LocationFondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan
DateApril, 5 - June 9, 2023
From 6 April 2023, the exhibition Whisperers by Lito Kattou (Cyprus, 1990), launches Corpo Celeste (Celestial Body), the new exhibition cycle from Project Room, the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro’s “observatory” project devoted to developments on the international artistic panorama, which this year is entrusted to curator Chiara Nuzzi (Naples, 1986).

Inspired by the collection of essays with the same name by writer Anna Maria Ortese and her attempts to “return to the real the meaning of belonging to another reality, larger and more unknowable”[1], Corpo Celeste (Celestial Body) is structured into two solo exhibitions, with the first devoted to Lito Kattou. Sculpture is used as an instrument for the construction of other bodies, hybridized with materials, nature and the animal world. Kattou explores the potential of sculptural materials to construct environments, developing her site-specific installation: the Fondazione’s exhibition space becomes a landscape populated by metaphysical images and presences.

Whisperers is the first solo exhibition at an Italian institution by Lito Kattou, whose research is influenced by the natural, social and political context of the Mediterranean. Inspired by local mythologies, stories and archaeologies, the artist has inserted themes into her practice such as the reconciliation between life and death and acceptance of the linearity and circularity of time, through which she reflects on the coexistence of different realities. The series Whisperers from 2022, like the previous Harvesters, focuses on the idea of community in a timeless setting that identifies new strategies of coexistence.

For the spaces at the Fondazione the artist has created Whisperer I, II, III and IV, four imposing sculptures made of aluminium, steel, acrylic, nickel-plated copper and biodegradable plastic, representing four components of a community – linked together by symbols, signs and fragments composing a familiar grammar – connected to Whisperer V, a fifth sculpture mounted on the façade of the Fondazione ICA Milano, an intervention acting as a bridge between the two institutions, thus solemnly establishing the collaboration.

In the sculptures, Kattou assimilates human and non-human elements, in an attempt to imagine a new form of existence and inter-species collaboration. All endowed with the same face, in a frozen landscape at sunset, the black surfaces of the bodies are arranged to mark out the space, structuring a route for the public. The black surfaces are interrupted by painted parts, flowers and butterflies, and woven baskets recalling not only the artist’s origins, but also the Cypriot colonial period.

The basket is the cue for a broader cultural reflection: as writer Ursula K. Le Guin states in The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction (1986), “the first cultural device was probably a recipient […] and that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products”[2]. A vision that disempowers the object-weapon as the main element of evolution and instead tells a story of support and collaboration, of intelligence and common practice used to the benefit of the community.

Whisperers represents a space where it is possible for different entities to coexist and imagine alternative approaches and methods for living together, within a perspective that places community at the center and increases an awareness for the needs of other species and for the safeguarding of the planet.

Chiara Nuzzi

Whisperer I

aluminium, steel, acrylic, nickel plated copper
190 × 111 × 43 cm (74 ¾ × 43 ¾ × 16 ⅞ inches)

Whisperer II

aluminium, steel, acrylic, nickel plated copper, rope
190 × 145 × 33 cm (74 ¾ × 57 ⅛ × 13 inches)

Whisperer III

aluminium, steel, acrylic, nickel plated copper
167.6 × 107.7 × 25 cm (66 × 42 ⅜ × 9 ⅞ inches)
Lito Kattou

Whisperer IV

aluminium, steel, acrylic, nickel plated copper
190 × 107.7 × 25 cm (74 ¾ × 42 ⅜ × 9 ⅞ inches)

Past Exhibitions