Rossella Biscotti, Crude Oil, 2016

Rossella Biscotti

 

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In Crude Oil Biscotti shows a series of cast iron scales in different dimensions, each filled with a special glass pouring that depicts crude oil and its interaction with water.

The work is informed both by the recent history of exploiting crude oil as well as by the process of glassmaking and recycling within the traditional glass industry. Biscotti uses the blackness and plasticity of the material glass when processed in the glass factory. Fluid glass is, in this phase, comparable to the viscosity of crude oil, and clear glass mimics the appearance of water. Combining these two qualities, Biscotti’s glass sculptures evoke the consequences of oil extraction in poor countries, where oil spills are common and pose imminent danger to the local biosphere.

The glass has been recycled from waste material, and the metal bowls in which the pieces have been placed are commonly used in Murano to hold the glass that is left in the ovens after production. In earlier times this glass was thrown away and used for landfill on special garbage islands in the Laguna of Venice. When all this residual glass of different colours is reheated and mixed in the bowl, it creates a deep black tone. By adding different chemicals like arsenic, the glass is corrupted and iridescent colours come to the surface. Soda is also added, thus creating bubbles within the composite.

Biscotti’s work can currently be seen at the Van Abbe Museum Eindhoven (NL), Portikus Frankfurt (DE) and Spazio Murat in Bari (IT). Forthcoming shows are at the Maxxi in Rome, Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana (SI) and Contour Mechelen (BE). Recent solo exhibitions include: Museion Bolzano (2015), WIELS Brussels (2014), Haus Esters Krefeld (2014), Secession Vienna (2013) and CAC Vilnius (2012). Biscotti has also participated in SONSBEEK ‘16, the Venice Biennale (2013), Istanbul Biennial (2013), Manifesta 9, Genk (2012) and dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012). She has won a wide range of prizes and stipends, among them the Mies van der Rohe Stipend in 2014; the Michelangelo Prize in 2010; and more recently the Quadriennale di Roma prize 2016 and the ACACIA prize 2017. The work has been produced through a commission by DordtYart.

Rossella Biscotti, Crude Oil, 2016
Rossella Biscotti, Crude Oil, 2016
Installation view WIlfried Lentz Rotterdam
Photo: Sander van Wettum
Rossella Biscotti, Crude Oil, 2016
Rossella Biscotti, Crude Oil, 2016
Installation view WIlfried Lentz Rotterdam
Photo: Sander van Wettum
Rossella Biscotti, Crude Oil, 2016
Rossella Biscotti, Crude Oil, 2016
Installation view Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam
photo: Sander van Wettum