Michele Ciacciofera

Michele Ciacciofera

Born in Nuoro, Sardegna, 1969, moved to Palermo where he grew up and at university graduated in Political Science. Afterwards, he returned to Sardegna for an apprenticeship with the painter and architect Giovanni Antonio Sulas. He has since then lived and worked in Siracusa, Sicily since 1990, and in Paris since 2011 where he now lives and works.

Ciacciofera has always been invested in the relationship between human existence and the natural world. Using a variety of artistic approaches, including installation, sculpture, painting, drawing, theater, video and sound, he freely combines media and methods in his exploration of nature, history, mythology and humanity.

Conceptual artist at heart, he is concerned first and foremost with the subject, narrative and feeling that he wishes to convey, with the materials " drawn from a host of sources " following the concept. He constantly calls upon his background in political science, keen interest in environmentalism, and fixation with individual memory, folding in research, activism, and his own subjective reality to create poetic experiences.

For many years he studied landscapes and how humans change them, and human portraits to find their typus. His works have existential themes, with central or appended political and social questions employing a complex, intensely symbolic, visual language.

Material for his inquiries often begin with some nexus found in the cross-currents of languages, their literatures, and histories, for example, J.W. Goethe’s Sicilian Travels that inspired a collection titled “Sicilian Journey” that toured Europe and the USA. He also spent years exploring questions relating to torture, legal and extra-legal imprisonment. Other themes included that of profound melancholy and desolate seascapes and deserts where the near absence of the humans provide surprising perspectives.

He has also worked in theatre. In 2010, he designed sets and costumes for Medea, (dir. Maurizio Panici, starring Pamela Villoresi), which opened at Tindari’s Greek Theater and then toured until 2011, also Oedipus Rex, Helena, Andromaque, and others. Medea inspired his Argonauta series of paintings, drawings and sculptures, which recognized a need to unlock a a more intense dialogue with the past. Another set of works were inspired by the Renaissance masterpiece The Triumph of Death fresco in Palermo’s Palazzo Abatellis.

With architects and engineers he won two competitions for the artistic and architectural refurbishment of the two container handling cranes located in the Port of Palermo, destined to become the symbolic interface point between the port and the city.

He was awarded the Civitella Ranieri NYC Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship for 2015-16.

The artist is currently represented by Vitamin Creative Space (Guangzhou/Beijing), Voice Gallery (Marrakech), Michel Rein (Paris/Bruxelles).

© Michele Ciacciofera

More about Michele Ciacciofera


Human organicity

Polystyrene, magnets, papier-mâché, gouache, dry owers, old stone Buddha

2016, Variable dimension

Original larder

Wood, papier-mâché, dry box, acrylic, fossil, polystyrene

2016, Variable dimensions

Lasting stories

Glazed ceramic


The disobedience of gravity (2017)

Gouache, pastel, wood, glazed ceramic, papier-mâché



Born 1969, Nuoro (Italy). Lives and works in Paris.


Solo exhibition at MAN Museo, Nuoro (December 2017)

Selected solo exhibitions:


Fragments of nature and other stories, Senesi Contemporanea, London (curated by Marco Izzolino. Catalogue with text from Richard Demarco, Marco Izzolino and an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist)


Enchanted Nature, Revisited, CAFA Museum, Beijing (curated by Wang Chunchen. Catalogue published by CAFA with texts from Christine Macel, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Wang Chunchen)
Enchanted Nature, Revisited, Primus Capital Art, Milan (catalogue published by Johan&Levi with texts from Christine Macel, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Angelo Crespi)


Carta Bianca Fine Arts, Catania
20th Street Studio Projects, New York


I hate the indifferent, Summerhall, Edinburgh
Musée en Herbe, Paris (showing with Malachi Farrell) Odio gli indifferenti, Palazzo Montalto, Siracusa Artycon, Offenbach


Tell me a story, Magazzini dell'arte contemporanea, Trapani Onishy Project gallery, New York


