Santiago Cucullu and Milwaukee Art Museum
New Work Project Grant
For his Milwaukee Art Museum’s On Site commission, titled MF Ziggurat, Santiago Cucullu mined Milwaukee’s cityscape, works of fiction, television, and his imagination to create a large-scale multimedia intervention that included monumental wall drawings, videos, and sculptures.
These videos document the artist during the installation process.
The ziggurats of ancient Assyria and Babylon – the namesake of Cucullu’s installation – are terraced temples with successively receding stories. The artist incorporates this architectural form into many of his wall pieces, layered with the structural elements and images of daily life today. In MF Ziggurat, Cucullu has used as the foundation of his piece the Museum, a “ziggurat,” which remains stubbornly unobscured, forever the temple that upholds art amidst the bustle of an ever-changing city.
Cucullu’s intuitive working process echoes traditional assemblage and readymade techniques, which manipulate and shuffle imagery into new value systems. The images in his videos and drawings shift and slip into new and unexpected contexts, much like the “everyday absurdities that accumulate and insinuate themselves into reality.” Using free-form associations, Cucullu combines formal abstract and narrative devices alike: In the industrially produced contact paper wall drawing—an entanglement of manipulated images—Cucullu interconnects mini-narratives into a large conglomeration of imagery to be decoded or left as surface. Similarly evocative are his continuously looping videos (without strict beginnings or ending points) of nonrepresentational vignettes.
(Text sourced from Milwaukee Art Museum website).