Ramona Ponzini

Promenade – Reverse, 2023, excerpt

Promenade – Sound Scribbles , 2023, excerpt

Bonus Track, 2023

Promenade, 2023, is a sound work in which Ramona Ponzini invites the visitor to access physical and imaginary places through the qualities of sound. The artist recorded the noises and spatial response to her singing in the gardens of Villa Cerruti, Parco Melano, extending to areas of Castello di Rivoli inaccessible to visitors: the Falconers’ Gallery, the Nymphaeum Grotto, the 16th-century tank, and the medieval well. In an exercise of aural repositioning in physical space, evoking the practice of Japanese origin “forest bathing” (shinrinyoku), Ponzini’s field recordings play with the sonic characteristics of these places.

In Promenade – Sound Scribbles, Ponzini establishes a relationship with Sol LeWitt’s permanent installation, Panels and Tower with Colours and Scribbles, 1992. Using a multi-linear geometric vocabulary and experimenting with combinatorial rules similar to those employed by LeWitt, Ponzini weaves together seven soundtracks, each matched with the monochrome fillings of the mural pictorial interventions and the central heptagonal-shaped sculpture. In a synesthetic combination, these graphic-auditory pairings make audible the tonal “frequencies” and “interference” of graphite marks on the uniform color layers. The counterpoints suggested by Ponzini are just some of the multiple sound-color compositions that can be generated from the developed scheme.

Also establishing a relationship with the permanent installation Yurupari – Rheinsberg Room, 1984, by Lothar Baumgarten, she combines the gathered tracks with the recording of her voice, producing a merging of word, sound, and image. In the Falconers’ Gallery – not physically accessible to the public – Baumgarten had intervened back in 1984, overlaying cobalt blue pigment with a series of names of tropical plants and animals and affixing bird feathers to the walls. Responding to his reflection on the spasmodic tension towards encyclopedic categorization and the gap between historicized time and the mutability of artistic tools such as words and pigments – intentionally not stabilized on the wall in this case – Ponzini conducts a reverse reading of the names on the walls, enabling the visitor to access a temporal dimension where nomenclatures and classifications are deconstructed and reconstituted.


Photo Alberto Nidola

Ramona Ponzini‘s practice is inscribed in a hybrid territory: techniques from both visual and literary arts, such as collage or Burroughsian cut-up, are combined with sound experimentations and improvisation in a noise and jazz style. At the compositional level, the process adopted by Ponzini follows a purely conceptual matrix, crossing the idea of “editing” and “sampling” of coded and reprocessed elements through the use of loop machines and both digital and analog effects. They are d’apres sonori that draw on poetry, music and landscape, captured through the technique of field recording.

Ramona Ponzini is sound artist, curator and japanologist. Her debut dates back to 2005 with the project Painting Petals On Planet Ghost, focused on Japanese poetry as a privileged source of musicable lyrics, which landed on PSF Records, Japan’s cult label of artists such as Keiji Haino and Kaoru Abe. Over the years, Ponzini has collaborated with prominent figures such as Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Tom Greenwood of Jackie-O Motherfucker, and with industrial percussionist Z’ev. Her solo project consists of unusual DJ sets contaminated by vocal interactions and sound collages. In 2018 she was resident dj at OGR in Turin during the exhibition Dancing is what we make of falling, curated by Samuele Piazza and Valentina Lacinio. In 2019 she realised Trees are columns with clouds on top, a vinyl and a sound performance dedicated to master Italian painter Salvo, presented by Norma Mangione Gallery and during the exhibition Autoritratto come Salvo at MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (2022). frogs.picus.VANNA (2021) is a three-channel installation commissioned by the Castello di Rivoli – Museum of Contemporary Art. Her latest sound performance, Oroshi・Asobi・Okuri, inspired by the tripartite division peculiar to traditional Japanese festivals, was presented at OGR in Turin as part of the exhibition *mutating bodies, imploding stars* curated by Samuele Piazza.