Lives and works in Milan.
She studied at Brera Academy of Arts in Milan, at the New York film academy, Stella Adler studio in NYC, at Silvio D’amico’s Accademia di Arte Drammatica and at Alessandro Fersen Dramatic School.
She grew up in a family of architects and painters and she’s always been using painting, drawing, videos, photography, performance and acting practice on constant basis as narrative element and tool to achieve acknowledgement and to research the Idea as a social tie.
She collaborated with movie directors as Luigi Squarzina, Michelangelo Antonioni, Mario Monicelli, Andrej Tarkovskij, Ken McMullen, Carmelo Bene, Giuseppe Bertolucci, Jean-Luc Godard, Nicholas Roeg and Neil Jordan and with curators as Achille Bonito Oliva, Francesca Alfano Miglietti, Danilo Eccher, Denis Curti, Elena Agudio e Cristiano Seganfreddo.
Text by Mariella Rossi Cagol
The videos can be viewed only on request
Domiziana Giordano conceived the (currently unpublished) project «Chance and Necessity» in 2019, fifty years after the 1969 conference «Ethics of knowledge» of the Nobel Prize for Science Jacques Monod in which he spoke of the objectivity of science in the phenomena of nature, thus excluding any possibility of divine project.
The artist was inspired by this discourse of Monod, to whom he had begun working for a decade, to trigger «a poetic reflection on atheism as a form of rational thought to defeat the social discrimination inherent in religions».
Thus Domiziana Giordano summarizes the project, continuing, «without adequate knowledge of science one remains in the sphere of dreams and falls into the arms of religions, which - without exception - put the condition of women and homosexuals on the margins. Ergo, the feminine question and lgbt passes through science».
The project is designed by the artist through the interaction of two main elements: a participatory performance and a multi-channel video installation.
The video installation captures several people who read passages from Monod’s text in various languages, including one in Arabic read by a woman with a burqa. The framing is a close-up of the person reading, in the background in Croma Key the artist’s drawings with references to nature turned into bright colors.
In a different frame the same person dances in an empty space. Then there are confessionals, in which the spectator is invited to enter for an unexpected dialogue.
The «Winter tales» by Domiziana Giordano are short stories that begin and end on the same sheet.
«We all need to tell each other. Some of us decide to tell others by creating non-existent characters. Other times the characters really exist, but the names are omitted. There are no rules: you can decide to use images or verbal narration. I wanted to use both» the artist writes.
Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 cm
The «Bocche» series recalls the constant element of the narrative in Domiziana Giordano’s research. The narrative, understood as a process of knowledge and expressed in other works of the artist through the textual element and a consequential development, is here explicitly referred to through the organ of language. The idea of the affirmation of individuality, so dear to the artist, returns in this work: through language the individual can express his own thoughts and uniqueness.
These direct references are an occasion for the artist to reflect on the title and conceptual construction of the work, as well as on the idea of affirming the individuality of the artist himself.
«Sometimes choosing a title for one’s work is lying to others and to oneself,» says Domiziana Giordano, «and continues: What is the reason behind a painting? Do I really have to reveal the nature of my thoughts to make my work conceptually acceptable? I tried several times to give it a title and every time it seemed to me a superfluous exercise in style. At first I chose a crafty title by identifying these mouths to an erotic imaginary and I called it Partouse - Piled up, another day, when I felt particularly fragile and - on that day, only on that day - honest, I wanted find a title that reflects my stuttering, or my difficulty in expressing myself verbally.
Certainly whatever you choose to say or not to say, our unconscious is hidden behind all our words. And the interpretation evolves into a totally objective and therefore mutable meaning diachrony».
Sculptural works, plastic material painted in watercolor, installations, video works, photographic works
The «Petals» series, which includes installations, sculptures, photographic and video images, tears this subject to the process of canceling still lifes to highlight a contrast between the fast superficiality of the use of the visible in today and the durability of deep expression of the self.
Thus the artist talks about the investigation process that gave rise to the series.
«It all started with an image: a corridor of a 16th century building, the lights of a spring afternoon light illuminated the floor with geometric shapes. Against the wall a handful of petals created a play of colors. I studied its structure. It was a sculpture.
