Feed on Clouds

Xiao Zhiyu
and Dylan Colussi


“Feed on clouds” is an exercise on exhibition-making. It unfolds through a dialogue which happened in the form of writing - notes, recollections and other exchanges, as well as the planning of the exhibition - on a shared Google document throughout February to May 2023.

What does it mean to make an exhibition nowadays, if it ought to exceed its definition as a mere event where art-objects are displayed? What space it creates, and inhabits, as a network or as medium per se? These were some of the initial questions that guided the conversation between Xiao Zhiyu and Dylan Colussi.

The pages on the wall, which constitute the main body of the exhibition, start from two unmatched descriptions of the project space’s floor tiles and delve into the plural pasts of the space itself. Fictionally revisiting the multitudes of material traces of Maa Tila, like the outline of a fireplace or the mispositioned tiles, they reconnect the arcadia of knowledges that are interwoven in Pääskylänrinne 10: the history of the building and its architects, the flower shop and worker’s canteen it used to host, the manufacturer of its ceramics, the handwritten calculation of the building plan, an old photography from the city’s archive…

The objects featured in the exhibition are conceived as the documentation of this dialogue, illustrating the tools used or the material found during the research. Trying to foreground the different stories crossed by the space, the unfixed grid on which they are displayed parallel to the tiled floor, allows a constant rearrangement and the creation of new relations between them.

Changing the past of the research according to the followed route, the exhibition attempts to transpose the space built in the text into the room of Maa Tila, arguing, in the words of Yi-Fu Tuan, place not as fact to be explained in the broader frame of space, but it also as a reality to be clarified and understood from the perspectives of the people who have given it meaning.

Xiao Zhiyu (CN, b. 1995) is a Helsinki-based artist. He explores the notion of exhibition as a medium through material discursive practices of painting, where the convergence between the contemporary perception of images and the formation of painted objects takes a central role. He obtained his MFA in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Arts Helsinki after his BFA in Painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. His upcoming exhibitions include two solo shows at SIC space and Helsinki Art Museum Gallery in Helsinki, and the group exhibition: “In Continuous Dialogue II” at Vapaantaidetila, Helsinki.

Dylan Colussi (IT, b. 1993) is a PhD candidate at Università Iuav di Venezia. His research is dedicated to the role of archives in fashion practices and explores the methodologies designers use to reactivate them. Since 2018 he coordinates the curatorial projects at Emilio Pucci Heritage in Florence, and has worked with other brands and institutions in the development of exhibitions and publications.