AROUND THE GAME
“Never as in this era so restless and obvious social and cultural drift where there are no benchmarks, the artist is called to bear witness to this state of malaise. In particular Italy, Country that is a crucible of contradictions of positive and negative effects which cancel each other and where, however go behind, to the possibility of something. Cristina Cherchi is one who believes. She works with instruments of her time, the visual arts, which are its action field (she has been teaching in the field). If the installations have their own autonomy express each of them a well-defined concept and even the whole appears as a well-defined discourse. The common feature of the various moment is a formal playfulness, however, is only the backdrop to content denser, and, in hindsight, disturbing. That to which Cherchi alludes in our progressive and dramatic not to be, our world in which everything appears only to be consumed and disappear leaving nothing but empty echoes. Everything is done graffiti, and sign of which you are likely to lose the sense, in this secularized world, where people and things and the same backdrop on which are projected to have a sour scent dream. Architects and victims of a system that has them trapped in a freezing every moment apparent lucidity, because we have lost the innocence of origins. Therefore, a shift in anthropological sense (especially cultural) as can be seen from one of installation, the allegorical Pinocchioitagliaocchio, or Italy that searches its own identity. Taking seeds of truth even in the middle of the swamp. And it can only do retracing memory, individual and collective, just as Cherchi suggests, to regain lost innocence”. (Antonio Mazza)
DO NOT TRAMPLE THE CALM PEDESTRIAN
Four photographs and an installation featured in the exhibition. They are not few if we talk about Cristina Cherchi. They are more than enough to project ourselves into the world of the artist. I’m sorry, in the whirl of the artist.
Cristina uses a reproduction means as the pothograph, but spotlight, plasma and turns it in the notion that she has in her mind. A thought for a creative person continues to grow, to evolves, sometimes has the force of contradiction. This happens in these works, where the many readings are the result of this creative and philosophical process. Opened process from an intense dialogue with the nature, and with the complicated and surrounding reality. The images take us to the comparison with an upside-down world. This cosmos, apparently confused, gives a fantasy magic sense. One proposes like a refuge idealized in your hidden child. Later he communicates you the anguish, these images are not the heaven, they hide something. The dark colours warn you. The darkness is not heat but attention symbol. The alarm arrives. The objects of an innocent and ludic past, multiply to the infinite.
Where are we going? What will wait for us? Places well-known, pricked fixed in our minds appear as ghosts of memories far, silhouetted on the raw truth background. Forms to the appearance without sense turn themselves into voices that we have to listen. Silent shouting of our present reveals that the world, before judged absurd, is our world, spotless in the truth and shown from who, before us, been able to analyse with the heart all that surround us, then showing it to us without veils. (Benedetta Salvi)
The art of Cristina Cherchi, extremely modern, in repetition intentional, has numerous reading keys, equally valid. The artist is, in a certain sense, the mirror of the society in which she lives and not a single social system in history has had for us the complexity of what we live. So is impossible to find only a point of view or an univocal system of values at the same time and the deciphering of the reality of the things becomes difficult. Cristina Cherchi, with her restless sensibility, gets the fragments of modernity and gives back in form of repetitive symbols, of repetitive and obsessive images, like a mantra. Cristina Cherchi duplicates moments of reality to understand all processes, the dark sense of a world that escapes us. From this borns the refined work of Cristina on the photography that, by means for excellence, fated to reproduce, to copy, becomes the means by which the current becomes decomposed, analysed in its components. More essentials, namely those relating at the domains of unconscious and of exigences more atavics. Where it might otherwise arise distressing images that haunt us with their disturbing suggestions? The empty eye sockets that hold us back to the darkest sides of our being, is obscure because primitive and irrational. These symbols become almost sacred totems in their distance and incomprehensibility, repeated as idols, almost like a prayer, a prayer to understand. It is clear the link with the transcendent, the value that could be termed religious works by the artist in this search for an ultimate sense of things, something that lies beyond the material appearances beyond this, this middle unknowable and unreachable is what tends each make artistic, is every human experience, and it is their validity. (Lucia Zanotti)
THE GAME OF CRISTINA CHERCHI
Cristina Cherchi distinguishes herself for capacity to create a tin thread that inflects art with other disciplines (literature, music, cinema, design). After classic academic course, after the practice of engraving with good results, Cristina Cherchi approaches the innovative use of materials like resin, plastic, paper, glue that arranges with a wise use of retouching photography and creates evocative and original installations. She is been defined, also if the definition is reductive, new-surrealist. She shows a vision of disenchantment and playful world. Her works are based on the game: childish game, creative vent, innocent approach and open to the world, dialectical game, sometimes conflicts between parts of world and human being. For example, man and woman dynamic, tested in “Woman and Jack”.
Cristina Cherchi “deceives” (it is not a case) the observer with visual pleasure, that involves many senses. To understand the reflection of the artist we may go back to the origins of game (ludus for ancient romans) and to the various changes (ludus was a recreation game, but it was also tourney, challenge, sometimes it was combacts. Ludi were games of gladiators: the prize was the life; ludus was theatrical performance, but also school, game of literature. Johan Huizinga in “Homo Ludens”  analyses the game as fondamenta of every cultural and social organization. When children play they impersonate roles or situations that will live when they will grow up. Huizinga writes: “Real culture cannot exists without a certain quality game ”).
