02.01 - 03.03.2024

Cecilia Caldiera

Subtitled NYC is pleased to present "Our House," Cecilia Caldiera’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The ten wall and floor pieces of the exhibition continue Caldiera’s interest in ritualistic encounters that challenge the boundaries of public and private space. She calls this “rogue spirituality,” a means by which everyone is part of the congregation, and people's emotional and spiritual lives and past are arranged on the street for everyone to see, like a ghost bike memorializing a life no longer here. Rogue spirituality forces passersby collectively to feel an unknown loss, with no way to fill it.

Caldiera refashions these objects, hugging the contours of our lived environment, imposing and inserting themselves into the various thoroughfares of public space, forcing the foot to new pathways to get out of their way. Using paper, steel, plastic, wax—all materials that promise a future-use value, wait to be hammered, melted, bent, or imprinted upon, Caldiera takes what could be destined for waste and arranges the pieces lightly, balancing a childish whimsy of building just to build and the need to build in order to remember. The pieces for "Our House" are positioned around the gallery in a way that blocks the viewer's movement through space, preventing easy access to certain works. What results is that the works, like a Earth Anchor, a giant candle column with a satellite on top, can't be ignored, or you’ll bump into them. One has to bear witness. However, in our digital age, bearing witness is now a love triangle between the trauma and the participant-observer.

However, here, Caldiera identifies public interventions, altars, as disrupting conventional urban planning and creates space for the “common,” like 1⁄2 life: Act 1, where spindly wooden sticks create a permeable, movable fence, or Sundog Dance, a print that features overlapping common space demarcated by overlapping barbed wire marks, a Venn diagram of communal incarceration. These collective feelings of loss – non-productive off-cuts of our present – are gently gathered by Caldiera, giving form to the formless.

-Text by Adriana Furlong & Moacir P. de Sá Pereira

Cecilia Caldiera is a New York City-based interdisciplinary artist. Using sculpture, printmaking, and ephemeral installation, she explores relationships among people, public space, time, and value. In her work, found objects are integrated into precarious new systems that challenge hierarchies of matter, recontextualizing local histories and sites’ material life with play and resilience. Cecilia graduated with an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts in 2023. She is currently a resident at Hercules Art Studio Program and teaches printmaking at Pratt Institute and the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop.

All photos courtesy of Subtitled NYC, New York