Roberto Cuoghi Archive – residue and sacrifice

In 2023 Roberto Cuoghi (Modena, 1973) donated to CRRI materials that mark salient moments of his research path, sealing a relationship that began with the Castello in 2008 on the occasion of his solo exhibition. Defined by the artist as “fragments,” related to experiments that precede the production of works, the materials in the archive refer to two nuclei of work, Putiferio and Imitatio Christi.

Putiferio is a project Cuoghi began in 2016 following a stay on the island of Hydra in Greece where, the artist produced sculptures in the form of crabs by firing them in ovens of his own making. Made of refractory clay, Putiferio’s fragments include elements characterized by hooked shapes and have different thicknesses and surfaces.

Imitatio Christi is a project conceived by Cuoghi in 2017, when he was invited to be part of the Italian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. The artist imagines the space as a factory dedicated to the production of sculptures having Jesus Christ as their subject. In Venice the production process of Imitatio Christi involved the pouring of agar-agar-based compounds or isinglass. Each element was then transferred to a tunnel equipped with chambers differentiated by humidity and temperature to be subjected to the aggression of environmental molds, before moving on to the stages of lowering the temperature, freezedrying and consolidation. The fragments in Rivoli are part of the nucleus not on display at the end of the exhibition itinerary, kept for a long time under observation at Cuoghi’s Studio.