1 a trace or remnant of something that is disappearing or no longer exists: the last vestiges of colonialism.
2 Biology a part or organ of an organism which has become reduced or functionless in the course of evolution.
Cuccagna’s elaboration, research and immersion process is an integral performative element in her work. Stating that “sculpture is performance” the artist denotes the relation between her sculptures and real life, which includes birth, mutations and end. Through this point of view Cuccagna investigates and contemplates contemporary era. Memory, looking at the past, history, excavating, finding and re-appropriating “remains”, “fragments” and “scraps” from this or another life she prompts and reminds us “to look again” with ample space for interpretation. She takes us on a dance with history, memory and experiences, like an archaeologist presenting the latest find.
The creative process adopted by Ilaria Cuccagna is an extremely lengthy one often exploring specific areas for months on end, inhaling all the historical and natural history that a location can offer. She explores while residing in a Residency or while walking in her back yard of Como, Italy. Finding and collecting all sorts of objects from marble to bones, from moss to historical artefacts which are then taken back to her studio for consideration and contemplation. Arranging, rearranging or assembling her findings, sometimes adding live natural elements which change her work through the course of time.
Ilaria Cuccagna, after studying sculpture and photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Urbino and the Facultad de Bellas Artes de San Carlos, Universidad Politécnica of Valencia, participated in collective and personal exhibitions, in Italy and abroad. Including in 2011 Abecedario della storia sotto il tappeto, MAR Ravenna museum, Officine dell'Arte, Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan and in 2016 Migratio, Mdina-Valletta, with a solo exhibition at Spazio Splendid in Valletta, Malta. In 2015 she was invited to the Mdina Contemporary Art Biennale (Malta) where she realised site specific projects in relation to the history and the socio-cultural context of the territory. In the same year she was invited to collaborate as a university professor with the Department of Art History at the University of Malta, conducting workshops on techniques for sculpture. In 2016 she took part in the Stage as a social platform project, a production workshop of Luigi Coppola's Continuum performance at Viafarini in Milan. In the same year she was selected by the program residences exchange project Rad'Art-Bòlit as an artist in residence at Bòlit, Center d'Art Contemporani of Girona (Spain). In 2018 was invited by Dolomiti Contemporanee art residency to realize a specific work for the exhibition brain-tooling inside the Fort of Montericco, Pieve di Cadore (It).
She currently lives and works in Como, Italy.