I moved the petals and placed them at the edge of a shadow and lined them up. I found myself playing with these small colored shapes, without thinking of any meaning other than the shape and colors that they formed.
I had a reflex with me and took pictures.
The petals, so beautiful and delicate, were easy prey for easy-to-read aesthetic interpretations - from Decadentism to the present, and used as decorations for everyday objects of dubious taste.
In short, I wanted to use them to get something good out of them except clichés. I made thousands of them and colored them one by one with watercolor. As an emblem of today’s throwaway society, which renounces its culture in favor of a sensitive short-range pleasure.
I used them as non-Euclidean plastic forms».
The following works are part of the «Petals» series:
Installation, wooden box, 120 x 35 x 35 cm, grass, 150 x 150 cm
Domiziana Giordano wanted to recreate with the installation «Ossimoro» the scene of the petals on the floor that presented itself in front of her and immortalized the origin of this series of works. You look through a peephole of the measure of a frame inside a closed parallelepiped and you see the three-dimensional reproduction of the photo. To access the peephole, the spectator must climb barefoot on a carpet of real grass in a short circuit between real and artificial.
Installation, two antique chairs, plastic petals painted in watercolor The seats of two antique chairs are covered with petals in plastic material painted with watercolor.
«Eye! History is fragile History is culture and must be defended daily, taking care of it by cultivating it», says the artist.
Installations, petals in plastic material painted in watercolor, different sizes The «Totems» are circular sculptures of reduced dimensions and large circles 130 cm in diameter covered by petals.
The «Totems» are small circular sculptures and large circles 130 cm in diameter covered by petals. The artist reveals that «the realization of these petals was very long and laborious: what was I thinking of during the realization? The true meaning of the work is, after all, the reflection made during the work».
Photographs digitally retouched with pictorial, ink jet interventions on paper, watercolor, soft pastels and graphite, 33x33 cm.
Wood and iron installation, books, aluminum grille, 170 x 220 cm
In the strongly symbolic installation «Prohibited intellect» Domiziana Giordano focuses once again on the idea of society as an obstacle to the development and expression of the self.
«In recent decades, the culture that made beauty an intrinsic aesthetic issue of cultural education itself has become a perception of luxury exempt from that ethics and aesthetics that is the basis of culture itself,» the artist is convinced.
«Books are an accessory, when they exist, and no longer the foundation of a thought. Here they are therefore present but made inaccessible by a network».
Drawings, videos, photographs
The title «The origin of worlds» identifies a chapter of Domiziana Giordano’s research that concerns themes dear to the artist such as the role of women and the idea of religion, bond and constriction. In video images, photographs and paintings, the exterior of sea caves recall the symbol of the vagina: if from the outside they look like dark and frightening holes, on entering we discover a light and welcoming world.
The artist speaks of the idea of contrast between nature and society. «The ancestral fear of the male unconscious towards the female one is massively helped by religions,» writes Domiziana Giordano. «Religions have and continue to condition these prejudices on the verge of stupidity. From women away from the villages, as impure, during their menstrual period, to compel them not to eat together, the condition of women is subject to daily harassment. Nature, unknowingly, in the form of a metaphor, feeds these fears, but also brings solutions. Nature is an open book that teaches us to have courage, to respect our fears as well as to respond».
3 Video-loops, 15” each.
The 3 micro-loop videos of the «Coitus interruptus» series take up, for the immediacy of development, the micro videos that Domiziana Giordano made already at the end of the Nineties. In this case the vision is not syncopated, but truncated, appearing without beginning and without end, as extracted from a more extended sequence.
They are excerpts from a narrative, so the artist just wants to hint at them. Giordano calls them «lyrical images in an alienating setting».
In the video work «Mantra 01» Domiziana Giordano re-enacts an experience of contact with the external landscape in order to allow herself and the viewer to experience it different every time, making a narrative mechanism.
Here the synopsis written by the artist when he conceived the work.
