The Bally Foundation admires Ciriaca+Erre’s use of art to explore complex universal issues in-depth, producing an unflinching reflection on identity, human rights, eco-feminism, and the role of the artist in contemporary society.
Ciriaca+Erre was born in Matera, Italy, in 1973 and has completed her Master Degree in Visual Arts at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts in 1996. She has exhibited in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy and Russia. She also exhibited as part of a parallel event at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Her performances have animated international art venues such as La MaMa’s Theatre in New York (2011), the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles (2011); Palazzo Reale in Milan (2010).
She received multiple prizes and awards, and was a finalist of the Open 19, Mostyn Visual Arts Center, Wales (2015) and of the Cairo Prize in 2001. Ciriaca+Erre was named Bally Artist in 2018. Today, she lives and works between Lugano and London.
Ciriaca+Erre is a transversal artist whose expansive body of work includes performance, video, painting, photography, sculpture and site-specific installations. She draws on these disciplines to explore complex social issues. Central to her artistic journey is the research on “suspended identities,” the cornerstone of her work. Recalling philosopher Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopia, she explores space as an amorphous place, in which territories suspended between the real and the imaginary intersect.
She merges her own interiority in the exploration of new possibilities of reality and human behavior, as a natural consequence of a way of being that is reflected in her actions and that transcends the threshold between art and life. Hers is a spiritual vision that emerges in a dramatic alternation of pain, awareness, hope, and redemption, where the value of life triumphs over all.
"Catharsis" was the artist’s winning entry in response to The Foundation’s 2018 competition theme, ‘The Extra-geographic World’. The artwork is an installation comprised of a nine-meter long black cube featuring an acrylic and resin painting on one side and a mirror-image sequence of photographs of a man inside a transparent bubble trying to balance on water that is projected on the opposite wall. This image is a metaphor of a person in search of their identity as an individual in our Anthropocene era. Using an algorithm that moves the projected image, Ciriaca+Erre draws a parallel between the geography of the real and the virtual worlds.