Cleo Fariselli


“You are the only limit to yourself, you can literally do whatever you want, this is the most challenging thing”

AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?

CF: I was born in Cesenatico, on the Adriatic sea. Since I was a child I was considered “the artistic one” I just kept going along with that.


AT: When did it become serious?

CF: It has always been, somehow, serious and fun at the same time. When I was 21 I left the path of theatre to dedicate completely to visual art. At that point I started to define myself an artist.


AT: Are there any person that have been significant in your progression as an artist?

CF: Yes. During the Academy of Fine Arts years I had three meetings that were substantial for me: Fabio Mauri, Alberto Garutti and Jimmie Durham.


AT: What’s your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?

CF: I feel like an antenna, a sort of amplifier or converter. When I stumble into something that I consider interesting, both from inside or outside of me, I start desiring to spread it around. That can be as I captured it or transformed in some way. That’s my first approach to the work: being receptive.

Dancing, 2019, Iron structure, metal net, broken mirrors, elastic bands, cable ties, chain, motor, spotlights | Installation view at Almanac Inn, Turin | ph. Sebastiano Pellion.

AT: What do you want to reach with your work?

CF: Surprising, stimulating, significant perspectives for me and for others, I guess.


AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?

CF: They often change.


AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the final outcome beforehand?

CF: I feel, at the same time, exalted and tired, brave and frightened, expert and newbie… final result is like a destination that I see in the distance, whose details are clarified as I approach. Sometimes it’s like I expected, sometimes it surprises me. I always try to keep the process dynamic.


AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?

CF: When I can’t work on it anymore because it started to have its say.

Fon Gran Papa III, 2019, dental ceramic plaster, clay sediments, cm 31 x 26 x 60 | ph. Silvia Mangosio and Luca Vianello.
Untitled (shoulder), 2018, raku ceramics, cm 43x32x31 | ph. Sebastiano Luciano.

AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?

CF: From life in all its aspects and from my feeling of being sometimes inadequate to it, and other times incredibly involved in it.


AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?

CF: All the different ways of dealing with the work I’ve encountered in other artists have, in some way, influenced me. I am very suggestible.


AT: How important is the role of social media for you?

CF: It is a useful tool, which can be powerful and influential, but its superficiality do not make me too passionate about it.

Hydria, 2019, hand-dyed cotton canvas, scagliola carpigiana element, 23×17,5×19 cm | ph. Silvia Mangosio and Luca Vianello.

AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?

CF: It is important to keep in mind that the system is and must be treated as instrumental to art and not vice versa.


AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?

CF: You are the only limit to yourself, you can literally do whatever you want, this is the most challenging thing. The discouraging one is that you can find yourself incredibly exposed and vulnerable in critical, difficult and sometimes hostile situations. The most gratifying part in being an artist is to feel sincerely and deeply honest with oneself, to be present in one’s work.


AT: What do you do besides art?

CF: I can’t say exactly, because the border is not so clear to me. Mostly I try to cultivate myself, my affections and what’s around me. And to make ends meet. In short, I try to stay in the world in the most painless way that I can, trying to exploit the possibilities of being alive, but without forcing.


AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?

CF: To become ever lighter and deeper at the same time.

Scopio, 2019, plaster, epoxy resin, micaceous pigment, scagliola carpigiana coating, distilled water, iron base, cm 33x28x25 and cm 55x55x140 | ph. Silvia Mangosio and Luca Vianello.
Cleo Fariselli (b. 1982) is an Italian visual artist currently living and working in Turin, Italy.

After studying theatre, she graduated from The Academy of Brera in 2007 in Milan, completing her formation along side international artists of the calibre of Jimmie Durham, Liliana Moro, Rirkrit Tiravanija and The Otolith Group.  In recent years her artistic practice has focused itself upon sculpture, moving experimentally and eclectically towards an experiential dimension.