When art meets industry it generates a new comparative methodology which might go by the name of organindustry. The artist spends time at the company, becoming familiar with the environment to the point that his or her body fills with contents. The company, or industry, becomes the artist’s organism and as such starts to function by osmosis, becoming a world of changes. The company in this case is Elica, world leader in the production of domestic range hoods for the kitchen, and the artist is Sissi. The eclectic and multi-talented artist was invited by the Fondazione Ermanno Casoli to take part in a highly experimental project, headed by the Foundation’s art director, Marcello Smarrelli, to create a new article for air purification.
Aspiranti Aspiratori follows the casting of the 10 ‘aspiring’ range hoods that Sissi designed. The artist then turned these into a hand-written and hand-bound book. The result is an artist’s record, the manifesto of a new industry which, like the human body, is made up of organs interacting with each other through alternative synapses, creative contractions and pulses of inspiration. The outline of a man suddenly becomes the index of the book, ready to guide us through a most unusual collection of range hoods – one with long eyelashes, another with woven clothes, yet others with wheels and balloons. Sissi’s creative thought process is charted on an anatomical map. Aspiranti Aspiratori is a richly detailed book, whose form and binding are carefully crafted to provide insight into a rare instance of industry working side by side with art. The result is a series of unique objects that combine beauty and functionality, and an important step towards the new frontiers of design.
Sissi The artist’s career started in 1996 when she enrolled at the Bologna Academy of Fine Arts and won a residency for artists at the Venturoli College in Bologna. The foundations of her art were laid studying and writing on the human body. In 2000 she specialized in parallel anatomy. In 2002 she won the Furla art prize; in 2006 the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry “New York prize” ensured her work appeared in various solo and collective exhibitions at home and abroad. Recently, she has been exploring new worlds, fusions and invasions made up of ideas identified by name: Aspiring Range Hoods, for example.
Marcello Smarrelli Art historian, critic and curator. After a degree in History of Art from Università La Sapienza in Rome and a specialization in the History of Contemporary Art from Siena, he began an in-depth study of the relationship between aesthetics and pedagogy. He became Art Director of the Fondazione Ermanno Casoli in 2007, and of the Fondazione Pastificio Cerere in 2011. He has curated numerous public art projects and exhibitions in public institutions. His art reviews appear regularly in catalogues and specialist journals; he writes for several contemporary art publications and serves as contemporary art advisor to major institutions.
Elica The company has been manufacturing range hoods for domestic kitchens since the 1970s and is now international market leader. Huge attention to design, cutting edge materials and technologies have not only set Elica apart from other manufacturers but have also revolutionized the traditional concept of the kitchen range hood. Since 2007, the company has been supporting the Fondazione Ermanno Casoli with projects aimed at closing the gap between art and industry. La Fondazione Ermanno Casoli, dedicated to the memory of Elica’s founder, was established in 2007 to promote the relationship between art and industry, by bringing contemporary art into companies and placing the artists at the heart of the creative process and its solutions.