ADRIANA DANIELA CIOCCI
Adriana Daniela Ciocci is a multimedia artist, born, and until recently, based in the United States. She holds a BFA from the University of Delaware and an MFA from Penn State University. Ciocci is currently finishing an interdisciplinary master's in humanities from NYU and will start a PhD at the University of Toronto in the fall of 2021. Her academic research will be focused on early modern artistic experimentation within the history of science. Her studio work is dedicated to constructions of nature, loss, and transformation.
Near my father's hometown in Umbria, the mortal remains of Saint Valentine and Saint Rita of Cascia are displayed in gilded glass cases. They are a strange marriage of religion, morbidity, and aesthetics. These sacred human relics partially inspired my early curiosity in the relationship between materiality and meaning. The inspiration drove me to work exclusively with precious sentimental materials for a time. Eventually, I realized the actions that bring artwork into being are as imbued with meaning as the materials that make up the final product. In my current studio practice, material experimentation leads me to discover processes that become the embodiment of their influence. The resulting sculptures have layers of meaning cultivated through each production phase, from naming the piece to displaying it.
La Sirena is a collection of seashells cast from discarded or typically unnoticed materials; dust and chicken egg membranes. The title refers to the Italian or Spanish translation, the mermaid, and the similar and often confused siren myth. One is typically seen as benevolent, and the other violent. It is an allusion to creation and destruction in that the dismantling of one object gives way to another. In this instance, the absent mercreature referenced in the title is replaced by another symbol of the sea, suggesting an unseen transformation or remnant of loss. The materials represent the importance of the discarded minutiae that make up the everyday and often go unacknowledged. Each off-white shell is a cast made from bookbinding glue and chicken egg membranes. The egg membranes reference leftovers of production. The dust alludes to the dead skin cells suffused in the air around us, representing everyday waste at its most invisible and ubiquitous. The pins reference historical attempts to preserve, organize and classify nature into distinct bodies of knowledge such as entomology. These accumulated references serve to elevate the discarded materials, traditionally rendered invisible by our habituation to their presence, in order to reframe the viewer's perceptions of the materials' potential and their ongoing relationships to "waste."
Replica(s): Demitasse Spoon is a relic of a three-part series based on studies of mimetic theory, specifically the concepts of the copy and its relationship to originality and authorship. Ultimately, all three pieces aimed to approach the same goal from different perspectives: that is, to question what gives something value and how the appearance of an object shapes its worth. The unshown works in the series, Replica(s): Raspberries and Replica(s): Dala Horse, no longer exist. Each was made of unstable materials. Aside from their images, the only tangible relic of the series’ existence is Replica(s): Demitasse Spoon. It was made from silver leaf and bookbinding glue. As an archival adhesive, bookbinding glue is reversible under the right conditions and lends the cast plasticity, thereby making it less solid than it appears. When touched, the reality of its pliable and delicate nature clashes with the traditional understanding of a spoon as a rigid object. Like most of my work, its instability gives the impression that it is between states of becoming and coming undone.