Santiago Cucullu: You still make me tremble
November 20, 2021 – March 20, 2022
Santiago Cucullu (b. Argentina, 1969) visualizes chance occurrences from his daily life to express the ever-shifting nature of perception and experience. With this body of work, he presents a year’s worth of accumulated moments: things that caught his attention, made him laugh, and influenced his thinking and perspective. His text-based drawings and paintings, abstract compositions, experimental noise collages, and dizzyingly complex photomontages come together to represent a world in constant flux.
Cucullu borrows from his surrounding environment—news snippets, political musings, song lyrics, overheard (and sometimes misheard) conversations—translating incidental encounters into language-based compositions. He pairs his enigmatic paintings, drawings, and texts with large-scale wall murals that can be read as a contemporary extension of Dada’s cut-and-paste collages and Surrealist photomontages—artistic techniques that bring together disconnected elements to yield unexpected meanings and associations.
Cucullu plays with visual incongruity and creative possibility by contrasting concepts and imagery to allow for free association, inviting each of us to create our own meaning from his collision of forms and ideas. He sees each day as an evolving sequence of chance moments that gradually add up and, consciously or unconsciously, influence the lens through which we navigate our surroundings. By asking us to bring to his work our own references and experiences, Cucullu simultaneously offers us an opportunity to consider how our perceptions shape us and influence our understanding of each other and the world around us.
About the Artist
Argentinean-born artist Santiago Cucullu creates multimedia works, spatially unified installations, wall sized murals, sculptures and vibrant paintings on paper. Cucullu emphasizes the subtleties of intuitive pacing and spatial orientation by creating works using a duality of materials and appropriation to indicate that an exhibition space can act to trigger memories and experiences that we may encounter as rarified moments.
Reflecting quotidian familiarity, the works act to displace and highlight frictions and narratives that we form to survive. Often his works disrupt ideas of a uniformed reality by displacing representations of culture onto one another; these representations stand in for the artist and ask the viewer to adopt their nuances onto their own experiences.
Since 2014 he has collaborated with Ching Suru Radio Hour on Riverwest Radio WXRW 104.1 with Chuck Quarino and Marc Fench. The radio show is an amalgamation of free form electronic effects that clash and meld noise soundscapes into a turbulence of humanity.
A longtime resident of Milwaukee, Cucullu has exhibited at a number of institutions including the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; MOMA, New York, The Walker Art Center; and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles among others.
Programming and Events
Santiago Cucullu Artist Talk
Generous support for exhibition programming has been provided by the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.