Interview with House of Peroni Artist, Ludovica Gioscia

Born in Rome and living in London, visual artist Ludovica Gioscia has produced a new piece, Liquid Sky Fits Heaven for the House of Peroni. The unique installation pieces that the artist exhibits in the first room at 41 Portland Place embodies decades’ worth of wallpaper peeling away – standing as an illustration for the need to strip back the many layers of society to uncover the meaning beneath culture. Employing consumer-orientated printed matter, her brand new Giant Decollage serves as a striking contrast to the sleek and modern Italian design on display and tips a nod to the maximalist aesthetic the Italians are also celebrated for pioneering. Gioscia speaks to Aesthetica about her work for the House of Peroni and her approach to artistic production.

A: You use a huge combination of textiles, colours and shapes in your works- why is this?
LG: The abundant use of bombastic wallpapers in my practice is a mirroring of the information overload that surrounds us and its consequent visual impact upon our environments. In particular the aesthetic of my Giant Decollages, a series of large scale site-specific installations in which multiple wallpapers are layered and then ripped down again, derives from Baroque art and architecture. Baroque churches were designed as cinematic spaces in which narratives unfolded through a complex and visually compelling decorative treatment of the interior walls, in which all the surfaces were activated. It was the equivalent of contemporary advertisement.

A: You are interested in “hedonism through history” how did you stumble across this interest and how does it manifest in your work?
LG: I am very interested in our relationship with consumerism and I am looking for precedent examples in history that help us better understand our dynamics with consumption. I believe there is a strong relationship between hedonism and consumption, for instance the Ancient Romans used to indulge in binging practices during their food orgies.

A: You were born in Rome but live in London, how does your environment inform your practice?
LG: The layering of my wallpapers in my work stems from a sensibility born from growing up amidst Rome’s stratified architectures that derive from very different historical moments and contexts. This is also where I have inherited my anachronistic sense of history, which is reflected in my Giant Decollages.

A: Do you begin a work with a set idea and plan or does it evolve as you progress?
LG: The wallpapers are always chosen in advance; the patterns being designed and screenprinted by myself. The final piece is sometimes pre-designed and other times a totally freestyle creation.

A: Which artists have inspired you?
LG: Lily Van der Stokker, Jeff Koons, Len Lye, Běla Kolářová, Nathalie du Pasquier and Jan Švankmajer.

A: For The House of Peroni you produced Giant Decollage, what was the idea behind it?
Giant Decollage is the name of the series, the title for the one I am creating for The House of Peroni is Liquid Sky Fits Heaven. The title takes its cue from a commercial nail varnish.

I have been working with imagery appropriated from make-up advertisements for the last few years. Although the title is only marginally related to the content of the work, I have chosen it as a tribute to Zygmunt Bauman’s ideas around liquid modernity. Liquid Sky Fits Heaven is an anachronistic history of Italian oral consumption that offers an alternative to the clichés surrounding pizza and pasta and explores other pivotal Italian phenomena. Rich in colour and pattern my new Giant Decollage features motifs from Paninaro paraphernalia, Pasolini characters and Ancient Rome.

The House of Peroni was created to celebrate the new wave of contemporary Italian culture. It exists both as as well as coming to life at an exclusive London venue at 41 Portland Place. Gioscia’s work will be on show from 3 – 31 July.

1. Ludovica Gioscia, courtesy of the House of Peroni.