Giuseppe Licari

  • Italy (b. 1980 in Erice)
  • Currently in Rotterdam, Netherlands.


My work explores the socio-economical, cultural and political practices that intervene on, and alter the form of contemporary natural landscapes around us. Subject both of science and art, the landscape functions both as a mirror and as a lens: in it we see the space we occupy and ourselves as we occupy it. With my work I abstract and re-interpret landscapes engaging in an open-ended investigation of transferring the physical experience of a territory away from the locus of its original existence via discrete or bold interventions. My aim is to confront the public with nature’s omnipresence, creating new spaces of sensorial and social experiences. Intending to provide the audience with an active role in my work I use a variety of techniques and media, such as installations, performances, workshops and public art, to better address the needs of each idea. The heterotopic landscapes I create constitute places of memories in which the emotions of single individuals become inevitably part of a collective experience.

My practice is not focused in the development of a technique, but each work is rather the product of a continuous research into the cultural exploitation of the natural world, expressed through elements such as soil, trees, plants, organic materials and ecosystems, combined with a thorough examination of the historical and social environment of intervention. I use Nature both as canvas, like in my work Registered: Il Paesaggio Oggetto, in which the Ò symbol was engraved directly on the protected valley of Val d’Orcia, and as raw material, like in Humus, in which the central hall of a museum was transformed into a mysterious underworld, leading to the de-familiarizing confrontation between the public and the physical manifestation of natural elements that normally remain inaccessible.

With my work I want to preserve the aura; the aura of the original work of art, as Walter Benjamin describes, and the aura of the landscape it refers to. This altered relationship between the public and the instance of art has influenced my turn towards site-specific, experience oriented and sensorial art works. In this practice of art it is still possible to ‘safeguard’ the aura because reproduction is virtually impossible. The only way to experience the artwork, is to experience, so to speak, the ‘original’. Bourriaud claims that "the role of artworks is no longer to form imaginary and utopian realities, but to actually be ways of living and models of action within the existing real”. The artwork rather than being an encounter between a viewer and an object, produces intersubjective encounters. Through these encounters, meaning is elaborated collectively, rather than in the space of individual consumption.


Giuseppe Licari was born in Sicily and is currently based in Rotterdam.

He studied Painting at the Academy of fine Arts in Bologna and Monumental Art at AKI Enschede, in the Netherlands. His work focuses on the cross-border of the natural world and the built environment, exploring the territories emerging from their encounters, with installations, participatory projects as well as with photography and audio-video recordings. His heterotopic landscapes constitute places of memories, in which the emotions of single individuals become inevitably part of a collective experience.

Licari has been the recipient of significant grants including: the Starter Stipendium and the Work Budget by Mondriaan Fonds, Amsterdam, the O&O fellowship by CBK Rotterdam and residency grants at Iaspis Stockholm and at Badgast Den Haag. He has been a collaborator in several on site research projects with the Historisch Museum Rotterdam, the TU Delft and the Politecnico of Milan. His works have been exhibited internationally, including New Holland St. Petersburg, UAB Visual Arts Gallery at Birmingham Alabama, Tent Rotterdam and Action Field Kodra Thessaloniki.