Claudia Caletti, curator of the 53rd round of PILOTENKUECHE, sits in a corner of a café slowly sipping her espresso. Like a warm southern breeze, Gianna Nannini starts playing in the background. Claudia’s smile cracks with the sound of home. Born in the countryside of western Italy, Claudia soon realized she’d fallen in love with the buzz of the metropolis and moved to Milano. “I didn’t want to stay in the countryside. I craved the trouble, the chaos and the contradiction the city gives to you”. There, she delved into Cultural Heritage studies. Soon, she was pursuing a path as a curator studying a masters in Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice in Brera. Claudia stresses that, like the yearning for traffic and brutal cement, the appeal for curatorial practice came to her as an enlightenment, like a visceral and instinctive decision.
Claudia explores synergies
Claudia’s vision is set on exploring the underlying synergies between seemingly dissociated topics and, consequently, searching for subcultures in our vastly volatile world. Such endeavours have resulted in the curation of two solo exhibitions in Milan. A Lovely Place featuring artist Oliviero Biagetti, examines the ambivalence between fear and desire resulting from the unreal, the monstrous and otherness. PlasticFul, featuring artist Francesco Sgarlata questions the toxic and detrimental dependency between humans and plastic.
images by PILOTENKUECHE or supplied by curator
The curatorial drive to explore the junction between different disciplines and push the boundaries that delimit them, arises from a broad constellation of influences. Film, underground club culture and queer culture references number among them. Additionally, Claudia points at the curation of fashion runways and fashion magazines as a main source of inspiration.
“Fashion always finds extremely clever ways to bring people together and to accentuate the connections among them. Most people think about fashion as something banal and irrelevant, but fashion feeds from the arts and even democratizes it to a certain extent”, she says.
Mesmerized by creatives like Alessandro Michele and Demna Gvasalia, fashion becomes an underlying motif in Claudia’s practice that lends to her cultivation of accessible, diverse and relatable curatorial discourses. With the Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist in mind, Claudia also strives to incorporate a sense of openness and impermanence that counters the elitist halo that sometimes permeates the contemporary art scene.
Claudia’s empathic gaze
The way Claudia speaks about her process hints at her genuine dedication and generosity. Enrooted in an empathic stance, Claudia defines an initial direction through honest dialogue with the artists. “I can sympathize with their hearts and understand what knowledge, references and ideas I can bring to the table”. Claudia seeks to provide fertile soil for the works to coalesce organically and in harmony with each other, by prioritizing a collaborative dynamic between artists.
“I don’t want to be the protagonist”. Whilst acknowledging the challenge of bringing fourteen international artists together, Claudia Caletti compares herself to a gardener. Her purpose is to take care of a rich and diverse garden and find the optimal place for each artwork to thrive and take a life of its own.
written by Julia Polo
Fri 4 Nov
talk by curators, Claudia Caletti and Mary Osaretin Omoregie
Sat 17 Dec 7-10PM