Giuseppe Mistretta

Giuseppe Mistretta


♦ Tenement Flat ♦


Walking through a high-ceilinged tenement flat. Discreet details curling around the edges of space. Lines mark fringes. Body exists in only a small area leaving dark wood and white walls to cut a landscape. The floor calls out as it’s stepped upon, quietly as if too tired or old to have the energy to scream. Plants turn away towards light openings; tilting leaves bask in the afternoon sun. Its beam draws out their skeletal structure. Veins weave out from a central spine.


Textures cling to the walls marking their length from top to bottom. Alternating in stripes between a light and mid tone. Centre of fireplace has been gouged out as if by a giant hand. Empty black mouth yawns into lounge ready to eject private conversations up the disused chimney. Pink two-piece suite and rectangular pouffe await human landings. Their overripe softness oozes out, flopping over curvaceous frame, outrageously sexual gaping cleavages. Hand-painted details embalm flower arrangements. Blushing with wild colours delicately composed to draw and shift the eye. Animals are translated into static materials; scaled to similar proportions, a wild horse, duck and mammoth can be easily handled. Other people’s writing and visual productions are carefully arranged on wooden shelving. Spines face out in a rainbow of colours enticing one to fondle their jackets and scan the information they hold. A number of games teeter over the edge of top shelf ready to leap into the arms of a potential player. Their stilted agitation gasps at the thought of being activated.


Tiled wet area, drips stuck on vertical precipice without purpose. Ceiling is stained with a birthmark fading from light brown to tan; its trail slips down, ruffling ellipsed wallpaper. Red bungee knotted around towel hoop, fashioned to clasp the elevated toilet seat in order to stop it crashing onto the porcelain base. Taps move in counterintuitive directions disrupting the brains conditioning, whilst sending a sharp wave over midriff. Wood panelling tapers around at chest height, giving a nautical motion to the washroom.


The moon’s landscape is bathed by the presence of a large sun, casting long shadows from jagged rock. Framed above double bed with disrupted white-and-blue sheets overlaid with a patchwork quilt. Contrasting patterns travel through a history that cannot be unravelled. A floral design is juxtaposed with various hexagons. Blue plane with pink spheres, blue pool with yellow flowers, an autumnal hedgerow, close-up of a cartoon petal and a faded grey arrangement. Two mirrors sit at opposite sides of the room from one another, staring into the other’s gaze, a perpetual embrace. Drawers left open at different degrees, some spewing parts of fabric. Clothes wrestle on light wood chair, some tumbling to the floor and working their way to the wicker-lidded baskets. Gold rectangular box with curved front edges and a soft, padded lid. Clasped at the front with a small brass handle, which is pinned onto plaits that run the length of the object from front to back, marking the lips of its mouth. Three naked cushions nonchalantly perform a bundle to keep the mouth from opening.


♦ ♦ ♦



Giuseppe Mistretta is unsure of where he’s heading but is enjoying the journey. Recent projects include Happy Hypocrite Issue 7, (edited by Isla Leaver-Yap); Dance like nobody’s watching or Dance like you’re not dancing, Rhubaba Gallery & Studios, Edinburgh; Gnommero-Visibility, (edited by Sarah Tripp and Richard Taylor).


♦ Reading List ♦