June 2 - July 3, 2021
91 Middlesex St
PUBLIC Gallery is pleased to present Wasted Dreams, the debut UK solo exhibition of Italian, London based artist Guendalina Cerruti. Through an expansive installation that combines assemblage-based sculpture, LED art, mixed media wall and floor-based works, Cerruti explores the relationship between life, dreams and contemporaneity.
Influenced by domestic spaces, home decor, architecture and the urban landscape, Cerruti’s artmaking acts as a cathartic pursuit to process the world around her––both the interior world of emotion, thoughts, memories and the exterior world of popular culture and society. In this exhibition, Cerruti transforms the gallery space into a domestic interior blending London’s urban landscape with childhood bedrooms to ruminate on the notion of youthful aspirations––hopes that we had for our lives, but which have been forbidden, changed or faded away over time.
Within this nostalgic setting, Cerruti’s customised furniture forms a materialistic micro-universe reflective of stimuli that shapes our capitalist society and desires. Inspired by the streets of central London where one is constantly exposed to consumerist aspirations through street advertisements and wealthy neighbourhoods, we see a chest of drawers mutate into a regency style town house complete with parking space for luxury cars, while a rocking chair imitates a Porsche design boasting the eccentric colours and surfaces seen in sports cars that rev through the city.
Cerruti’s use of different decorating techniques to achieve a variety of textures within each piece evokes a range of visceral emotions and conceptual contexts. In contrast to the ostentatious display of monetary success so often equated with aspiration seen in the bright marble-esque painted townhouse and shiny sparkle induced sports cars, we see a wooden cradle transform into a London underground train coated in a layer of fake dirt and dust. For Cerruti, the old train covered in muck represents a more grounded setting of self-reflection––a collective resting place for the wasted dreams of its daily commuters.
In the center of the space, a monumental decoupage book evoking a teenage diary of dreams stands tall. Entitled Wasted Dreams, this work exemplifies the combination of youthful aspirations informed by both personal whims and society at large present throughout the exhibition. Tapping into the aesthetics, trends and lifestyle of new generations in which social media shapes so much of one’s goals and aspirations, the bright colourful pages full of glitter and confetti are layered with cut out images, from Justin Bieber to the sunset skyline of Los Angeles, symbolising the prevalent force of celebrity influencer culture in shaping our desires.
Part fictional, part autobiographical Cerruti’s installation brings together collections of narratives, micro-universes dense with sentiment, sarcasm and candour. Like the inhibited dreams of youth there is a sense of the fantastical throughout the works on display, where anything is possible, and nothing is quite as it seems.
Guendalina Cerruti (b. 1992, Milan, Italy) lives and works in London, UK. She holds an MA from the Royal College of Art, London, UK and BA from the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan, Italy. Solo exhibitions include Love you, Bye, Studiolo, Milan, Italy (2018) and Guendalina, Studiolo, Milan, Italy (2015). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Old Friends, New Friends, Collective Ending HQ, London, UK (2020); Vivace, Balcony Gallery, Lisbon (2019); Playful Aggressions, Greengrassi, London, UK (2019); Il disegno politico Italiano, A Plus A, Venice, Italy (2018); That’s IT, MAMO, Museum of Modern Art, Bologna, Italy (2018).