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Photographic Murals Open up New Ways of Understanding the Complexity of Contemporary Life

Photographic Murals Open up New Ways of Understanding the Complexity of Contemporary Life

Santiago Cucullu: The Wandering Rocks is On View Now

The Wandering Rocks Press Release

MADISON, WI—The Wandering Rocks is an installation of floor-to-ceiling photographic murals and painted vessels by Santiago Cucullu that presents viewers with an enveloping collision of visual information that creates new ways of seeing, experiencing, and understanding the complexity and interconnectedness of contemporary life.

The commissioned, site-specific installation features murals comprised of photographs Cucullu captured both locally and around the world. The entryway to the artist’s apartment complex in Milwaukee, the view from inside a billowing tent in Montana, a Hindu temple in South India, and a covered pedestrian walkway in Bologna, Italy, are among the images that, in total, create a perceptual shifting of space, depth, and perspective for viewers.

For the artist, these images represent moments from his life when architecture marked a boundary between different states of being. As such, if a photograph “freezes time,” then the frozen time embodied in these murals are distinct occasions of transformation and change.

The installation also includes surprising visual interpolations in the form of 18 colorful ceramic plates affixed to the murals. Like the images that envelop them, the plates are indicative of shifts and transitions, serving as the end points of one visual idea and movement to another—similar to punctuation in passages of text. Loose, gestural line work in blues, oranges, yellows, and greens cover the surface of the ceramics, helping to break up the grey tones and sharp angularity of the printed murals.

Cucullu’s work also hearkens to literature. The number of ceramic plates and title of the installation reference the 18 vignettes in “The Wandering Rocks” chapter of James Joyce’s epic Modernist tome, Ulysses. Just as each of Joyce’s 18 vignettes transition the reader from one narrative episode to the next and serve as an integral part of the larger chapter, each of Cucullu’s 18 ceramic vessels transitions the viewer from one visual thought to the next while functioning together as elements of a unified whole.

As we traverse MMoCA’s transitional corridor now occupied by The Wandering Rocks, Cucullu asks us to consider the boundaries or thresholds we have advanced through during our own wanderings, and how the cumulative impacts of these moments gradually shift each of us.

About the Artist

Santiago Cucullu was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He holds an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (1999). Cucullu’s work has been shown both nationally and internationally. Solo exhibitions of his work were presented at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, and Loock Galerie in Berlin. His work has been in a number of group exhibitions, including shows at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Wisconsin Triennial (2010, 2013). He is represented by Alice Wilds (Milwaukee) and Galleria Umberto DiMarino (Italy).

About MMoCA

Housed in a soaring, Cesar Pelli-designed building, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art provides free exhibitions and education programs that engage people in modern and contemporary art. The museum’s four galleries offer changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view. The museum is open: Thursday, noon–8 pm; Friday, noon–8 pm; Saturday, 10 am–8 pm; Sunday, 10 am–5 pm; and is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

Images

Attribution

Santiago Cucullu, The Wandering Rocks, 2020. Digital inkjet print, and stoneware vessels, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Galleria Umberto Di Marino and The Alice Wilds.

Attribution

Santiago Cucullu, The Wandering Rocks, 2020. Digital inkjet print, and stoneware vessels, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Galleria Umberto Di Marino and The Alice Wilds.

Attribution

Santiago Cucullu, The Wandering Rocks, 2020. Digital inkjet print, and stoneware vessels, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Galleria Umberto Di Marino and The Alice Wilds.

Santiago Cucullu's digital inkjet print with stoneware vessels called "The Wandering Rocks"

Attribution

Santiago Cucullu, The Wandering Rocks, 2020. Digital inkjet print, and stoneware vessels, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Galleria Umberto Di Marino and The Alice Wilds.

Published on Aug 24 2020

Last Updated on May 26 2022

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