Roberto Cuoghi: Suillakku Corral
This catalogue coincides with the first solo museum presentation in New York of the work of Roberto Cuoghi. Through an array of unconventional media, Cuoghi’s projects explore ideas of metamorphosis , hybridity, and violence. For his exhibition at the New Museum, Cuoghi will present Šuillakku—corral version (2008–14), an immersive sound installation evoking an imagined ancient Assyrian lament from the seventh century BC. For this piece, Cuoghi embarked on an imaginative journey back in time to the period between 612 and 609 BC, when the Assyrian Empire and its capital, Nineveh, was under attack and eventually fell into ruin. Channeling the grief and fear that were likely prevalent at the time, Cuoghi’ lamentation is performed on a collection of handmade instruments carefully researched, built, and played by the artist himself. Each instrument was recorded individually and assembled into a composition, which can be heard in its entirety when visitors stand at the center of the sound installation. The title, pronounced “shoe-ee-lah-coo,” refers to a posture adopted by the ancient Assyrians when praying, in which one hand is raised. As in much of Cuoghi’s work, the installation explores the ways in which the power of imagination can help transform both history and reality.
New Museum of Contemporary Art; 2014; Softcover; 5.5" x 8"; 70 pp; illustrated throughout; ISBN 9780915557042