Christian Frosi

The governing principle behind Christian Frosi’s installations is trans- formation. Negating the original function of the things and tools he appropriates, the artist builds structures that appear as ensembles of objects placed in relationship to one another, not on the basis of formal qualities or iconography but as constituents of a process. What matters is not the individual element and its function, but rather the overall system. Superimposition, dovetailing, alignment, and opposition are some of the basic ordering principles. One of the four works conceived by the artist for this exhibition is LLLLLLLLLLLI (all works 2009) (The absurdity of the titles that Frosi assigns to his works may in itself be another key to their interpretation.) This work is an installation made up of a kind of bike rack attached to the wall, supporting a long, hanging transparent tube into which a parachute has been inserted. It was not possible, apparently, to push the large mass of fabric all the way down the narrow tube, and the parachute projects out halfway, stretching out on the floor. The artist does not begin with the intended function of the objects, but on the contrary adapts them for experimental and unwonted functions. Thus attention shifts toward procedure itself, its mechanics and its intrinsic possibilities.

Frosi’s structures are proposed as puzzles or rebuses, but they do not yield definitive explanation. The dualities that often organize them (fixity/movement, fluidity/solidity, rigidity/softness, for example) suggest a passage from one state to
another and thus introduce the idea of transformation but also of loss of balance, precariousness, and instability. To this end, ////////// ghosta nati is an ensemble of wooden bars hung on a wall pierced with holes. The bars can be arranged in many ways to create different configurations. In reality, however, the work is only potentially performative, as the holes are high up and out of reach. We can see the possibility of movement, but it is blocked. Similarly, New Title UEUEUEUEUE is a wheelbarrow heated by a flame. The process refers to an old artisanal method for fusing metals, but Fusi’s wheelbarrow is empty. Here too, the process of transformation is expressed in “potential” and not literal terms.

Frosi’s work often reveals a fascination with discovery and scientific experiment, and indeed he sometimes seems to act as a designer or a scientist, but with a taste for alchemy and the absurd. New Title OIOIOIOIOIO consists of gallery lights dismantled and piled on the floor. The repetitions of vowels and consonants in the titles seem like incoherent or infantile babbling, evoking a preverbal state in which feeling and thought do not translate into a logical system. The titles are a game, certainly, a provocation, but I like to think that they check the perfection or efficacy of the system itself. The titles imply the playful aspect of things and thus the variations and possibilities that exist within given rules. In this sense, they affirm the principles established in the works’ physical components, those of transformation, mutability, and instability.

Alessandra Pioselli

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.