Essiccatoio Art Residency
Gagliano del Capo, Italy
curated by Ilaria Despina Bozzi
Essiccatoio Art Residency is delighted to announce Las Huellas del Petróleo (The Traces of Oil), a solo-show by Hernán Pitto Bellocchio. Inaugurating the first edition of the art residency program, the exhibition is held in an ancient tobacco drying house in Gagliano del Capo – now home to collectors Patrizio and Marina Ziggiotti.
The Chilean artist in residence Hernán Pitto Bellocchio carries out an investigation and mapping of gas stations in Gagliano del Capo and its surroundings, continuing a research developed two years ago between Italy and Chile. Oil architectures – serial and standardized
– dot urban centres and roads. As aesthetic icons these stations inspired Edward Hopper’s paintings through their solitary presence, Ed Ruscha’s editorial project Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Walt Disney’s Magic Highway U.S.A. and Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point. Pitto Bellocchio examines these passing architectures as totems of a modern cult, to which he dedicates ritual dances, with the aim of reactivating and re-appropriating a neglected space. The continuous need for energy supply is replaced by a new form of creation, one that is spontaneous and playful.
The opening will take place in one of the gas stations built in the 1970s, now disused, in via Margherita di Savoia, near the cemetery of Gagliano del Capo. The manager of this old gas station, has transformed the space into an open-air garage where the artist will carry out
a site-specific intervention and a collective performance to which passers-by are invited to participate. The exhibition continues in the main hall of the drying house – a few minutes walk from the station – exhibiting a series of drawings on the area’s petrol stations, designed as ideal platforms for artistic installations, between traditional local crafts and future post-petrol scenarios.