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Grottoes

2016–2013

Series of architecture projects featuring interiors resembling a cave



Introduction

By Antonino Cardillo

The Grottoes series investigates the ancestral ideas of the sacred and eroticism. These figures, which still inhabit the unconscious of the mankind, admonish us that there is something else beyond the common sights imposed by society. Before the Modern era, architecture bridged eroticism. As paintings and sculptures were permanently unified with the space, architecture was a human narrative. The grottoes-chambers celebrate the eroticism concealed in the act of the construction. Unveiled by the act of the wildly plaster casted walls and the vault created by the masons’ trowel; they suggest a sensual dominance of the void. They appear semi-concealed as the nymph-house of a Renaissance or Picturesque garden. Nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature. Thus nymph-house conveys the idea of the unfolding of the senses. It symbolises the place where human feelings are more connected to the earth and where the senses are amplified. Pozzolana, also known as pozzolanic ash, is the mineral dust which is what the rough plaster is mainly composed of. First carved from the volcano Vesuvius of Naples, and mixed two-to-one with lime, this ancient concrete was widely used by Romans for building the largest constructions of the Late Antiquity. The most famous example is the dome of the Pantheon in Rome. Thus, beholding alternate realities, the Grottoes series explores planes of existence, anthropological significances and labyrinths of senses encased by the unconscious.


Thanks to Ana Araujo


Specus Corallii

Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Trapani, 27 August 2016

Antonino Cardillo, Specus Corallii, Sala Laurentina, Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Trapani, 2016. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

The coral cave


Colour as a Narrative

Illuminum Fragrance, London, 26 April 2015

Antonino Cardillo, Colour as a Narrative, Illuminum Fragrance, London, 2015. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

A volcanic topography


Crepuscular Green

Mondrian Suite, Rome, 29 April 2014

Antonino Cardillo, Crepuscular Green, Mondrian Suite Art Gallery, Rome, 2014. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

From the depths of the river


House of Dust

Rome, 16 April 2013

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Craving for caverns


Bibliography

2021–2013