COME SE FOSSE IERI
by Giulia Calì
Come se fosse ieri is a nostalgic moment in which heirlooms of the past are clothed with new meanings, it is the gaze that is projected into an old photograph and that makes one sigh, “I remember this as if it were yesterday.” The exhibition is entirely dedicated to the artistic journey of Marco Cazzato, the eclectic Italian illustrator who does not like to let himself get stuck in sharp definitions. Cazzato masterfully traverses the unexplored terrain of the human mind, transforming it into a sometimes surreal, sometimes metaphysical world. His illustrations take the form of impossible associations in reality, which, however, always lie in an intermediate space between the believable and the unbelievable, in an interval of time in which the human mind plays with our memories, distorting them and returning them in ever new forms. The real element is never missing, but always followed by the unbelievable. The place of “if” is where Cazzato has carefully hidden his memories. As his figures re-emerge from previously black-painted media, so the memories resurface in an instant when everything seemed forgotten, inscrutable fragments of a restless attitude. The core of the exhibition revolves around Album (2016), her latest silent book, in which the illustrations come to life from memories of old black-and-white photographs found in antique markets and collected for years in small boxes, like memorial traces of a common past in which everyone can recognize themselves. In the interstices of his language appear, in fact, everyday images, the classic photographs from family albums, mere evidence of a lived experience, yet in all his illustrations there is always an incomprehensible element interposed, a void filled by a disturbance that procures uncertainty, a leap into the dark within a spatiotemporal dimension that as much as it disquiets, equally fascinates. Cazzato makes visible and perceptible the intervals of thought that make us human, pulls out of his black boards images that do not exist in reality, because memories are never authentic, but always distorted by the perception of that moment already lived. The possibility of transforming reality is given by a shift in perception, an incomprehensible movement toward unreality: Cazzato captures that longing for life that a photograph, enclosed in an old family album, conveys and returns it in pictorial stroke. Come se fosse ieri is thus a chance to understand that the memory of the past is not the past itself: that nostalgic instant could be reborn as it was or, more likely, transformed into something else. The artist unveils the arcane imbroglio of memories, and makes us all equal in the face of what we will no longer be. It is this nostalgic, impossible and visionary world that is meant to be represented in Come se fosse ieri. The invitation is to travel through these places of an extra-ordinary experience starting with illustrations for newspapers, magazines, posters and book covers, where the drawn lines are bathed in an unparalleled chromaticity, then lingering on the six-illustration story Rhizome (2009), and the original plates of the picture books Mood (2010) and Album (2016), in which the power of images is revealed in simple unexpected details, concluding, finally, with 8 and a Half (2017), the illustrated remake of Fellini’s film of the same name, in which the artist unleashes all the visual imagery that unites him with the well-known Italian director, once again sanctioning the mingling of the arts.
Marco Cazzato was born in 1975. He lives and works in Turin. He collaborates, over the years, with La Stampa, Tuttolibri, Einaudi, Corriere della Sera, Il Sole 24Ore, GRRRz Comic Art Books, Slow Food, Penguin Random House, Linus (Baldini Castoldi Editore), ANIMAls (Coniglio Editore), Torino Film Festival, Stresa Festival, Teatro Metastasio and many others. In 2010 his book Mood, a thoughtful anthology on moods, was released by Grrrzetic Editore. In 2016 his latest book Album comes out for GRRRz Comic Art Books. In 2017 he produced Eight and a Half for the project TINALS (This is not a love song), an illustrated remake of Federico Fellini’s film of the same name. Among his collaborations in the musical field, he created the covers for the album “Canzoni per un figlio” by Marlene Kuntz and “C’eravamo abbastanza amati” by Luci della centrale elettrica. Also for Marlene Kuntz, he edited the video “Il Partigiano” directed by Flavio Nani. He has also created posters and edited the image for many events, including the 2011 Turin Film Festival, Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca for the 2012 and 2013 Spoleto Opera Season. In 2014 he won the Best Illustrations European Newspaper Award and in 2015 the Gold Medal Annual Authors of Images.