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MI LECCA COME UN GELATO                              

Orecchie D’Asino, Mi lecca come un gelato, stage at Fondazione Arti Visive Modena, 2019  

Mi lecca come un gelato (2018) was born from the shared dream created by Orecchie D'Asino following theatrical improvisation exercises. The narrative text finds its first physical realization within an ephemeral installation in which different everyday objects find themselves coexisting as in a rebus: the artists, playing with the associative qualities of dreams, stage a scenography which is waiting for its actors. 

In front of me the sea the grey and cloudy sky. It's nine in the morning. A strong smell of pee is in the air, behind me I see a dog. I wait for him to finish peeing and then I go over to pet him. then we start walking together. 

We keep walking having on our right the ocean and a deserted landscape on the left, in front of us an endless beach. At one point we stop because we both see an old industry. We go closer but a thin net separates us and we can only see the smoking chimneys. Somehow, I am certain that it is a lollipop factory. 

Next to this factory there is an ice cream shop, I decide enter with the dog. The shop assistants tell me that today there is only one flavour available but I can't know which one it is. I take a four-scoop ice cream. Holding the pod in my hand, I realize that the ice cream is yellow, I try it: the taste is banana. After tasting it and making sure of the taste, I share it with the dog. Then we head west. 

I see an island: I ride the dog which, starting to fly, tries to get closer, but it is further away than expected. Over time the dog starts to get tired. I'm looking for a way to help him: I break the ice cream waffle into two symmetrical parts and stick them between his ribs so that they become wings. Arrived on the island, we find a tribe of hungry natives. I give to their leader two scoops of ice cream that I had kept in my pockets. They ask for more, so I show them the way to the ice cream shop. They leave following that direction.  

Meanwhile the dog starts digging in the sand and I help him: we find a wooden surface, since I’m curious I let the dog dig even more. He overexerts itself and dies from the strain. After an initial moment of regret, I decide to keep the body aside because I'm afraid that the natives might come back and, still hungry, eat me. In fact, after a while I see them approaching so I give them the body of the dead dog. In return they give me a flying carpet. 

Stepping onto the carpet, I take two large palm leaves with me to be able to use them as oars in the air. On the way, the most beautiful palm catches fire and I am forced to throw it into the ocean. Meanwhile it is getting dark. In the distance, I see the light of a city. I land. I am in my childhood country. In the usual place, in front of a rusty gate, I find the old lady who brings bad luck and looks at me badly. I feel a shiver behind my back, like an omen. I whirl around and a large shadow continues to follow me slowly. 

I'm looking for a hiding place in an abandoned farmhouse. Inside there is a long corridor with many doors, I choose the turquoise door with rounded corners. It's close. The background kicks: I find myself holding an ice cream but of a different color. I'm afraid I'm colorblind. I taste it to make sure if the taste coincides, but it causes a strange effect: I begin to lose the perception of the parts of the body one by one until I melt. In liquid form, I pass the floor until I reach a wooden surface. 

I emerge on the other side. I'm on an island, lying under a palm tree and next to me the dog licks me like I'm ice cream. 

Continuing the research within different languages, Orecchie D'Asino arrives at a new step in the representation of Mi lecca come un gelato. By mixing the elements that distinguish the project and electing the totem as an architectural structure capable of containing past memories through an aggregation of shapes and figures, the artists conceive a sculpture that lives only in its photographic image. Mi lecca come un gelato is constituted in this totem as an expanded archive, in which the image becomes a mirror of itself and the different layers of reality are out of phase, reshuffled: the gaze becomes the field of investigation to reconstruct the different fragments. 

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Orecchie D’Asino, Mi lecca come un gelato, Totem and details, print 180 x 90 cm, 2019

Orecchie D’Asino, Mi lecca come un gelato - Se non mi lecchi mi scioglierò, installation view + performance, Fondazione Francesco Fabbri, Pieve del Soligo (IT), 2022

Se non mi lecchi mi scioglierò (If you don't lick me, I'll melt) is the action made by Orecchie D'Asino during the opening of the Francesco Fabbri Prize 2022. In the exhibition context, the artists animated their installation Totem in the studio (2019) in an ironic and alluring way: wearing black overalls gave to visitors a vanilla ice cream accompanied by the phrase that gives the project its name. With this gesture, the artists have tried to bring reflection on the consumption of art within the contemporary cultural and economic system right during its creation.

On the occasion of Art City Bologna 2022, Orecchie D'Asino created a site-specific project inside the frame of Fondazione Carlo Gajani: overturning the archive of the house museum and staging an archaeology of the project Mi lecca come un gelato, the artists have changed the Bolognese artist's perception of the domestic space. Furthermore, during the days of the festival Orecchie D'Asino animated the house itself: the two shadows, almost an echo of the presence of Carlo Gajani and Gianni Celati, twisted again the various artworks by Gajani and in doing so they reconstruct the original order of the house. 

Inside the Fondazione Carlo Gajani, the artists exhibited the video interview made with the curator Giuseppe Virelli. Inside the video, blinking at Celati's artwork La bottega dei mimi (1975), they explain without explaining and without saying a word their intervention on the Gajani archive. 

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Orecchie D’Asino, Mi lecca come un gelato - DUE | DUO, installation view, Fondazione Carlo Gajani, Bologna (IT) | video interview, 4'36", full HD, video stil, 2022l 

On the occasion of Metafotografare III (2021) Orecchie D'Asino created a site-specific installation inside the frame of BACO - Base Arte Contemporanea, indipendent art space in Bergamo. Taking up the project Mi lecca come un gelato, the artists develop it to a further step: a theatrical dialogue animated by the various characters is born from the original text. The protagonist of the original story is now split into two black figures that animate the video in which the very action of photographing and using an image becomes the thematic focus around which the dream narrative develops. 


The video then finds its own sculptural dimension within the installation space: the main elements that characterize the video explode in the room and the observer finds himself with his feet in the sand, surrounded by cones, umbrellas and a black head. 

Orecchie D’Asino, Mi lecca come un gelato, installation view at BACO – Base Arte Contemporanea, Bergamo (IT), 2021

Orecchie D'Asino invited by Parsec Bologna to organize a crit decides to stage Parliamone: performance and critical action which is hard to define its nature. Reintroducing the iconic elements of Mi lecca come un gelato, Orecchie D'asino fills the spaces of Parsec with sand, overturning the very concept of crit. The result is a meta-crit in which the boundaries between work, artist and public are blurred and visitors become the protagonists called to direct action in the project. 

With a series of questions directed to the public, Parliamone has triggered a series of doubts about the roles and stigmas of the art system. The role of the artist and his authorship is questioned in favor of an art of life without distinctions or borders. 

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Orecchie D’Asino, Mi lecca come un gelato - Parliamone, installation view and performance, Parsec, Bologna (IT), 2022 


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