by Maria Ludovica Gugliotta
curated by Vittoria Mascellaro

Clay, leather, oil paint, paint, variable dimensions, 2021

Nowadays the most controversial and perhaps most restrictive uniform to date is that of gender identification.

Thanks to customs clearance of the female desire and the almost total, on paper, gender equality, the attention is focused on different identities, which, bashfully, come forward.

The increase of awareness, the development of hormonal care and the invention of plastic surgery is fundamental for everyone to become free to change his/her/its body and feel psychologically strong about their physical appearance.

Hence the need to create a dress that allows you to change its intent at the discretion of anyone who wants to wear it.

RECLAIM is for this reason a fluid uniform that destroys the literal meaning of itself.

Thanks to the use of leather and ceramics, we should represent the male and female attributes, with different characteristics and shades of leather, interchangeable with each other in regard to the will of their wearer.

RECLAIM: the weight of the soul in Maria Ludovica Gugliotta’s sculptures

The weight of stereotypes weighs on the clay, while the sinuous movement of Maria Ludovica Gugliotta’s hands crosses that space to give life to new forms.The strong sensitivity that characterizes her artistic research affects disparate issues. From superstition to the question of gender, the artist takes inspiration from common images to offer a new meaning in contemporary society.

The interest in the fairytale and the importance of the suggestions and archetypes are really strong, which makes her practice wide and heterogeneous. She avoids any kind of presumption, nevertheless her works offer a free and disinterested translation, which leads to spontaneous and lively reflection.

The need to shape the materials to create a new story requires definitely an awareness in the eye of the spectator.
The irregularity of the parties of each sculpture convey to avoid a common perfectionism. In this way she allows everyone to recognize and recognize themselves in the elements. Such recognition is possible in RECLAIM, a set of masculine and feminine attributes, adaptable and ready to wear.

In a form of free expression that leaves out any kind of prejudice, Gugliotta goes through the question of identity to the point of transcending any binarism. Through these sculptures, she animates prejudices to give life to a new way of dealing with gender problems.

The sculptures avoid the archetype of the perfect human being, who constantly needs to be defined. The artist gives space to the imagination in order to give the possibility to everyone to become what he/she/it prefers in an unspecified time. She takes up the common forms and she combines them to create new models, which, interchangeable, move in the skin. The leather strings act as a support or better to help the individual, who has the need and the desire to wear them. In this way it escapes any waiting of duty and risks the problem of identification, which today animates the most disparate debates. The new combination makes clear the will to allow each one, who he/she/it truly intends to be, while the body is clothed with soul.

RECLAIM is a practical and intellectual challenge, which touches on contemporary ethics to be loved by the ego.

Text by Vittoria Mascellaro

Maria Ludovica Gugliotta (Rome, 1997). After she attended Accademia di Arte e Artigianato e Restauro Gregorio VII in 2019 in Rome, she started studying Painting and Visual Arts at Accademia delle Belle Arti BRERA in Milan.

Her artistic research is focused on suggestions, stereotypes and archetypes that she investigates through different techniques. Although the heterogeneous nature of her practice offers different possibilities in the fruition of the issues that interest her, Gugliotta prefers the work with clay, which he trains with skill and dedication.

Vittoria Mascellaro (Monza, 1996). After she received a degree in Philosophy at Università Statale in Milano, she started attending a two-year specialisation in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies in NABA.
Her research is focused on the distance between the “I” and the “other” and the instrict relationship that follows from it. In 2021 she started writing for Artribune and Holotipus Magazine.
She is currently living in Lisbon, where she is working on a research about social and engaged art, at Faculdade De Belas Artes ULISBOA.