Im-materiality and identity
Paolo Icaro, Unfinished, 1977. Courtesy the artist
IM-MATERIALITY AND IDENTITY
13.01.2017 /14.01. 2017 – Venaria Reale, Turin
A seminar open to the public focused on the relationship between the materiality – and immateriality – of the artwork and its identity processes.
In this perspective, the seminar invited artists, art historians and philosophers together with restorers to reflect broadly on the relationships between artistic practices and materials in the framework of their transitions from tangible supports towards their digital crumbling.
The series of meetings intended to reflect on the relationship between materiality (or immateriality) and its cultural meanings and seeks to address the issue by opening the discussion to a team of stakeholders invited to testify on the subject according to their own personal experiences and researches.
From the selection of raw material to its organization, processing and presentation in the space until the complete de-materialization of the moving image, the question about materiality is often and still an important clue to understanding the motivations and consequent possible meanings of the work itself.
What the raw material tells us about form and symbolic meanings?
How and to what extent a restorer negotiates the relationship with the artist when materiality is altered? When and how this calls into question the identity of the work itself?
How the materials are symptom of a cultural affiliation to which the community as we address – and thus we protect? How that transformation of state of matter (solid towards digital distribution) can be a tale of a different art history and social identity?
On the first day the artist Piero Gilardi intervenes, the son of a fresco restorer, who describes what it means to restore something that has no physicality. Gilardi cites Robert Morris Box’s work with the Sound of its Own Making (1961), and states that a possible restoration could reduce the work to a simple document that reports its operation. It is in this idea of naturalness that the very acceptance of the cyclical nature of things lies. What Gilardi proposes is a different idea of both temporality and restoration; his nature rugs, in their original intentions, had to be actually used as carpets, the artist accepted the wear and tear of the work and in doing so made it alive.
The flow of time and energy flows are the subject of the practice of the second artist to intervene, Italo Zuffi. In his work Zuffi emphasizes what could be called “entropic passages”, composed of open works, both in the acceptance of temporal becoming and in their reception. Emphasizing energy changes, Zuffi follows Lavoisier’s famous axiom based on which nothing is destroyed and nothing is created but everything is transformed. Reconnecting therefore to the restoration, his works are unrestorable precisely because they are devices that circulate energy translating it into other ways and other worlds, dematerializing forms that are not completed.
In the practices of three young artists, as many different approaches to restoration can be found: in the works of Lupo Borgonovo there is an archaeological nostalgia for worn and discarded objects. Alberto Tadiello, artist who works with sound and with installation, accepts instead that the temporal destiny of the work is delimited, letting time act and transform it. Similarly Hilario Isola, close to the categories of the ephemeral and of perception, states that one must follow the identity and destiny of the work; when the materiality is more aleatory, it is the public that becomes co-author and the role of the restoration changes accordingly.
As part of the activities of the classroom the seminar is conceived as a place where the contributions of different speakers on the suggested theme put into question the very mode of transmission of knowledge and forms of “lecture” as a multifaceted and interdisciplinary artistic practice.
The seminar is thus open to students of any undergraduate degree and disciplinary matters, as well as the interested public. Lessons and meetings are intended to encourage discussion and direct exchange between teachers and students, fostering a unique working plan in the class.
The seminary has been produced with “Centro di Conservazione e Restauro della Venaria Reale” thanks to collaboration of Sara Abram, development and fundraising manager, and under the presidency of Stefano Trucco.
Piero Gilardi , Italo Zuffi, Ben Vickers, Andrea Pinotti, Diego Marcon ,Lupo Borgonovo, Giulia Bruno – studio Armin Linke, Martina Angelotti, Marco Scotini, Antonio Rava, Barbara Ferriani.
Lectures and talks will take place inside the laboratories of the Centre where the project Handle with careby the video artists MASBEDO is installed.