Giuliana Cunéaz

Italy

Giuliana Cunéaz was born in Aosta and lives and works in Milan. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Turin and uses all artistic media, from video-installations to sculpture, from photography to painting, and even painted screens. In the early Nineties, she embarked on an avenue of research that involved exploring forms combined with video experimentation. Her first works convey a personal re-elaboration of minimalist languages and those related to Arte Povera. In 1990 she created Il silenzio delle fate [The silence of the fairies], an installation located in the Valle d’Aosta featuring 24 music iron stands with a marble musical score. Each contained a part of a musical composition, whose entirety was represented by the sum of the single elements. Each music stand, however, had an independent destiny and was located in a place characterised by the memory of a legend about fairies. This work of art, therefore, even then demonstrated a complex multitude, the red thread of all future work. In 1991she created Lucciole [Fireflies], her first video installation with screens that reproduced the fixed image of the space concealed below the television. 1993 was the year of In Corporea Mente, a flexible work that draws its origins from research on the imaginary body, which is considered to have surpassed studies elated to Body Art on an emotional level. Gillo Dorfles judges this work as “portent of a new and, in fair part, original realization of the future of today’s visual art, and perhaps of that of the near future”. Her research on the imaginary body continues in the years that follow with Sub Rosa (1995-1996) which involves creating three videosculptures Corpus in Fabula, Biancaneve and Pneuma where the almost ethereal structures in white and transparent Perspex contain realistic images of blood and flesh taken from heart surgery. The sculpture, basically takes on an ambivalent aspect, between the fabled presence of the body (there is no lack of references to the work of Gustav Klimt) and its physical concreteness. In 1998 with L’Offrande du Coeur and Il Cervello nella Vasca [The brain in a vat] (1998-2000) Giuliana Cunéaz tackles the theme of complexity, one of the crucial areas of her research. The artist questions herself on the creative process and on its development by breaking up the unitariness of the work seen as a simple product. And she does so first by examining a fifteenth century tapestry, whose tapisserie are transformed into an interactive panel, (L’Offrande du Coeur) and then by re-working scientific experiments from a creative perspective (Il Cervello nella Vasca). The latter work also encompassed Transire, a video that examines the alterations of an individual with respect to the ordinary state of consciousness. Giuliana Cunéaz conceives the work of art as a challenge, a passage, or even how to reach the limits of the conscience. In the Officine pastello project (1999-2002) that included Biostory, Riti sciamanici and Discoteca, the artist seeks laboratories of emotions – the officine pastello – aimed to solicit the sphere of sensorial and emotional perception through experimentation on oneself and on others in an unnatural or artificially created environment.

Giuliana Cunéaz