Francesca Urciuoli


“The Brooches”; Silicone, iron, magnets; 10 x 11 inches

My body of work is concerned with the idea of the psychological defense mechanisms by which our memories, and the objects which evoke those memories, are the foundation of our self-protection. This concept is translated by the dis-functionality suggested by certain features—for example, the holes and rust in the material used— the lapse that interrupts the uniformity. More specifically, each piece talks about the failure of our memories. My goal is to embrace that moment of failure, and the consequent instinct of the mind defending itself against it; to reform this ‘compensation’ into a quality of beauty in the object. When ‘the armor of the object’ (whatever that may be) fails, it reveals the vulnerable and fragile human skin beneath. Then, memories become our armor.

My project aims to highlight the agency of each object through an emphasis of their materials and the metaphoric adaptation of adornments. In doing so, the vulnerability inherent in the elemental composition of my objects becomes apparent. It stands against and endures the unpredictable circumstances of daily life. Its cracks and holes give life to the material by suggesting the object has lived a life, and endured the hard passage of time—toward decay or repair. How do we consider a hole, a stretch mark, a gap, a seam or a cut? They are relics of action, something that has occurred, a document, a trace. Marks are the witnesses of our experiences, standing for a lapse in functionality and our perception of beauty.