Suprainfinit Gallery / BUCHAREST (Romania)
22.03.2018 – 29.04.2018
Alessandro Teoldi's works are made of different airplane inflight blankets, machine-sewn together into bi-dimensional and most of the times figurative 'tapestries'. Teoldi has been collecting these blankets for the past few years: they have either been taken from aircrafts during personal trips, given to him by friends and family or bought on popular online stores such as eBay and Etsy, where they are listed as collectible items. In the work, different colors shades, textures and brands (Delta, Lufthansa, American Airlines, British Airways, etc) are mixed together to re-create 'drawings' that address themes of intimacy, proximity/distance, physical contact and melancholic feelings related to ideas of loss and displacement.
Mass-produced materials are transformed and reassembled into representations of hugs, body parts and familiar portraits, in the constant attempt of creating something human out of something soulless like a synthetic blanket. It's a transformative process, where the initial object is being dramatically changed, from its original and disconnected status, into something intimate with a new identity. The blanket's handcrafted appearance takes us back to an idea of home, domesticity and secure comfort - which is emphasized by its very tactile nature. These blankets carry a bodily sense of protection. Their natural softness and warmth keep us safe when we find ourselves in such an isolated and liminal space like the one of a transatlantic flight.
The airline brand is not always visible in the work, but is nonetheless an essential part of it, adding a political layer to the body of works. These pieces of fabrics are massdistributed; each of us gets the same. They are manufactured to produce a temporary comfort and satisfy a universal need. By including the corporate logo in some of the pieces, Teoldi openly addresses the conflict that happens between the intimacy of a personal gesture and the universality of an object that, in this case, becomes vehicle of values related to consumption; each work is the attempt to embody and translate the physical bond between a brand and the consumer. Facing the question of the overlapping relation between an individual body and the idea of a "collective body" behind a brand, the series analyzes how we are involved in intimate relationships with and through (branded) objects. At the same time, Teoldi wants us to focus on the affective connection we often establish with commodities, capable of becoming at some point a sort of transactional objects for us consumers.
Micola Clara Brambilla