Riccardo Benassi and Tomaso De Luca, the winners in the first year of the competition organized by Fondazione Pastificio Cerere and by Civita, were offered a period of residency at Pastificio Cerere in Rome. The projects that the artists developed during their residencies take advantage of thresholds and interstices, escaping the rigid confines of the white cube to “haunt” the museum’s areas of passage, places of transition, unforeseen dimensions.
The evolution in the work of these two young artists is documented in the two catalogues published by Mousse. “Letters from the Passenger Seat with No One at the Wheel” is a collection of eight stories that Riccardo Benassi wrote during his residency in Rome. The titles refer to architectural spaces (a building, a monument, a temple, a factory), or particular elements of the architectural interface (a doorbell, an elevator, a hallway), or something stumbled upon along the way. The stories involve pieces of architecture and realistic situations into which Benassi introduces subversive elements of surrealism; mingling nostalgia with amazement, the artist makes memorable observations about the contemporary constructed landscape.