For its second season, from November 16, 2022 to April 15, 2023, FOROF presents Sortilegio, a site-specific solo exhibition by Alex Cecchetti, artist, poet, gardener and choreographer. The artist has conceived a shamanic environment where different elements lead the public to abandon itself and encounter Nature.
Through sounds, narratives and scents, the show is an ode to nature and an invitation to identify with it reminding us that we owe our lives to other species, like the air we breathe is acquired from the oceans and forests. In this cohabitation and interdependence, however, we have forgotten love. Although we love this planet, habits have clouded us for too long. With this spell, the artist wants to draw the heart out of the chest of anyone who is involved.
"In the environmental urgency we are experiencing today, it is all too clear to everyone how counterproductive it is to control and exploit Nature as a resource to which nothing is owed, not even respect. - Says Alex Cecchetti - It is counterproductive because Nature always wins, the seed always wins, it is we who lose. We are nature, we are part of it, we won’t cease being part of it even when we’re dead. It is however our very being as a species, our own life that is in danger.”
Alex Cecchetti (born 1977, died 2014, resurrected 2021) is an artist, poet, gardener and choreographer. Difficult to classify, his work can be considered as the art of the un-representable: tactile and poetic, aesthetic and materialistic, it creates mental and physical environments in which the spectators are part of the art work. Alex Cecchetti pays attention to the small yet significant shifts of meanings, sensations and perceptions which open up audiences to imaginative experiences of inner transformation. His artworks, which he refers to as incantations, turn play, poetry and collaborations with more-than-human beings into catalysts for near-mystical experiences of the everyday.
Invited to walk backward through a garden or don skirts to dance like dervishes to the music of frequencies of planets in the solar system, spectators are no longer defined to the role of observers. Asleep to a human choir singing like whales, or enraptured by cocktails and potions made from local plants and love stories, viewers are transported into a spell experienced both mentally and physically. For Sortilegio, Alex Cecchetti wanted to produce the new works on the territory of Rome, collaborating with wood craftsmen, ceramists, glassmakers, dancers and gardeners, with the desire to give life to a community that dialogues around aesthetic and ecological issues.
Recent exhibitions and incantations include: SENTIERO per Biennale Gherdeina (recipient of the Italian Council prize of the Italian Ministry of Culture 2022), MAXXI, Rome (2021), SEMA Seoul Museum of Art (Seoul, KOR) and Netwerk Aalst with Laure Prouvost (2020), Serpentine Galleries London and Castello di Rivoli (2019), Spike Island, Bristol, (2018). Palais de Tokyo, Paris; CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (all in 2017). Playground Festival and M Leuven & STUK, Leuven, (all in 2016); Serralves, Porto, (2014); South London Gallery (2013); MAXXI, Rome and Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius (2012).
SENTIERO, Alex Cecchetti’s most recent walk based project, takes audiences on one-on-one experiences along a mountain path that brings together spirituality, ecological sensitivity and more-than-human poetry. Moving between poem, love story, incantation and myth, SENTIERO accompanies audiences and their guides through encounters with non-human persons (plants, animals, minerals), their stories, their different forms of worldmaking and experiencing sensations. Part place-based intervention, part-community project, SENTIERO creates new paths among the mountains as an archetype for a journey towards the unknown, guided by human and non-human knowledge forms and accompanied by collaborators including plants, seasons and stars. For SENTIERO, a cohort of guides harking from different disciplines and harbouring different passions – from dance to music, speaking to birds, studying dreams – has been trained to accompany audience members along their journeys to a place of shelter at the end of the path, a specially- constructed architecture echoing that of a yurt, created through eco-printing techniques, where the sensory experiences of food, smell, sound and colour are all derived from the artist’s deep engagement with local communities and ecologies.