«Personal experience of the place with the re-cre (action) of the work. Whoever sees the work is physically brought to the place, in order to be able to directly experience the mantric suspension. A subjective sequence plan of a road trip in a desert landscape. Little by little we begin to notice details: the clouds that pass by making the shadows on the landscape run away quickly, the change in color of the earth and vegetation. The road becomes a suspension of one’s Self; with the help of this lay prayer we are gently transported outside of our personal stories. Suspension abruptly interrupted by the accidental and incidental return to reality. The experiences I have lived, that I show you and that I share with you are also the synthesis of an ethical, aesthetic and secular thought, at the same time exempt of both materiality and religiosity, as in a third way. This place is a non-place of the soul. It is also an experience of a la carte perception. I physically carry you where I have had the experience and share it with you. You are involved in my perceptive action, therefore one with the work».
Clay sculptures, drawings, different sizes
With the work «The transparent box« the artist creates transparent aedicules that contain false relics. In this way she decides to face a classic mechanism of veneration, both secular and religious, with the intention of reflecting on the deeper mechanisms of influence and constraint of society, beyond beliefs and ages.
Drawings on paper, watercolor, soft pastels, graphite, different sizes
A constant thread in the production of Domiziana Giordano is the portrait, developed through photography, painting and drawing, which often interact with each other.
The artist moves between an attention that addresses to friends and colleagues in individual portraits and the desire to ramble freely giving life to the characters of his anonymous portraits, «Anonymous portraits».
«Painting the human face is like facing a mystery to be solved, writes Giordano, in the different angles of this world made of lip eyes and nose one can travel to the discovery of distant lands. It is like taking a trip on horseback in a drone where it glides through valleys and plateaus».
Sculptures, white clay, 40 x 30 x 25 cm approx. each, drawings, engravings, different sizes.
With the series «Class action» Domiziana Giordano draws on the tradition of work representations to insert an element of criticism towards today society.
«A global movement called Occupy Wall Street had just formed» the artist writes. «There was a lot of pressure in that period, the demonstrations were on all the front pages of the newspapers»
And she goes on to explain the genesis of this series: «I imagined the people of finance running away chased by protesters who look up as if to say: God why did you abandon us? I shaped the white clay by hitting it with a piece of wood to better define the emotional power of the period.»
Watercolor on paper
The series of paintings «Orizzonti» is a rare example of abstraction in the production of Domiziana Giordano.
In this case the idea of temporal succession takes shape in the scan of colored lines. The artist defines them as «blurred images of thoughts in which the rhythm of time and memory becomes pure color».
Installation, road signs, videos, photographs
MACRO, Rome and public spaces in Rome and Venice
«You Are Here» is a multi-level project that includes an installation at the Macro Museum of Rome, installations in various public spaces in Rome and Venice, videos and photographic images, which aim to raise questions about ethical, political and cultural gaps of contemporary society.
«The Internet has given us a planet without borders. At the same time, and on the contrary, the major national states modify their political strategies to create reactionary ideologies and self-limiting lifestyles» explains the artist.
In the project «You Are Here«, the red landmarks move. Thus the points of reference move and lose their geographical coordinates and as such are reference points in continuous evolution.
In the installation at the MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome) the location points were mirror images. In Venice, the reference points of the «You Are Here» project were moving on T-shirts, shopping bags, stickers and flyers.
«We can only detect the effect, the red end point, while the cause may vary and therefore remain undetermined. In life there is no objective reality, there are many different truths» the artist concludes.
«I want to be you» is a performance that Domiziana Giordano conceived in 2003 in two variants. In one, the words of the title are reproduced on a pair of glasses worn by the artist, in the other on a T-shirt.
In both cases the writing is directed towards the observer who, reading the declaration, reflects it in turn towards the artist. This mechanism of reflection puts into effect the process of affirmation of the ego through dialogue with the other, but at the same time it denounces the will of superficial emulation instilled by the society of the media.
This speech, initiated by the artist as early as 2003, is now very much amplified in light of the explosion of social networks.
The work, in the intentions of the artist, should have been performed with the participation in a television reality show, the Isola dei Famosi, within which Domiziana Giordano should have worn the shirt as a radical performative act; but the artist was not allowed to wear the shirt and complete the performance.
