Works

Cesare’s works are organised in series that explore the origins of life and the complicated relationship between Humankind and Earth. They celebrate human ingeniousness and intelligence and worship our planet. Sometimes they capture the immanent energy that surrounds our existence here in this place.

Soaked sponges

Natural sponges of both marine and vegetable origin are here soaked in inks made from living organisms such as cyanobacteria and algae and stabilized in resin, oil or alcohol. They are a celebration of the magic of our world, emphasizing the beauty of these unique living organisms, not quite vegetable, not quite animal. Their amazing powers of absorption soak up the human-made ink deep into their structure, perpetuating the strong inter-relationship between the natural and the artificial. It is about the tormented love affair that binds humans to the planet.

Closed Waters

These creative interpretations of what science calls a “photo-bioreactor” consist of installations made of transparent materials, such as glass or plastic, containing living solutions of water and microalgae. Rather than maximizing the efficiency of the organisms’ growth rates, they investigate the hypnotic sway that bubbles and the flow of the solution have on the human senses. The effect is to temporarily alter our state of consciousness, heightening awareness of the inside and bringing together mind and body. Closed Waters brings us face to face with creatures––the microalgae––that are so apparently insubstantial, yet they were the first living creatures and will likely survive us, opening our mind to an acceptance of the precariousness of the human condition.

Energy bottles

These glass bottles or ampullae of different shapes and sizes contain organic liquid––semi-liquid solutions consisting of living organisms such as cyanobacteria and algae and stabilizing agents such as resin, oil, and alcohol. The energy of the living matter is captured within the bottle like the magic of the jinn imprisoned in the lamp. Energy Bottles are powered by the magic of life, but are never to be opened.

Marked Leathers and Papers

It’s an investigation of the relationship between humans and our natural environment. Full or partial animal hides and strips of paper of different types and size bear marks made with inks derived from cyanobacteria and other living organisms and are hung up on the wall. The leather and paper media are a celebration of human ingeniousness and the generosity of the Earth. The marks generally consist of circles, rounded triangles or infinite lines, which bear the memory of our desperate need to seek meaning––a characteristic of our abstract minds that distinguishes humans from other animals.

Magic clay

Featuring more or less functional objects made of coloured clay or stone and treated with a cyanobacterial film, this series embodies the Earth cycle. Pottery is an ancestral human activity. Humans have been making clay pots and objects of all kinds, whether fired or not, for thousands of years, mostly for the storage and consumption of food and for construction works, harnessing the energy needed to power the combustion process of our metabolism and shelter ourselves. It is the magic of Golem, the aimless living mud man brought to life by a terrifying religious energy. Magic Clay explores the ingeniousness of humans in creating both functional and magical things.

Wooden things

These functional and dysfunctional objects are all made of wood. Sourcing and working wood is an ancestral, age-old human activity, and one we will keep doing until the end. The magic of it is that although we have been making things from wood for thousands of years, there will always be room for new objects of unprecedented form and function. Functional objects with simple, conventional uses draw a passive response from people, whereas dysfunctional objects have unexpected uses, requiring active engagement to understand their purpose. Some objects are made for people to interact with physically, others for interaction on an abstract level.

Burned Stuff

Burning is an act that honours both technical and spiritual human knowledge. Technically, burning is used to preserve wood by charring its surface to make it waterproof. Spiritually, it is a purifying ritual in many religions for the human body and soul. This series consists of charcoal objects made by burning wooden pieces either before or after their assembly into things. Burnt Stuff are works of pure human ingeniousness.

Skeletons in the closet

These works are made of animal bones with a cyanobacterial coating. Bones are frightening because they remind us of death. But they also appeal to the extremely adventurous, because they help people come to terms with the inevitable. Ultimately, it is about superstition. The bones bear the memory, and in some way the spirit, of the animals they belonged to, bearing witness to what came before us. But they are also a future memory, of what will come after us.

Manipulated Space

Architecture is a manipulation of space, in accordance (or not) with people that live/own it, in order to enable new uses. Manipulating space is an honour that is earned by understanding what people want but are often unable to express when thinking about a new space. Taking up the honour means developing a consistent proposition of ideas that fulfils those people’s needs and transforming the proposition from an abstract concept into a concrete reality through its proper construction.