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Cuban artist Wifredo Prieto (*1978, Sancti Spíritus) will present an exhibition of all new work, produced during his residency period in Naples, taking over the entire building of Palazzo Caracciolo di Avellino: Fondazione Morra Greco becomes Fondazione Morra Prieto.
Everything Prieto creates is broadly identifiable as sculpture, in the most classical sense of removing extraneous matter in order to get to the core of the form, in a mathematical operation of subtraction and synthesis. His essential approach makes everything immediately identifiable; his interventions are so subtle that the artist’s hand can hardly be discerned, his manipulations so minimal that the artworks are visually nearly identical to the objects that compose them.
However, Prieto’s work is never self-contained or self-referential. If objects are tools for communication, then his titles are tools to activate that communication. Beyond simply identifying the works, they are an instrumental part of them, rendering them as provocative and meaningful as they are precarious and humble. These titles are catalysts for the modification of the viewer’s gaze, loading light objects with heavy meaning. Prieto works with common elements – “common” in the sense of being both easily found and being publicly shared –, that trigger associative meanings, both intimate and collective.
If the individual objects, without the contextualizing components of their titles and placement within the museum’s legitimating space, seem insufficient as autonomous artworks, it is because their status relies on their existence within a network of relations, between each other, between inside and outside, between the museum and the neighbourhood that they spill into.
Havana and Naples are interconnected in being similarly fertile ground for chaos and crisis, both of which are creative generators in Prieto’s work. Prieto is a keen observer of the world around him; he is receiver of information, and translator of that information into art. The topics he touches are deeply rooted in contemporary reality, the objects he employs are alibis for a socially, politically, and economically critical discourse, an investigation from which he does not intend to “turn a blind eye”.
Prieto is an object-based artist in a digital image culture, displacing and building relations between common objects, placing them under linguistic tension. He condenses knowledge in order to adapt to a fast-moving era, facilitating a transaction between the work and the world. From the monumental to the imperceptible, from the universal to the particular, from the stars and planets to human beings and their everyday objects, Prieto creates a cosmology of elements, all connected in a relentless search for equilibrium.
Fondazione Morra Greco wishes to thank Emanuela and Fabrizio, Enrica, Guido, Lorenzo, Pasquale, tightrope walker artist Filippo Franco, Franco the greengrocer, ‘Officina d’arti grafiche di Carmine Cervone’, Vincenzo Guarino of Giustino Costruzioni and the restaurant ‘La Lanternina’, the mechanics Antonio, Giovanni, Luigi and all the residents of Largo Proprio di Avellino.
All images Courtesy Fondazione Morra Greco, Napoli
© Maurizio Esposito