Home Magazine The Stefano Cagol "Hyperobject"...

What's happening in the art world? Here we are with another article that could guide you between the most import events of this 2019. Today is dedicated to the biennialized artist Stefano Cagol and his solo show "Hyperobject. Visions btw borders, energy & ecology", now at the MA*GA Museum (Italy) and visitable until September 15th. Discover more about this 58th Venice Biennale...

The exhibition, curated by Alessandro Castiglioni, senior curator of the MA*GA Museum, presents video installations, photographic and sculptural works, which document the extended environmental interventions that the Italian artist has made since 2007, in order to reflect about themes such as environment, climate change, energy sources and the change of borders. Indeed, also the title refers to the theories of the Ango-American philosopher Timothy Morton, who defines Hyperobjects as “entities that are massively distributed in time and space forcing us to rethink what it means to exist, what the Earth is, what society is.” 

This idea of Hyperobjects help us contextualise and reinterpret Cagol’s oeuvre, both in terms of content, referring to very global issues, and in terms of the method. “Even before discovering Morton’s theoretical system – Alessandro Castiglioni underlines in his essay –, Cagol took interest in complex and global systems and developed a research-production system based on constant movement and practices that do not end with the creation of an object, but potentially carry on, constantly reconfiguring themselves by moving through space and time.” “The exhibition – Castiglioni continues –, therefore, gathers a series of long-term projects where the perspective of this research appears extremely clear as such projects, constantly open, mutate at the mutation of contexts”. If you are interested in artworks related to modern migration, don't miss our article about "The Vietnamese artist Tiffany Chung".


Stefano Cagol, The End of the Border (of the mind). 


Viewers are welcomed in the MA*GA outdoor arena with the capital letters of the big neon sign FLU POWER FLU, which also gives the title of the work realized in 2007, in the middle of the bird flu panic. These words overlap physical influenza, the mental influence and the idea of power, and remind us that the desire of domination afflicts man's relations with the world, so much so it can be considered as cause of all the evils.
The exhibition continues with The Body of Energy, a research project still in progress dedicated to mapping the use, transformation and visualisation of energy usage (and waste), through video recordings filmed with an infrared video camera. The artist has literally crossed Europe, from the North Pole to Gibraltar, from Germany to Sicily, thus building an enormous archive of photographic and video material, which is gradually reconfigured and broadened according to the exhibition contexts the project is displayed at.


Stefano Cagol, The Ice Monolith. 


The other front, around which Cagol’s research moves, faces the direct outcomes of climate change. In particular the constant image the work of Cagol keeps referring to is the disappearance of ice caps or images and sculptural landscape elements preluding to something: an occurrence that seems not to befall us but that in reality is already directly under our eyes. Cagol sets us in front of this dynamic, constantly referring to the topic of individual responsibility.
In this context, the work Evoke Provoke (the border) is the result of a solitary expedition the artist made in 2011 beyond the Arctic Circle, where he ignited the gas of aerosol cans evoking the influence of man in the melting of eternal ice, launching distress signals from desolate lands.

The third issue is that of borders, that for the author are both a physical and immaterial fact. Surpassing is simultaneously a physical journey, made of bodies, and, on the other side, one traced in the void by the immateriality of a light beam, as it occurred on the very delicate Arctic border between Norway and Russia, in the 2013 work The End of the Border (of the mind). The border is not exclusively expressed in the physical and political dimension, but it takes on a more dematerialised dimension, touching information, knowledge, and body.

“Stefano Cagol’s artworks – the curator writes – do not end with the creation of an object, but potentially carry on, constantly reconfiguring themselves by moving through space and time.” The video, on view for the first time at the MA*GA, is an example of this. It shows the slow and inexorable melting of the block of ice Cagol installed at the 2013 Venice biennale as part of the Maldives National Pavilion. The actual melting time of The Ice Monolith exceeds the vision time of a spectator, who can only catch some fragments and instants of it, as the video is shown in an accelerated version of the original 72 hours recording.


Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.