For the 10th annual Back to the Future section at Artissima, ChertLüdde is delighted to present a solo presentation by Clemen Parrocchetti. Reflecting a key point in the Feminist movement in Italy around the 1970s, Parrocchetti’s historical position embodies an eruptive artistic presence that unravels the politics behind common objects of artisanship.
Needles, spools, bobbins, and textiles are some of the many materials repurposed in Clemen Parrocchetti’s (1923-2016, Milan) tapestries and sculptures from the mid-1970s onwards. Considered domestic items, Parrocchetti’s choice of media fiercely subvert conventions around art production and the subjugation of women, which was developed from her earlier research into the representation of women through the medium of paint, a tradition she abandoned at the end of the 1960s as a political gesture to distance herself from and to challenge the male-dominated field of painting at the time.
Largely unseen, her paintings on display from 1969 captured the struggle for liberation and self-definition through various disassembled and distorted figures. Bearing titles anticipatory of feminist critique, these paintings include facial features like mouths and eyes – motifs she continued to use well into the 1970s as a synecdoche for the female body. Lips in particular appear often, becoming a symbol for the unleashing of women’s protest in the face of oppression.
In rediscovering Parrocchetti’s decade-spanning body of work, symbolism becomes an important tool for understanding her feminist message. The artworks on display and their slogan-like titles still cover topics of great importance today, leaving behind a staunch legacy advocating for equality.