January 11, 2003
Anton Kern Gallery is proud to present new work by Italian artist Alessandro Pessoli. For his second show at the gallery, he will introduce Caligola, a DVD animation, along with related drawings.
Alessandro Pessoli takes us to a setting where ethereal figures compete for our attention. At first glance, one might discern that the destiny of Pessoli’s characters is characterized by a struggle between good and evil in order to find their place, their fate. Heaven, hell, life, death, paradise and redemption are the threadwork of his animated underworld. With his rickety skeletons, mutant spiders and emaciated horses, Pessoli does not attempt to portray an idyllic world, but rather circumscribes his position as an observer within a framework of political and social perception.
Alessandro Pessoli arrived at Caligola through the laborious process of transferring thousands of drawings into film. Through a succession of meandering vignettes, without beginning or end, the story flows with random beats. The rhythmic pace of the animation, along with a droning soundtrack, culminates in a rasping tension to form an almost otherworldly tale. Accordant with the film's fractured narrative, Pessoli’s drawings reveal an interconnected yet slightly skewed story.
This introspective set offers abundant terrain to explore the function of narrative in the politics of representation, a means of moving beyond formalist categories of "open" and "closed" endings, as well as mythic categories of fate and romance. Minimal shifts in an otherwise dramatic sequence of events interfere with any preconceived ending, making each story linger as a mere proposition, an episode among myriads.
2003New York Times