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MMoCA Presents “Santiago Cucullu: You still make me tremble”

Watercolor and acrylic on canvas word illustration that says "dèyè mòn, gen mòn"
Santiago Cucullu, Behind mountains, more mountains, 2021. Watercolor and acrylic on canvas, 10 x 8 inches. Courtesy of the artist, The Alice Wilds, and Galleria Umberto Di Marino.

Santiago Cucullu: You still make me tremble Press Release

MADISON, WI — The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) presents Santiago Cucullu: You still make me tremble, a vibrant assemblage of text-based drawings, paintings, wall-sized murals, and photomontages, opening Nov 20, 2021, in the Museum’s State Street Gallery. 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, influenced his thinking, and impacted his art. His works 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, he simultaneously offers us space to consider how our perceptions shape us and influence our understanding of each other and the world around us.

The Museum will host an exhibition celebration with Cucullu on Saturday, December 11, from 5-8 PM in the MMoCA Lobby. The event is free of charge. MMoCA members’ early access begins at 5 PM and general admission is from 6-8 PM.

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.

About MMoCA

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is always admission-free. Its vision is to be an organization that fosters the exchange of ideas and creates experiences that will inspire a wide audience; be a nexus for the work of emerging and established regional, national, and international artists; serve as a catalyst for the continued development of a vigorous community of artists; and provide a forum that will encourage people to be challenged by, reflect on, and make connections between art and the world around them.

The Museum includes four galleries and The Shop, a recently opened space to provide interactive contemporary art experiences and educational workshops to the community.

The Museum’s Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view which serves as a lovely venue for weddings, art openings, dining, and cinema.

MMoCA’s galleries are open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon to 6 PM. The Museum also has a slate of online events, including education workshops, lectures, and virtual tours. Please visit mmoca.org to learn more.

Published on Nov 17 2021

Last Updated on May 24 2022

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