The world is so utterly and wonderfully meaningless that to be able to be happy is not luck: it is pure art. (René Magritte)
Recycling has risen to the status of "Compulsory Mantra" . These new works by Antonio Riello can be imagined as the conceptual maps of this ethical attitude and especially of the fears, hopes and collective psychosis that accompany it. In short, a kind of "Visual Dictionary" of Sustainable Civilization and its special anthropological form. The artist's discourse involves all forms of reuse and repair that are connected to the Aesthetics of Austerity. Materials and icons together ultimately go to constitute a visual reflection on the so-called "Conscious Luxury" (a glamorous translation of what was once called, without emphasis, in compulsory schools "Home Economics"). These works are made only from recycled coconut fibers, the same material as humble doormats, simple and unpretentious everyday objects. Indeed, something that, by definition, gets stepped on. Objects that are born saying "welcome!" in a time where welcome is increasingly rarely given (the artist is evidently an incorrigible optimist...). The coconut fiber is reworked and engraved with the use of a plotter. The structural part is made of different types of wood from old furniture, crates and demolished furniture, each fragment has its own fascinating story to tell. Riello wants here simultaneously to celebrate (in a critical and ironic way) the widespread fashion for vintage and retro, an obvious sign of fear and distrust of the future. The cult of the past is a form of cultural recycling (quite unvirtuous at least according to Riello). One of the themes investigated in this exhibition is that of the so-called "Rare Earths," the atomic elements used in the production of electronic components. Object of technological wonder but often also of neo-colonial exploitation. The "dark side" of Mendeleev's Periodic Table. Irony as an alternative, as a denunciation, as a cry of alarm, but also as an alternative code, as a critical tool of consciousness and self-awareness, as a replicated image of a reality contemplated, violated, redefined and restored to its original purity. Irony understood as a sign of life or, perhaps, as a dream of a new life." M.Vanni.