Cristiano Quagliozzi and Milena Scardigno
Cristiano Quagliozzi and Milena Scardigno - aka Mila Gno - have similar backgrounds. Both had always drawn and continued to do so at university; he earned a degree in painting, she in decoration. In 2014, Cristiano came up with the idea of drawing an enormous ship: the “passengers” would pay a fee to have themselves drawn in, thus covering the cost of completing the work. Something was missing, one last piece needed for the project to take flight. That piece was Milena, whom Cristiano had met during her performance on the poetics of the ugliness: she invited the audience to have themselves photographed making a face, and then used them to create a series of grotesque portraits. This was what was missing from the project: irony!
This element would turn the public into the protagonist of the work. L’Arca is a work in graphite on canvas, two by three metres. On board there are 200 passengers. Time to complete the project: 2,500 hours. A colossal undertaking. Two new challenges await l’Arca: publishing a book to document its making of and finding a place where the work can be seen both from a distance, in its entirety, and up close to discover even the smallest details. That is, of course, an appeal to public institutions. The meaning that the artists hope to convey with the project has to do with the universalizing power of art. L’Arca’s journey is one shared by people of different ethnicities, nationalities, faiths and ideologies. But that’s not all; the concept behind the work is suitable to more pragmatic uses, such as depicting a company’s structure, memorializing an important event or creating a family portrait. There are no borders in the sea of art, and Cristiano and Milena’s Ark is ready to set sail...
The story has been written by Jason Ray Forbus, writer.