PRINT October 1985


CINZIA RUGGERI PRACTICES POLYGAMY in her studio in Milan. Simultaneously married to the natural and the artifical, the raw and the crooked, she knits a multilingual fabric of architecture, fashion, design, photography, anthropology, geology and ecology. The offspring are contemporary totems.

Writing about Claude Lévi-Strauss, Octavia Paz notes, “the products of culture-myths, institutions, language are not essentially different from natural products nor do they obey different laws from these which their homologous cells. Everything is living material which changes. . . . We come from nature and we return to it. Except that now it is a jungle of symbolic . . . ” In fact Ruggeri has dedicated work to Lévi-Strauss, and this quote aptly describes her bricoleur ideas as well. There are fabrics printed from photographs of grass (including a four leaf clover), cobblestones, and marble; there are behavioral clothes printed with liquid crystals which change color according to body temperature; there’s a garden wall dress and a raincoat with thunder, lightening and wind; and there’s lots more.

This project for Artforum brings up another aspect of Ruggeri’s creativity her ambience of high wit. Here it’s l’esprit de l’escalier, the witty retort thought up after the conversation is finished and one is on one’s way downstairs.

Ingrid Sischy