Edoardo Dionea Cicconi installs a kinetic mountain totem at Rocca Calascio

XYZT is unexpected high-altitude art

Abruzzo’s Rocca Calascio is the magical backdrop for Edoardo Dionea Cicconi’s high-altitude sculpture, ‘Kinetic Mirror’, which offers a fresh perspective on the dramatic landscape – and its medieval architecture.

While site-specific, ‘Kinetic Mirror’ is part of Dionea Cicconi’s ongoing sculpture series, XYZT, which explores the intersection of the landscape and ephemerality. ‘XYZ is the axis of a grid – T is time’ explains the artist.

Dionea Cicconi chose Rocca for its remote position, perching 1500 metres above sea level on the side of a craggy, snowcapped mountain.

‘It’s an unconventional place to put this kind of installation,’ he says. With its reflective metal surface and slender vertical form, the sculpture is alien against the fort’s stone walls and rugged mountain surrounds. But it’s within this juxtaposition of metal and stone, old and new – and the careful framing of the horizontal landscape within the vertical surface of the totem – that magic is sparked.

Photography: Edoardo Dionea Cicconi

‘I work a lot with vertical points of view,’ says the Palermo-based artist. ‘I’m from Rome, where [in terms of architecture], everything is an “elevation to god”. This artwork and series is not about religion – it is about an influence from my childhood, and “verticality” is a way to elevate yourself somehow as a soul or human being.’

As its name suggests, ‘Kinetic Mirror’ is more than a simple a looking glass, however. When approached by the viewer the sculpture ‘comes to life’, pinching and distorting their reflection – and the landscape surrounding – in its shiny glass.

Photography: Edoardo Dionea Cicconi

Moving around the totem, the viewer can ‘disappear’ entirely into the surrounding space.

‘I’m very interested in the interaction between the user and the artwork – it helps you see the surroundings in a different way’, says Dionea Cicconi. ‘The space is a key part of the installation – it was a very important concept when conceiving it,’ says Dionea Cicconi.

Photography: Edoardo Dionea Cicconi

Some 100 visitors made the trip up the mountain for the unveiling of the totem, thanks to Pic-Nic Affair and the local institutions. It will remain in situ for an undetermined period, awaiting discovery by hikers and tourists to the castle.

Dionea Cicconi hopes the sculpture can take on new mythology of its own, without the context of a gallery setting.

‘It’s an intruder, you could say, but it’s gone public – it’s open for anyone to encounter and interpret (without a curatorial text telling you what to think).’

XYZT ‘Kinetic Mirror’ will be followed by a solo show in London at the CADOGAN Contemporary in June 2022.

Photography: Edoardo Dionea Cicconi

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