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2019 - 2021


Every child in my family grew up listening to the story of the Ciucciuí, a misterious creature that the adults used to scare the children to put them to sleep. The stories, ‘cause there are different versions of them, dealt with the Ciucciuí kidnapping the children who weren't in bed at night, taking them to his huge and scary nest, from which they couldn't escape. All of us were absolutely sure we heard his voice, at least once, but none of us could be ever be able of recall how it sounded. None of us had ever seen the creature, it had been living for years in the childrens' memories in multiple forms, changing its appearence every time through the eyes of one of us.

Is it possibile to have memories of something you can't surely say it exists? Can you believe that something exists, without having the proof?

This work was born out of the need to reconstruct a fragmented memory, in order to create a new one where it doesn't exist, to fullfill a visual and acustic gap through an improvised use of scientific research instruments and new technologies. Videosurveillance, microphotography, infrared, 3d scanning, photographic cataloguing of computer generated evidences, come into contact with the family archieve and with sound (generated from the images through a software capable of transforming pixels into frequencies), in order to document a hidden reality that no one ever felt the need to prove to be truthfully.

“Ciucciuí” is a multisensorial investigation that doesn't aim at a specific instance - apart from the awareness that it's not important to find what you're looking for - rather the action of looking itself; one that never stops and continuously changes, together with us and our memory. Lying betweenreality and fiction, it aims to underline how much a non written tale can be influenced by multiple voices andhow much our imagination and memory can affect the shape of reality.

*The form of the book is the one I wanted for the project from the beginning, necessary to organize an oraltradition and its multiple voices in an object with its own materiality, in a physically present trace anddocument.
In this shape the work has further changed, transforming itself into a narrative flow in which the textrepresents at the same time a clue and a denial. The words, extracted from different documents and voices,have been reorganized to produce a story that tends to change according to how it is read. Different sensesof reading are intertwined, in the text but also in the images, in a continuous operation of concealment anddiscovery. *

"Ciucciuì" by Priscilla Pallante

published by 89books

1. Edition 11/2021

Texts by Priscilla Pallante

Book design by Priscilla Pallante

128 pages

15 x 24 cm


Digital print

Algorithmic conversion of pixels into frequencies.

Installation view, Centro Luigi Di Sarro, 2019. Detail, Panopticon n.1, 2, audio.

Installation view, part of "Diversioni" group show, Centro Luigi Di Sarro, 2019, Rome.

Using Format