Gemis Luciani focuses on the expressive potential of formal reduction in his art.
The Italian artist lives in both Italy and Berlin. Gemis graduated from Accademia delle Belle Arti in Bologna (IT) in 2005 and worked as set designer and performer. His works Marginal Compositions and Piece of Space deal with the transformation of funcitionality in objects into something new, shifting the focus of both the object and the viewer to something else.
Chased: Can you tell us a bit more about the material that you used for Marginal Compositions and Piece of Space.
Gemis Luciani: My research focuses on the manipulation of found objects. Magazines, telephone books and flyers are all material I use to realize my works. I am interested in how images turn into and are distributed through objects, in the realm of industrial production.
Chased: What kind of material have you used for Marginal Compositions?
Gemis Luciani: Magazines. Marginal composition is a collection of folded magazines. It’s an investigation of the aesthetic qualities of a marginal space within the graphic layout of a magazine.
Chased: What kind of magazines have you used and why?
Gemis Luciani: I used magazines about interior design, contemporary art and fashion, which I have found in libraries and archives.
Chased: Marginal Compositions is a very minimalist work, also the use of colour is very reduced, there are several monochrome works, or works which show different shades of the same colour. So you juxtapose the multiplicity, the mix, and the colourfulness of the magazines that were the base of these artworks with the minimalism of the sculptures you turn them to. In which way is this minimalism important to you, what does is signify to you?
Gemis Luciani: In a way, in Marginal Composition, I don’t focus on the use of colour but on the partial selection of a color field on a printed page. They are process-based works, like in the minimalism, but I can’t quite say that I share the movement’s political agenda. I rather try to reflect on how contemporary media deploy images carefully constructed to deliver a precise message. By highlighting the non-functional zones in a graphic layout, I shift the viewers attention from content to pure form and color, while negating the medium’s functionality itself.
Chased: With Piece of Space, you make bent, round, almost dynamic sculptures out of the static, straight-lined pages of a telephone book. Do you want to transform the rigid, monotonous order of telephone book layouts by making them twisted, roundish objects? Or what is your inspiration for the new shapes you give to them?
Gemis Luciani: I think about telephone books as representations of whole cities, indexed into very detailed databases of purposeful information. By cutting them I – again – deny the functionality of these book-shaped databases. The new shapes they are molded into, are only partially intentional. Gravity plays its part in defining how the books are going to fall in place once fixed to the wall.
Chased: Which city is the telephone book from that was used for Piece of Space ?
Gemis Luciani: The first series has been realized in Berlin with the idea to extend the project to other cities.
Chased: Which other materials do you work with, apart form paper?
Gemis Luciani: I work with images, printed on paper and turned into object-images.
Chased: Thanks a lot for the interview!