The performances highlight a fundamental characteristic of my work, that of always being performative even when it is not expressed in the language of action in the traditional sense of the term. They represent borrowings of the body expressed in an obvious form to emphasise a posture, an attitude. The body is used as a bridge that opens passages between inner and outer space and manifests a boundary.
The idea of reversible crossing that is found in all my works is expressed more clearly and visibly here. The spectator is not invited to take part through epiphanies. On the contrary, his participation is stimulated through a process of inner attunement necessary to perceive the works. The body lends itself to visible materialisations of a condition that is simply presented to the spectators and to myself. Without offering answers or solutions, but by activating processes that last beyond the vision of the work.
Wind of change
Performance – Rome, Arte in nuvola, 2023
A thread the color of blood and a needle moving between the fingers of an artist. Hours and hours stitching up a sail as a metaphor for deep suturing. Never, as in these days, does a performance succeed in capturing the drama of the historical moment we are going through. Because the artist’s gaze always goes beyond.
Performance in three swimming pools – Milan, Pontresina and Sacca Fisola, 2003
Hallenbad Project is the testimony of a performance realised in three swimming pools – Milan, Pontresina and Sacca Fisola. The complex installation presents a meticulous reconstruction of the phases of the project: the preparatory drawings, the swimming costume, the white bandages, the video footage taken by the artist herself while she is swimming and by the crew that follows her walking with the equipment along the sides of the pool. In the photographic portraits she appears constrained but authoritative in her heavy armour. The sound installation introduces us into a floating mental space in which we perceive the echo of the artist’s arm movements and breathing. Time is measured by the rhythm of the breath. The gesture combines spontaneity and precision, showing the inseparable relationship between body and mind. In her we find the essence of the dramatic fact: the existential dimension that Letizia Cariello presents to us crosses the centuries, has no temporal collocation, draws rhythm from the heartbeat and motivation from the inner impulse.
2003, Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art, Prato. Letizia Cariello, Hallenbad Project curated by Daniel Soutiff and Stefano Pezzato
2004, Assab-One, in Campo Neutro #01 curated by Roberto Pinto , Milan. Letizia Cariello presents three of the ten sections that make up Hallenbad Project: the sound installation Hallenbad Sound and Hallenbad Portraits, already exhibited at the Centro Pecci in Prato, and the moke-up of the book, Hallenbad Book-installation.
2006, HALLENBAD BOOK – with Lea Vergine, Charta, Milano.
2006, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino. Hallenbad Book presentation and screening of Hallenbad Backstage Brescia
2019, Video Sound Art festival – il Resto Liceo Volta, Milan.
Im-Fluss (In piedi controcorrente)
Performance in the Flaz River, Pontresina CH, 2012
A person resists against the tide.
Standing immersed up to half of the femurs in the river water. This is a project about courage, born from an internal image and destined to become a video work shot in 16mm, with a soundtrack.
This is a work about punishment and sacrifice. From 1999 to 2006, I took over 30 images featuring self-portraits of part of my body. The Body Pieces show sections of my body with handwritten calendars on them. I wrote the numbers and letters on my stomach myself; legs, neck, face, feet, using a black ink pen. The numbers and capital letters indicate the Italian names of the days of the week. They are written in vertical rows, immediately after a swim in a Milanese swimming pool.
Sometimes I protect a part of my body with a white bandage before writing directly on my skin. To take self-portraits of body sections, you need to hold the acrobatic posture for about 3 minutes.