The artist responded to this prohibition by refusing to continue participating in the television program, deciding in this way to decline his criticism of the mechanisms of influence of the media on the construction of the ego. The work is currently unpublished.
Video - 1:31’
«Self-awareness» is a grueling ride on horseback as a metaphor for life and the relationship between the self and the other as a self. The video images are superimposed by the artist with large letters, fragments of a love speech: the video language and the literal language intertwine.
Photographic works, different dimensions, video works
The title «Diachronies» identifies two series of photographic works by Domiziana Giordano, a homonym of 2002 and «Metrosemiocity» of the following year, both characterized by the same narrative mechanism, also used in the photographic works of the series «Steps Ahead» of some previous years, that is a grid that encloses a succession of frames and that, in «Diacronie», also immortalizes the human figure.
The artist uses this narrative artifice to dissect the process of self development. Diacronia, in its Greek etymology composed by δια (diá) through and χρόνος (chrónos) time, is a term that indicates development through time, used in philosophy and psychoanalysis, initially used by Ferdinand de Saussure in the linguistic field, speaking of evolution of language.
«I wanted to apply this term not to language, but to image», the artist declares, «in the photographic sequence, the dynamic of the story defines the moment in its becoming».
In the video work «Love for sale», Domiziana Giordano explicitly addresses the role of women, their affirmation, ties and constraints for the first time.
«I listen to the words of Cole Porter’s song. Women have always received so much violence. But I am full of energy and in case I know how to defend myself», writes the artist.
From a technical point of view, the work is a loop made up of 16 frames and disarms for the communicative strength and depth generated by a construction structure so immediate.
The work is conceived as an immersive video installation, in which the viewer finds himself in front of the image, the helpless target of the artist’s fists, amplified by the large size of the image.
Photographic works, different sizes, micro video loops
Domiziana Giordano’s «Steps ahead« series of 1999, which includes the photographic works of the same name and the video works «Savoy Truffle» and «Day Dream» of the same year, reflects on the superficial speed of communication in today society, incapable of being an expression and construction of individuality.
The photographic works appear as regular grids of tight sequences of images, which appear to force the freedom of vision of the external world.
The video works with their freshness take the spectator by surprise, placed in front of moving images that long anticipate the current habits of narration and vision through animated GIFs, the boomerang effect applied to still images, the live mode in the digital shot and the idea of the story in social networks.
Video - 32’
The video «On the skin» by Domiziana Giordano speaks «of the daily reception of images, which covers us with a second skin», as the artist explains.
The work, seen today, appears immersed in the culture of music video clips and fashion magazines of the Nineties, a period in which it was created, refers to the experiences of American experimental directors of the Sixties and Seventies with their painting interventions directly on films, and anticipates the concept of self-exposure among the images that come from outside of the current social media culture.
Technically it is the result of a long work of preparation and assembly, which the artist adopted in the same year (1996) also for the realization of the video “Virtual Memory”. It is a tight succession of frames (4 per second), on which the artist intervened by digitally painting.
Signs, but also frames that enclose images and tips like jaws. The images, taken from the glossy magazines, are already built, artificial, and among them are included portraits of the artist, also extrapolated from the magazines, while others are his self-portraits. Without mediation, without conditioning.
The video was used for a performance during the VolterraTeatro 1998 edition, whose Arte section was then curated by Francesca Alfano Miglietti.
The video was presented in a large projection (3 x 4 m) and, in front of it, Domiziana Giordano danced, invisible, camouflaging herself in the flow of images. A way to emphasize the idea of a standardized, conditioned, canceled individual.
Storyboard of a short film
The short film «La torta», which lives on the storyboard started by a very young Domiziana Giordano in 1980, bears witness to an incredible consistency in the artist’s research, traceable in the narrative element and in the idea of the realization of individuality.
The artist plays with the temporal succession to stage a surreal story as «a metaphor for life and the mechanisms of desire».
Watercolor and ink on paper.
The series of drawings «Percorsi» is the first corpus of works in the early career of Domiziana Giordano, which in the stages immediately following it was revealed through the actorial practice.
In these works the artist, not yet twenty years old, started a series of frames in the form of a drawing to tell different moods. There is already the narrative element that will later become a constant in his research.