The fondamental value of game is pure pleasure. The romans assimilated game and literature. Both haven’t got any practical reason to exist, they are separated from material necessity. With the game we learn the culture of society by children and with culture we play by adults. Game is art when Cristina Cherchi plays with observer. In “Eatable Pedestrian Crossing” a childhish world made with small cars and toffees subtends the voracity of a consumestic society (eats). “Woman and Jack” hints to the risk of game between man and woman. The risk, the challenge, the dynamics roles are evocatived. But they are not tragics. The allusion goes to social organization where materialism and consumerism reign. Even the etern dynamic male-female is a consumption object. Cristina Cherchi is delicate, not aggressive. She looks different from neo-pop, she proposes the themes, the observer is free. Themes emerge by allusive interaction of suggestions and quotations. “To Play With Tact” is a polished style by reinaissance echos (cupids on a dolphin of raphaelesque memory; a doll on a rocking-horse). The work conjugates a cut almost artisan into its manual wise with a thin but kind critique to a civilization that means game as antagonism or unsettle. We find this in “They Appear Suddenly In The Deep Of The Night Into Wood”. Like in a fairy-tale or in a Tim Burton’s movie, into an obscure and desolate wood, a small bed and a chair are enlightened by the moon. The sweetness of childish reference is contradicted by obscure wood. Is it a real landscape? Is it an illusion? Is it a fairy-house? Is it a witch’s trap as the house of Hansel and Gretel? Are not, sometimes, houses and daily lands obscures and mysteriouses? Cristina Cherchi doesn’t crush our illusion with shouted messages, she shows us with sweetness the concealed turn of reality. This tact, a careful meditation, a deep artistic knowledge, give large evidence to the works of Cristina Cherchi, works never trite, but acute, surprising. (Lucia zanotti)
THE MAGIC OF DISORIENTATION
Sometimes happens to be in front of works that possess unequivocal fascination, fascination of loss. So are the works of Cristina Cherchi, considerable artist of Brescia (Italy). She creates works that arrange a lot of languages, strongly evocative languages. The toys, very often in her works, appear reassuring, they belong at childish world, not threatening. After a first approach, we realize that the artist is attracting us inside her trap. In the world of toys no human presences, it is a dark world full of mysterious forces. The objects are often transfigured by white colour. This contradiction fascinates and attracts us.
Game is action, or occupation, into definite limits of time and space, in accordance with engagement rule. However action, or occupation, engages in absolutely way and it finishes itself. “Accompanied by a sense of tension and joy, and by the conscience to be different by ordinary life”, says the artist mentioning the philosopher Joseph Huizinga. With this key of difference, the artist reveals ironic look of contemporary society. Trained in painting at Academy of Arts in Bergamo (Italy), under guidance of the photographer Mario Cresci, in 1994 has received the scholarship “Gianna Maffeis Milesi” for technicals of engraving; in 1995 the Special Award for technicals of engraving. From 2004 she teaches visual arts and painting disciplines at the high-school of arts “Foppa” in Brescia (Italy). She has obtained national and international recognitions.
Is not possible to condense in not many lines the course of search and the expositive experiences of Cristina Cherchi. I send back to her Internet site. (Silvia Casilli)
TO PLAY WITH CRISTINA CHERCHI’S WORLD
My works concern the game. My artistic search regard childish amusement, free vent of creativeness and an innocent approach to the open world. My artistic search regards also game in sense of dialectic and in sense of social conflict between player and antagonist. I intend to do a universal meditation between to be introspective and the world that surrounds us. In some cases an illusion can be a game-over, where the roles are well structured, in some cases the players, better the men, act without aim of victory. In the design phase of creativity I make a ironic pun in relation with materials and articles that are assembled in sequence and describe unreal and dreamlike sculptures. Sometimes I look at literary quotation, proverbs, metaphors. Very often, thanks to the work, I create contradictions. In this case is important the absence of a human figure. Without human figure I treat objects, I search and I get contradictions that stimulate the observer to identify hypothetical solutions and questions. I reuse everyday objects; I prefer recycled materials or démodé objects. Particularly I use toy-objects. The creation of a play-acting or of an installation may be inspired also by daily facts that are scanned by mass-media. This source of inspiration is analyzed during the structure of installations or sculptures where the contest (or the subject) is paradoxical and determines a turnover of sense. Without thinking I play with every object; I dismount; I refix; I rebuilt. I create environments and installations that the spectator must solve an apparent enigma that hides itself as well as its meanings. The men play with toys. Does exist a link between the object and who owns it?
Another source of inspiration is dreamlike world that suggests me how to operate. I associate my works with all elements who create allusions. I reflect about the history of the objects, to create a narration or to generate a paradox, a kind of bewilderment. (Cristina Cherchi)
“Game is an action or a voluntary occupation inside time-space bounds, in an absurd role which however committed itself, accompanied by a sense of tension and of joy, and by the fact ‘to be different’ from ‘ordinary life’”. (Johan Huizinga).