UNDERNEATH THE SKIN: EMPTINESS
HEART CULTURAL CENTER - ITALY 2014 - 2015
"Under the skin, emptiness", a solo exhibition by artist Marisa Caichiolo, makes its first debut in Italy this summer 2014. Expertly exploring diverse media that ranges from video art installation to painting and sculpture, Caichiolo constructs a symbolic world; a realm in which the female body and the articles that customarily covers it, become a metaphor of universal and spiritual unity. Caichiolo pronounces this realm of spiritual union through the combination of motifs and symbols taken from today's most prominent religions and belief systems. Utilizing clothing as a working medium, she elaborates and reinvents the legacy of the dress. She yields a complex hybrid, a unique dress for an equally distinguished woman: a cover for the ancient priestess who simultaneously represents the Universal Mother. Beyond the different avenues in which woman's role have been predetermined by various religions and conventions, her place is indisputable. She is the creator of life, the womb from which humanity is continuously reborn and renovated. Nevertheless, across religions and worlds, women exist as empty cocoons, as adornments embellished by another skin. A cocoon, a skin, a dress all covers to mask the void and absence after sons are born and released into a world alienated from the women who remain behind in observation. In this space, the absence of the female body is replaced and covered yet again by language. In the midst of this process of covering and removal, the female body itself finds expression, implementing visual signs, sounds, and sanctifying the clothes that cover the emptiness beneath the skin. this emptiness, however, is not the statement of a void without meaning. On the contrary, this void stands as a capacity and as potential. It mirrors the universal as it lies beyond any religious or earthly parameters. In search of this universal principle, she has reached an understanding, seeing in it a parallel reality with her investigation of the female condition. An Argentinean artist living in Los Angeles, Caichiolo's Buddhist practice impregnates her approach to art. In this understanding the exhibition title suggests a process of disembodiment, and discovery of the relationships between the inner and the outer limits, and of what distinguishes them in the flux of covering and uncovering what is under the skin. Her travels to the Persian Gulf and the exposure of her work there have altered her perception of the female body. The intense colors of her former dresses have been replaced by black, the absence of color. In this process of spiritual and artistic expansion, Caichiolo does not discriminate or deny possibility remembering that it is within absence that potential lies. The void can hold the space and capacity for an answer she has been looking for.
- Dermis Léon