The work which the artist has created for the space at TOAST in Florence explores the figure of the Swan, observing it and examining its aesthetic, expressive and symbolic value, both in the collective imagination and in cultural production. The project is divided into two chapters, with Swan Lake inside the exhibition space, and Swan Dance outside.
The installation Swan Lake will transform the space at TOAST into the backdrop for a choreographed dance of swans, re-imagined through the use of domestic materials. The swans which will inhabit the lake take the form of folded cloth napkins, aluminium wires and taps, redolent of the table decorations that are used for special occasions. Seeing this composition of inanimate objects opens the doors to our imagination, in the same way that people at the theatre follow the succession of acts, follow the plot, and admire the choreography, music and costumes. Like a traveller, sitting on the shore, contemplating the calm and silent surface of the lake, and imagining the history of its inhabitants.
This original project, specially designed for TOAST, is completed with the second chapter: the performance Swan Dance, created in response to an installation by Swedish artist Jaana-Kristiina Alakoski. As with the installation, the performance on the role and the characteristics of the figure of the swan in contemporary culture, focusing on its movements and emotions. The dance performance is accompanied by the delicate rhythms of finger cymbals. Above all, the choreography has been inspired by the movement of swans, which us humans interpret as expressions of affection and love, extrapolating these qualities from the physiology and the constellation of muscles that create these patterns of movement. The performance, like the installation, resonates with the history of western european dance, music and narrative, which romantically mythologises the swan. However, the context of the artistic performance by a single performer changes its impact with the viewer. The public is offered a direct connection and a question of empathy: what would it be like to be a swan?
Guendalina Cerruti (born 1992) is an italian artist based in London. After receiving a diploma in Visual Arts at NABA in Milan, she earned a Masters in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London. In her work, Guendalina creates installations, compositions of objects, sculptures and images, and her imagination is often drawn to things that reference domesticity and family. On a figurative and material level, Guendalina’s installations recall domestic scenes, appropriating their objects, structures, spatial and practical logistics, as well as their aesthetic elements. The process and the research behind the choice of each object or image, and the way in which they are related to each other, observes and examines the most complex definitions of domesticity and family. It deepens their relationship with the concept of identity and how we experience this identity on a daily basis within the spaces and through the objects that surround us.
Jaana-Kristiina Alakoski (born 1992) is a Swedish-Finnish artist based in London, where she earned a diploma in Visual Arts at the university of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Her work revolves around the idea of performance as an action, performance in image and around the installation itself. In her work, Jaana-Kristiina is interested in performance in the context of social interaction – both online and offline, as inseparable dimensions that have hosted human socialisation for more than 30 years, following the introduction of the Internet and the creation of the digital divide. Jaana-Kristiina questions the formation and philosophical analysis of the self, in relation to the symbolic codification and decoding of boundaries, the body, actions, things and materials. It is a constant negotiation between states of being within a social, emotional, political and physical reality.