Andrés Isaac Santana, Art Critic, Madrid, Spain.
In line with her work’s usual narrative, this beautiful installation circles back to topics that are of utmost concern for her. The fire that devastated the city serves as a perfect excuse for the sample’s argument, yet it also becomes another compelling reason for Marisa to rethink the role of women throughout history in the domestic sphere. There is no questioning the irrefutable fact that every house, home and family environment is shaped by the existence of women who are mothers, wives, sisters and friends. Women have been at the core of that sphere ever since true stories of survival, undying love, and reproduction were written, stories of legacies that are preserved and multiplied.
These houses thus become a tribute to all the victims, a consistent and precise metaphor of women’s value and a gesture of love and reconciliation in the face of pain and loss. Far from emphasizing the situation’s dramatic nature or stating more or less forced and opportunistic expressions of empathy, the artist engages in the plot by referencing her true-life experiences. It’s precisely for this reason that the piece unfolds as a fine allegory of a large female body in which the burned house and dresses represent –through fictional recreation and ellipsis– the identity, memory and legacy of the women who inhabited these environments that were ripped away by fire and folly.
Marisa is familiar with this, and why wouldn't she? She is an artist herself, a mother, displaced, and an immigrant; she is both a narrator and the subject of a narrative. As opposed to made-up truths told by fabulists and clever storytellers, Marisa gives a word of warning that becomes a call for love and forgiveness, as she is ultimately speaking to herself. These houses and dresses cease to be an exercise of representation and become a poetic of interpellation.
Lynn Farrand, curator Museum Thousand Oaks, CA, USA.
“In the site-specific installation, The house, Caichiolo focuses on issues of home, family and recovery. Her sophisticated design along with dramatic lighting and the flow of her melodic voice, draw you into examine familiar objects in a different light. Caichiolo employs clothing, old photographs and human hair wrapped around burnt branches to symbolize the significance of the home. This installation is personal for Caichiolo as it is inspired by her first-hand experience with fires in California. Whether you understand loss from the fires, or simply the challenges of leaving behind everything that is familiar, Caichiolo’s art viscerally connects you with loss as it pertains to family structures, memories and recovery. It also reminds us of the regenerative power of nature and the resilience of the human spirit.”