Sissi, trame e colori della vita interiore

Maura Pozzati, Il Corriere della Sera, October 9, 2022
Her solo exhibition at Maggiore g.a.m. In this series of works there is the two years' ISOLATION experience. The digital transformation
 
 
«Trasguardi» is the title of bolognese artist Sissi's second personal exhibition at Maggiore g.a.m. in Via D'Azeglio: it's a neologism from Italian, made by the word  «tra» from trama (weft) and «sguardi» (gazes). Actually these last works by Sissi, made during the two years of the pandemic, are strongly pictorial, both because of the use of vivid and bright colors and figuration, that suddenly appears from the inner world, freed by a long and patient weaving process.
 
Weaving as the essence of life
To Sissi, weaving is equivalent to being, it pursues a slow pace and thread is an element that brings together, it knots and it generates relationships. Besides, the artist has always relied on the thread in order to bring together what's inside and what's outside and also to create a double of her own body able to be in dialogue with space and become sculpture: just like the works realized with wool thread and brooms sticks  from her youth, the entangled crochet scoubidou or her rattan nests; all of her work have something to do with weaving and sewing,  universally spread women's activities, in every society and every culture.
 
The entangled thread becomes digital
In this last series of works, though, there is both the experience of the two years of isolation and the e-learning classes for the Fine Arts Academy that forced Sissi to a «digital» transformation, to use the computer as a screen, to see the sewn stitch as a pixel, building frames that in the end are like windows from which weird characters take looks. They are imaginary figures with a strong personality that remind of Brut Art figures due to their being spontaneous and visionary. As a matter of facts, the entangled thread may evoke the Internet web metaphorically, a macrotext of conversations that hosts data and information offered and collected by multimedia tools: in English web means also spider web, entanglement, so the reference to a sewing frame is strong. A wool or cotton  thread, a thread to spin and wrap around a spindle, the cotton thread for crochet (in Sissi's works it's a safety pin that goes through the weft) must be considered as a plot line, because all the works here exhibited are tied by a thread, that «ties» together the characters created by narrator Sissi's hands who enjoys multiplying the shapes, both of the sewing frame and the weft, to tell the multi-diversity of the species, its complexity and transformation ability.
 
The sewing frame, supporting structure
There are different frames, thought as bones that hold muscles fibers and many different characters made of colored threads. It rings the bell about Maria Lai's work from the Sixties, when the artist from Sardinia enhanced the sewing frame, the object used to sew, to an art object, creating works in which the sewing frame became protagonist with new roles. But while in Maria Lai's art the sewing frame becomes the support that gives life to her inventions, in Sissi's the ceramic frame is a bone motif, a supporting structure that deals with the human body and its anatomy, the life motif to all her making. Thus, as if the order of the  works set up on the walls like paintings wants to be broken, two sculptures in the exhibit remind us of the manual effort behind this object production and the handwork. Using Francesca Rigotti's words to describe Sissi's cogitans hand: «[her hand] collects, but it does not leave to rest what she picked, instead, she shakes it, she tirelessy displaces it... Thanks to body hands and mind hands, in all these processes inert material is shaped and used actively». So wefts, threads and sewing frames, out of the feminine domestic universe, spread out, multiply, stretch, swing, get knotted and entangled like strings that play different musical motifs: it's up to us to examine shapes, to enter the manual process, to retie the stitches and cross the glances.
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