallized in a series of 12 large spheres, 35 cm in diameter, made on a press mould and glazed using the different soil samples.
Naked Landscape - Naked Landscape addresses the deterioration of soils in contemporary era. Soil is the richest ecosystem on Earth and all life depends upon it. In our current society, soil is exploited for different purposes including recreation. Golf courses are created in the middle of deserts where water is scarce and communities are suffering. By exposing the dry soil underneath an impossible golf course Licari addresses its relation to the exploitation of the land and its connection to this game, symbol of patriarchy, capitalistic society, and land exploitation.
The Promised Land - The Promised Land is the title of a photographic series, capturing the birth of new soil (slag), a by-product of the steel industry. The land that once was rich in iron is now poor and toxic, accumulated in slag heaps all around the industry, sometimes reaching 50 meters in height. The way Licari frames these processes with the camera brings our imagination to exotic places or other planets, immerging the spectator into a new world.
Contrappunto - In Contrappunto (Counterpoint), Licari addresses the rapid and tempest after effects of forest fires with a life size, site specific installation portraying the devastation of a burnt forest contrasted by the ready-made confines of the gallery setting. Taken from the forests of Idaho, Licari’s charred forest of trees conjures contemplation of current events by placing visitors within a situation that is at once natural and imitation, beautiful and confronting.
Blue River - Blue River is an installation reflecting on the history of Breckenridge and particularly its radical transformation from gold mine to ski destination. Dredging is the action of excavating riverbeds to collect the precious minerals that lay below, turning them literally upside down. Licari creates a vast dredge rock field, unnaturally presented inside the building. Complementing the physical presence of the cobblestones is an audio piece consisting of 8 channels. The sound piece is created in collaboration with Nicola di Croce, sound artist and sound designer, who conducted field recordings of the river along the restored nine miles of the Blue river. The anthropogenic sound fills the room and immerses the spectator into the water, once hidden underneath the dredged rocks. This installation functions as a cathartic place for the public to sit, rest, and contemplate the role the hand of man plays on the makeup of the `natural´ world and ownership of the landscape.
Long Weekend - Long Weekend examines the landscape of the mining industry as contemporary archaeological heritage. Licari explores how sand mining and artificial lakes as by-products of the process, have shaped the Limburg region. By inviting the visitor to enjoy a moment of relaxation in an indoor spa, Licari’s project is a reminder that industrial inventiveness constantly devises new ways to continue exploiting natural resources.