‘Ludovica Gioscia’ editorial. Collaboration with art director Marlon Rueberg, photographer Adam Goodison and make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench. Also in this issue an interview by Devon Caranicas.

    Interview with Ludovica Gioscia by Devon Caranicas


    I’m not sure I’ve ever felt less chic as when I was seated across from Roman-born and London-based artist Ludovica Gioscia. Somehow my East London staple of black-on-black suddenly paled in comparison to Ludovica’s smear of bright pink lipstick, wildly printed top, heels and high-waisted acid wash jeans. It comes as no surprise that Ludovica’s work is as pop and flash as her fashion sensibility. Working predominantly with sculpture, decollage and installation, Ludovica draws inspiration from advertising, retail anthropology and visual culture to pointedly look at contemporary consumerism and the forces that drive it. Devon Caranicas met with the artist on the terrace of the House of Peroni, a one-month pop-up mini institution bringing together new wave Italian art and culture, where Ludovica’s full room installation Liquid Sky Fits Heaven had opened the night before.


    Do you see your work as a critique or a celebration of consumerism?

    No, absolutely not a celebration. Yes, it’s a critique, but instead of being loaded with critical content, it’s a reflection, a clarification, a demistification of these dynamics. This is somewhat more powerful than a straightforward critique.

    For me, it seems surprising that your work is situated within such a branded space. Peroni, of course, being the Italian beer brand and corporate sponsor behind this temporary art, fashion and culinary haute celebration. Can you talk about the conception of your work and what it means to have it in a space like this?

    As you can imagine, it’s always a bit challenging, problematic and interesting at the same time to collaborate with a big brand. In a way it’s given me a chance to talk about this visual, oral relationship and put it back in its original context. That’s pretty amazing. This whole project was born because I met John-Paul Pryor, who thought my work would be perfect for this situation. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been a number of years since I’ve been working with brands and I guess we have this relationship where I cannibalise them and they cannibalise me. I no longer see it as an issue, rather a matter of how the content is being dealt with. Because the whole manifestation is advertising for a beer through a typically Italian style, one of my intentions was to break the cliché of Italian culture being channelled through the stereotype of pizza and pasta. Being particularly interested in consumption, this was a chance for me to create one of my Giant Decollages that concentrated on oral consumption. The more I look at consumption as a phenomenon, the more I realise the very act of digestion is nearly impossible to divorce from it. What I proposed and explored in this installation is an anachronistic history of Italian oral consumption. So with this I’m looking at phenomena like the Paninaros….

    What exactly are Paninaros?

    The Paninaros are a very particular fashion phenomenon born at the beginning of the 1980s, when the Italian state televsion channels were made available for purchase. This was when Berlusconi as making an entrance and started broadcasting all these American programmes, which indoctrinated the preppy look into Italian culture. The Paninaro is entirely based on the preppy look, but the interesting thing in their logo is that instead of an ‘o’ they adopted a cheeseburger. This was the first time we visibly saw an American cultural colonisation that was entirely filtered through the Italian industry.

    Could you speak a bit about your process? Your sculptural and decollage work is seemingly structured, yet still has a very organic quality to it, almost like the draping of textiles. Do you create models and renderings or is it a more processual way of working?

    I intuitively work with materials – it’s a very nice process of discovery. I guess I’m also one of those artists for which the physical relationship is essential. The beautiful thing about keeping that relationship and not getting stuff manufactured is, of course, that you can discover things along the way.

    How do you source the paper you use?

    Wherever I go, I always look for the little granny with the old wallpaper shop. Some are self-made hand screen printed ones, others I buy on eBay. Because of the digital revolution they’re easy to produce and people come up with insane patterns. I find it super exciting.

    I’m curious, and hoping you can expand, about your decision to hand-print the paper when so much of the conceptual ideology of your practice is about mass production. To incorporate your own hand seems at odds with the intention of the work.

    It’s definitely at odds. It’s one of the few things I’ve done unconsciously. However, in the ever-growing corporisation of everything, many people do feel the need to regenerate entirely new things. It’s not about fixing but about regaining control in this environment in which everything is erroneously obsolescent.