‘Of particular interest to me is the tactile quality of the ‘ticket’, which resonates with old historical surfaces and ancient structures, often visually reproduced on the label. When such elements are blended through a particular creative medium, a universal links appears. Ultimately I endeavor to transmit to the viewer a romantic notion of a transcendental equilibrium – the kind of feeling that one seeks when immersed in the current of a fast-transforming global society.’ Anna Caione 2007
Anna Caione’s new body of work is inspired by her collection of travel mementos – specifically the receipts for entry to various museums and cultural events that she visited on frequent journeys to Italy. She has kept them for the pleasure that comes from recollection – with such keepsakes in hand; one is easily prompted to recall the emotions associated with a particular experience. Caione’s work for public view is essentially a reworking of this intimate, ephemeral collection.
A ticket is a document for entry and as such represents the negotiation of a boundary – it grants permission to cross a threshold. In this age of global travel and cross-cultural information exchange, when the traffic of people between countries is regulated, these works are concerned with the idea of barriers, and the cultural transmission of heritage and identity. The exhibition title – Ingresso – literally translates as entry, which may be understood as a threshold between realms – both the intangible realms of memory and the physical realms of place.
The features of some of these tickets printed using original plates made over 150 years ago, reference architecture, landscape, cultural institutions and popular artistic festivals such as the Venice Biennale. They reveal an intrinsic functional beauty that intrigues our contemporary sensibility, now so attuned to the coded and hyper real images of advertising and virtual media. Many are stamped with the entry price in Italian Lire, a superseded denomination, and are branded with hand-drawn reproductions of the institutional façade. Always once removed, they carry a sense of history, the trace of a person’s touch and also a sense of obsolescence.
In these tactile, physically present works Caione attempts to create a play of opposing forces. Surface manipulation, using collage and stitching over the digitally manipulated image combine to create a sense of movement and stagnation. In some works the image on canvas is stretched into sculptural convex form. The vibrant colours and textures fixed within the surface patina of these art works continue to reflect a nostalgic sensibility for Caione’s Italian heritage.