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Giuseppe Licari

Artist 330

Giuseppe Licari

Intersubjective Encounters

Multidisciplinary art

Artist Giuseppe Licari
Artist Giuseppe Licari

Giuseppe Licari (born 1980) is a Sicilian multidisciplinary artist living and working in Rotterdam. In his practice Licari explores the socio-economical, cultural and political processes that intervene on, and alter the form of contemporary natural landscapes.


Licari focuses on the cross-border of the natural world and the built environment, exploring the territories emerging from their encounters with installations, performances, workshops, public art, audio-video recordings and publications.


Giuseppe Licari. Humus. 2012. Secret Gardens, Tent Rotterdam
Giuseppe Licari. Humus. 2012. Secret Gardens, Tent Rotterdam

He uses photography and site specific interventions to examine geological, ecological and economical changes to the world around him. He explores how capitalistic economies can radically alter historical and cultural landscapes by creating site specific art installations and then photographing the work.


Giuseppe Licari. Contrappunto. 2016 – Site-specific installation
Giuseppe Licari. Contrappunto. 2016 – Site-specific installation

His work has meant he has worked with grants as well as having been a collaborator in several on site research projects with the Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Historisch Museum Rotterdam, the TU Delft and the Politecnico of Milan.

“The aura is when the art ‘is’, and the art exists only at the time when the aura is simultaneously present.” - Giuseppe Licari
Giuseppe Licari. Humus. 2012. Secret Gardens, Tent Rotterdam
Giuseppe Licari. Humus. 2012. Secret Gardens, Tent Rotterdam

Todays focus is on his artwork installation ‘Humus’ an art installation installed in 2012 and 2015. This site-specific installation uses trees' roots as a ceiling sculptural focal point. The trees' roots and halogen lamps are used to created a network of tree roots. The illusion is created that you are underground with the trees are growing above you.


Giuseppe Licari. Humus. 2015. In de Luwte van de Tussentijd, 35th Kunsten Festival Watou, Belgium
Giuseppe Licari. Humus. 2015. In de Luwte van de Tussentijd, 35th Kunsten Festival Watou, Belgium

The title of the work is ‘Humus’, draws on the soil layer of earth that roots live in which is absent in the instillation. This missing element plays on what is needed for growth and decay.


Giuseppe Licari. Golden Shelter. 2019. Moonstone Trail, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA.
Giuseppe Licari. Golden Shelter. 2019. Moonstone Trail, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA.

On his art practise Giuseppe Licari explains, “My work explores the socio-economical, cultural and political practices that intervene on, and alter the form of contemporary natural landscapes around us. Subject both of science and art, the landscape functions both as a mirror and as a lens: in it we see the space we occupy and ourselves as we occupy it.


Giuseppe Licari. The World Upside Down. 2015. Ampelhaus, Oraniebaum, Germany
Giuseppe Licari. The World Upside Down. 2015. Ampelhaus, Oraniebaum, Germany


With my work I abstract and re-interpret landscapes engaging in an open-ended investigation of transferring the physical experience of a territory away from the locus of its original existence. My aim is to confront the public with nature’s omnipresence, creating new spaces of sensorial and social experiences. Intending to provide the audience with an active role in my work I use a variety of techniques and media, such as installations, performances, workshops and public art, to better address the needs of each idea.


The heterotopic landscapes I create constitute places of memories in which the emotions of single individuals become inevitably part of a collective experience.


Giuseppe Licari. Blue River. 2020. Site-specific installation with audio piece. BIFA, BreckCreate, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA.
Giuseppe Licari. Blue River. 2020. Site-specific installation with audio piece


With my work I want to preserve the aura; the aura of the original work of art, as Walter Benjamin describes, and the aura of the landscape it refers to. This altered relationship between the public and the instance of art has influenced my turn towards site-specific, experience oriented and sensorial art works. In this practice of art it is still possible to ‘safeguard’ the aura because reproduction is virtually impossible.


Giuseppe Licari. The World Upside Down. 2015. Ampelhaus, Oraniebaum, Germany
Giuseppe Licari. The World Upside Down. 2015. Ampelhaus, Oraniebaum, Germany

The only way to experience the artwork, is to experience, so to speak, the ‘original’. Bourriaud claims that "the role of artworks is no longer to form imaginary and utopian realities, but to actually be ways of living and models of action within the existing real”. The artwork rather than being an encounter between a viewer and an object, produces intersubjective encounters.


Through these encounters, meaning is elaborated collectively, rather than in the space of individual consumption.”

Giuseppe Licari. Golden Shelter. 2019. Moonstone Trail, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA.
Giuseppe Licari. Golden Shelter. 2019. Moonstone Trail, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA.


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