Mining memories, Light of Creativity, Miami Beach No man’s land, Museo Civico, Noto
Fondazione Sambuca, Palermo
The triumph of death, Epicentro Contemporary, Berlin


No man’s land, Galleria André, Rome
ARTI-FICI: argonauta, Galleria Civica d’arte contemporanea Montevergini, Siracusa


Silence!, Italian Cultural Institute, New York (curated by Renato Miracco, catalogue published by Charta, texts by Miracco and Lance M. Fung) Silence! " drawings, Palazzo At Borgia del Casale, Siracusa (curated by Carmelo Strano " catalogue published by Erreproduzioni)


Viaggio nell’immagine sulle tracce di Goethe, St. John’s College, Santa Fé (New Mexico USA) .
Prigionieri e deserti, Palazzo del Governo, Siracusa (curated by Ornella Fazzina, catalogue published by Erreproduzioni), Siracusa


Galerie Vlierhove, Blaricum (Netherlands)
Dentro il paesaggio, Complesso dello Spasimo, Palermo (curated by Aurelio Pes, catalogue published by Edizioni La Rocca)

Selected group exhibitions:


57ma Biennale d’Arte di Venezia Viva Arte Viva Documenta 14 Athens " Every time a ear di soun Documenta 14 Kassel " Every time a ear di soun


J’ai rêvé le goût de la brique pilée, ENSA/La Box, Bourges (curated by Natsuko Uchino and Sophie Auger-Grappin)


Nel mezzo del mezzo, Museo Riso, Palermo (curated by Christine Macel, Marco Bazzini, Bartomeu Mari)
What we call love, IMMA Museum, Dublin (curated by Christine Macel, co-curator Rachael Thomas)
Art Bridge Center, Beijing


Endless summer, White Box, New York


Barocco austero, ex Monastero dei Benedettini, Catania
Carta delle circostanze " frontiere liquide, Teatro Verga Ortigia, Siracusa 54 Biennale di Venezia " Padiglione Italia, Corderie dell’Arsenale, Venezia
Sicilia sopra tutti, Galleria Civica d’arte contemporanea Montevergini, Siracusa


Suite 13, Centro d’arte contemporanea Nostra Signora, Palermo
Icona Magnifica, Palazzo della Cultura, Catania
Llibres D ́artista INTRAMURS, Refectorio de Real Monasterio de S.ta Maria de la Valldigna, Valencia
Neoiconoduli-figurazione internazionale complessa, Museo Bellomo, Siracusa
Terzo Rinascimento " linguaggi della sensibilità ibrida, Castello Normanno Galleria Civica d’arte contemporanea, Acicastello


Salvados por el arte, el viaje artistico de unos libros condenados a morir, Istituto Cervantes, Palermo
Porta della Bellezza, Librino/Fondazione Fiumara d’Arte, Catania


Trinacria: Gambadoro, Ciacciofera, Roccasalvo, Le Ciminiere, Catania


Contemporanea, Palazzo del Governo, Siracusa


Ratio Naturalis, Biviere, Lentini
Pluralità segniche: Ciacciofera " Pasini " Roccasalvo, Church of S. Salvatore, Caltavuturo
Migrazioni, Palazzo del Governo, Siracusa
La visione negata, Church of S. Nicolò dei Cordari- Parco Archeologico, Siracusa
Grants and awards :


Award and residency session of self directed studio and work time at Civitella Ranieri Foundation (New York)


Green Vision Prize, Teatro Ambra Jovinelli, Roma


Winner (in a work-group with architects and engineers) of both competitions held by the Port Authorities of Palermo for an ‘artistic- architectural project to reuse two loading cranes in the harbour of Palermo as a symbolic place for the future of harbour-city interaction’


Public competition for artists held by Italian Ministry of Public Works, Rome
Trinacria, contemporary art prize for 50th anniversary of European Union, Università di Catania


Public competition for artists held by the Italian Ministry of Justice, Rome

View Artworks



UPCOMING: Recent Works by Michele Ciacciofera

16 February - 14 March 2019


Michele Ciacciofera: Fragments of nature and other stories

4 October 2017 - 4 January 2018

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