Elisa Caldana – Shutterstreet- Turin

Elisa Caldana – Shutterstreet

Elisa Caldana collects shop-shutters she finds in second-hand markets and installs them in cities around the globe, creating a surreal corridor of phantom shops in the middle of squares and streets. Sadly, the shutters are closed: we are not entitled to know what type of service or items were sold during their existing times. The art installation in Palazzo Carignano, Turin, is a long colorfoul corridor: located in the middle of the courtyard, it clashes with the view of the baroque building behind it, leaving the viewer a bit perplexed.

The title of the installation, Shutterstreet, refers to the Japanese word シャッター通り – the word stands for a ‘once used to be’ commercial road of now-closed shops after economical and social unrest – when big suburban shopping centers at the beginning of the year 2000 played a big part in screwing it up. The work seems a statement of Elisa’s own political opinions towards capitalism, giant firms, digitalization, and gentrification processes. The message is confirmed, this direction will unsettle our reality pretty fast- the shutters spread like a virus and soon will be replaced with new shutters, in a never-ending nightmarish vision of a new world’s version that collapses into the old baroque culture cemetery. Palazzo Carignano gives its facade to it – once the residence of princes, it then became the House Of Deputies for almost a century; its dreamy decorated exteriors seem to have a  dispute with the symbolism of the installation. The political and institutional core of the building is now in disharmony and discordance with the rest of the square, leaving no authentic inheritance to the location.

As we witnessed for the past twenty years, the culture of big brands helped small professionals evaporate into the air while striving to sell – how long will the corridor stretch in the next 10 years? It is a process of continuous autonomous exchange that sees a regeneration in itself, with creating new cycles of phantom towns around the world.