Simone Zaccagnini → Nobody Move

September 3rd - October 2nd, 2021

Galerie Derouillon, Haut Marais

Simone Zaccagnini spent several months in residency at Fonderia Battaglia in Milan where he started working with bronze. This new series of sculptures challenges this ancient and prestigious material associated with classical sculpture and tries to give it back a sense of roughness.

The artist wants to translate the vibrant line of drawing to another dimension, embodying the freedom of gesture. The drawings thus became objects that exist in their own time and space. The bronzes are free-standing, self-supporting drawings.

Simone Zaccagnini pays also particular attention to the patina of the sculptures. Quoting Arturo Martini, “patina is the gossip of sculpture” and is a crucial moment in its formation and changes its appearance. The same shape acquires a very different allure, one moves on a razor’s edge, trying not to impose a forced look on the sculpture or fall into kitsch.

Nobody Move

There’s an elevator in my building. It’s uselessly small, wooden-paneled, and won’t move unless you press with all your body weight against the accordion doors so that the outdated censor understands they’re really, truly closed. Over the past month I’ve made countless trips up and down, packed in with my belongings or friends, hunching over and laughing out of awkwardness. When I’m alone in there I read what people have scribbled onto the walls and ceilings. Casual greetings, declarations of love, frustrations, initials, and illegible, calligraphic marks. Pascal loves Rachel. CSKA ‘99. The elevator doors open and I step out. They shut on the chattering remarks which are then quiet again.

The title of Simone Zaccagnini’s exhibition is ''Nobody Move'', and I feel as though it could have also been called Always Already Gone. The concept of something or someone being always already gone, is that, despite knowing time is a constant, slow burn in one direction, we try to reside in moments, recreate them, demarcate that ‘we were here’ at least before disappearing entirely. Proust understood this–claiming that paradise exists in the past. It’s perfect and we will never get there again, though, some of us can and will dedicate our lives to trying.

For ''Nobody Move'', Zaccagnini has populated the space of Galerie Derouillon with a new series of bronze forms that appear as gestural declarations, scribbles, musings, and the anthropomorphization of lines. A number of the figures stand or slouch within the space, while others hover over the walls. Here, the use of material, which Zaccagnini referred to as a fetish, feels like an endeavor to grasp or crystallize a normally fleeting, perhaps overlooked moment or gesture–that of the daydream or scrawling on paper, eventually landing on the side of a building or elevator door. Nobody Move–let’s try to hold the moment hostage for a little while longer.

Christina Gigliotti

© Grégory Copitet