Submission
Alfredo Aceto and Denis Savary

Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò

The artistic practices of Alfredo Aceto and Denis Savary – both of whom live in the Romandie and maintain friendly relations – are as close as they are different. What they have in common is that they twist existing forms or imagine new ones across different media and charge them with unexpected meanings. In their first joint exhibition «Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», the two artists create a fragmentary installation in which different layers of cultural signs are brought together.


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Alfredo Aceto and Denis Savary «Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», exhibition view, 2021. Photo: Annik Wetter
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«Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», Denis Savary, Valentin, 2021. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich. Photo: Annik Wetter
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Alfredo Aceto and Denis Savary «Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», exhibition view, 2021. Photo: Annik Wetter
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«Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», Denis Savary, Starlings, 2021. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich. Photo: Annik Wetter
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«Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», Alfredo Aceto and Denis Savary, Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò I-III, 2021. Courtesy: the artists; Denis Savary, Le Phare, 2017. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich. Photo: Annik Wetter
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«Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», Alfredo Aceto and Denis Savary, Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò (detail), 2021. Courtesy: the artists. Photo: Annik Wetter
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«Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», Alfredo Aceto and Denis Savary, Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò I+II, 2021. Courtesy: the artists; Denis Savary, Buffa, 2018. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich. Photo: Annik Wetter
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«Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», Alfredo Aceto, 15 minutes late, 2021. Courtesy: the artist and Andersen’s Contemporary, Copenhagen/ Lange + Pult, Zurich, Auvernier/ Parliament Unlimited, Paris; Denis Savary, Jannis, 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich. Photo: Annik Wetter
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Alfredo Aceto and Denis Savary «Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», exhibition view, 2021. Photo: Annik Wetter

The artistic practices of Alfredo Aceto and Denis Savary – both of whom live in the Romandie and maintain friendly relations – are as close as they are different. What they have in common is that they twist existing forms or imagine new ones across different media and charge them with unexpected meanings. In their first joint exhibition «Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», the two artists create a fragmentary installation in which different layers of cultural signs are brought together. The title of the exhibition, borrowed from an Italian counting-out rhyme, is a linguistic expression of what permeates the spaces: An arrangement of myriad signs that evoke associations and condense into narratives. The works slipperily elude clear designation and – like the fantasised words ‘Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò’ – feed on their multiple levels of meaning. Forms and functions are inspired by a wide variety of sources, including art historical myths about Kurt Schwitters or the mythical creature Gargoyle, airports or bathrooms. This detachment from and oscillation between fixed meanings allows for a certain freedom in relating to the works and in the connections that can be established between them.

New and existing works by both artists, as well as works produced together, are combined and activated in an installative way. In the process, unexpected connections emerge and their artistic modes of production are rethought as collaborations and as possible interventions in each other’s production. Functions and associations overlap: works become supports for sculptures, artistic interventions transfer memories of the everyday into a narrative dimension. In the process, Aceto and Savary show that furniture are both objects of daily use and socially constructive factors. Despite its absence, the body plays an essential role in the exhibition. It appears implicitly in various forms and manifestations – for example linguistically as a sound poem (Savary) or as a logopaedic tool used for practicing articulation (Aceto). Thus, the body cannot be read in isolation but in connection with its environment, especially since it appears as a
converging field of and possible scope for action. It is through the body that the forces acting on it are revealed and vice versa. In «Ambarabà Ciccì Coccò», Aceto and Savary create a visible result of such forces to enable a new perspective on both their work and the world that surrounds them.