Working with painting, sculpture, installation and video, Cristiano Carotti develops his research on the most extreme consequences of social dynamics, focusing on the study of the archetypical power of symbols on communities.

Cristiano Carotti: Stessa Spiaggia, Stesso Mare
Curated by Eleonora Aloise and Carlo Maria Lolli Ghetti
17 November – 22 December, 2018
White Noise Gallery, Rome

What could have possibly transformed the icon of Average Joe’s summer into a goofy self-defence tool for the masses?
How can we be scared again of the Mediterranean Sea, perceived by the general public as a symbol of fear and menace? Shouldn’t be the idea of “mare nostrum” a simple heritage of ancient sailors?
These questions are the core of Cristiano Carotti’s latest solo show at White Noise Gallery: “Stessa Spiaggia, Stesso Mare”.

Working with painting, sculpture, installation and video, Cristiano Carotti develops his research on the most extreme consequences of social dynamics, focusing on the study of the archetypical power of symbols on communities.

The new body of work forms part of his latest research on the new role of the Mediterranean Sea and the most recent migration flows connected with it.

Starting from some leitmotifs of the classical myths, Carotti reflects on the overwhelmed responses of the public opinion and on the threatening symbol that the sea has become once again. In Greco-Roman mythology the terrible monsters that inhabited the Mediterranean were functional to keep the sailors away from the most dangerous areas. But today, words such as “invasion” and “conquer” took the place of “shipwreck” and “whirlpool” as part of the new vocabulary of the fear where the water is no more the main enemy.

That’s why a paddleboat -the merry symbol of Italian beach holidays- became in Carotti’s vision the ridiculous weapon for who gets caught in the specious fear of migrants. It becomes the symbol of everybody has ever yelled the infamous claim: <>. The work, named “Seagull SS17 – prototype for an instrument of people’s self-defence” (165x390x220cm, metal, plastic, varnish, 2018), embodies the two sides of the new xenophobic phenomena of the populist movements. It is a crude and unfitting instrument, yet threatening and dangerous; the perfect tool for the everyman about to face a sea filled again with mythological monsters.

Together with it the show hosts 18 monster heads, half snake, half wolves (Scilla I-XVIII, painted ceramic, variable dimensions, 2018), inspired by the myth of Scilla, and a contemporary version of Cariddi (Cariddi, 140x50x55cm, painted ceramic, 2018), half mermaid, half bodybuilder, conceived like a roman vase found under the sea.
A big sized pictorial work completes the exhibition, Shipwreck of the Birds (280x180 cm, oil on canvas, 2018), a visual vortex inspired by the Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault. The painting represents a satanic waltzer populated by all Carotti’s creatures, all of them who have lost their role of admonishment to become pure fear.