#LIMONI: SO SO | DAVIDE SGAMBARO
Colon and a parenthesis. So so. This is how Davide Sgambaro makes the observers feel, So so, poised between a smile and a bitter reflection. So so (2022) is a medium-sized artwork that the artist creates by burning ordinary yellow foam with a cigarette: burning is the technique with which a sad Smiley, the result of a combination of punctuation, is imprinted on the material. The act of vandalism of a young rebel returning from school who burns with a lighter and leaves the sign of his frustration on the seat of the bus is transformed, thanks to the narrative translation made by Sgambaro, into the creative act itself. However, it maintains its subversive charge: the act of vandalism, as an act of sabotage, becomes the method with which the artist expresses the lament of a generation that constantly lives in a state of precariousness, in the artistic sphere and beyond it.
The irony that two points and a round parenthesis are proposed as a satirical comment on a state of things that continues to be accepted as it is but which, precisely because of its perpetuation generates latent frustrations. Each of us would like to burn the foam of the train that takes him to the office, or the chair on which at the working place and why not, perhaps even the narrow sofa at home could become the prey of this act of vandalism. So so is therefore a representation of a lament, the narration hidden between cigarette ash and foam rubber, of a contemporary feeling in which the figure of the artist, like every single individual, is in the balance and struggles to find its stability and security. The image, which is radically and profoundly questioned by Sgambaro, becomes the territory in which to activate new methods of survival: there are no longer representations, nor even less references to traditional languages. It’s not a painting, not even a photograph and it can’t just be an installation. Rather, the work emerges from any institutionalization to formalize a new communicative language that takes up digital culture, the smiley, and poor art, foam rubber, uniting them together with a new baptism of fire, the burning of the cigarette.
Davide Sgambero with his stratified action truly carries out an act of sabotage which, as such, cannot be contained in a single meaning: whether it is the artistic language, the role of the artist or simply an observation on our present, So so creates a fracture and casts doubt on our ability to stay in the present.
yellow foam burned with a cigarette
installation view Galerie Alberta Pane, Paris
courtesy the artist and Galerie Alberta Pane