One after the other the popcorns burst bouncing and moving inside a plexiglas case and emanate the strong smell that characterizes them: Pop Show (2019) is the artwork of Alessio Barchitta that invades the exhibition space creating a temporal interlude of suspension from the normal flow of events. The walls of the room have been hidden by large white and yellow striped curtains reminiscent of the stands of village fairs: reflecting a warm and homogeneous light, they are transformed into the container for the sculpture/machine designed by Barchitta.

The heart of Pop Show is a transparent display case which contains a mountain of scented popcorn. The base is made up of four metal legs which, in addition to supporting the plexiglass box, also become the structure on which a sound diffuser is fitted which reproduces the crackling of corn kernels in a loop. The extreme attention to detail makes it possible for the observer to identify with the place that brings with it memories of fairs, cinemas, arcades but also museums and galleries. Barchitta plays with the preciousness of museum display cases and objects of popular culture to create a moment of meditative pause in which the work of art becomes the narrative medium through which to ask the observer questions about the act of fruition. By creating a desire for the exhibited object but at the same time denying the possibility of reaching it, the artist questions the observation and perception of what is in front of us. Who is the real spectator? Who fully enjoys art? What role does the work play in this game of gazes?

Pop Show induces us to think of the work as a game of desire and prohibition: by multiplying the questions and queries at the same speed as the production of popcorn, the installation becomes a container of thought from which, however, it does not exclude the playful and ironic aspect that distinguishes the artist production. Alessio Barchitta with Pop Show, proposes, like a walk inside museums or watching a movie in cinemas, to interrupt the present, to stop and reflect on the role that the gaze plays in the fruition of the world.


Alessio Barchitta
Pop Show, 2019
Plexiglass, pop-corn, diffusore sonoro, acciaio, tessuto



Alessio Barchitta, Pop Show, 2019, installation view at Discontinuo, Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto IT

Alessio Barchitta, Pop Show, 2019, installation view at Discontinuo, Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto IT