Suspense. Suspended Sculptures
Suspense. Suspended sculptures, an exhibition curated by Lorenzo Giusti and Arabella Natalini, seeks to explore the concept of “suspension” in relation to contemporary sculptural languages. The spaces of EX3, Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea in Florence will host works by artists of various generations and provenances, created over the course of the past decade, 2000-2010.
The term “suspended” also refers to various three-dimensional works, most of which are not floor-standing, that privilege empty space over mass, lightness over weight, movement over stability. What the exhibition seeks to explore is a widespread phenomenon, the origin of which can be traced back to some examples from avant-garde tradition, from constructivism to surrealism, and in particular to Calder’s mobiles.
The lack of philosophical certainties and political or religious ideologies, running parallel to a rising awareness of the limitations of “progress” and accompanied by a strengthening demand for sobriety and subtlety, contributed to an exponential increase in the creation of slight, precarious or ephemeral works, many of which now share the characteristic of suspension. In fact, a significant segment of contemporary sculptural production has not only abandoned the pedestal, but has radically freed itself from any sort of attachment to the ground.
Explored through individual experiences over the course of the 20th century, in this past decade the practice of “suspension” became a distinctive element of the poetics of numerous artists. The exhibition will present a group of suspended or projecting works characterized by a general rejection of any stable or pre-set form – works that suggest the idea of a possible manipulation or a probable interchange, even as their three-dimensionality and spatiality maintain a solid bond with the idea of sculpture, albeit a mutated one.
The group of artists invited to participate in the show, all of whom share this attitude toward sculptural suspension, convey numerous and varied communicative aims: the common characteristics of lightness, dynamism, anti-monumentality and instability of the works presented at EX3 qualify them as true linguistic devices intended to elicit multiple reactions and reflections.
This is certainly true of the exploration of natural processes carried out in various ways: by drawing on objects from nature, re-proposed as abstract and arbitrary structures by Bojan Šarčevid, as well as in Claire Morgan’s vegetal architectures, Tomas Saraceno’s microcosms, Pae White’s sculptural agglomerations or the biomorphic shapes of Beth Campbell’s mobiles. It is also true of the further reflection on identity found in the anthropomorphic forms constructed using everyday materials by Alexandra Birken, Jorge Pardo’s human cages and Daniela De Lorenzo’s felt casts, or represented conceptually through the dichotomy between presence and absence in Hans Shabus’s work. And it is true of the exploration of the intrinsic temporality of the object and its tendency to mutate and deteriorate discernible in the structures by Franco Menicagli and Luca Trevisani; or in Tobias Rehberger accumulations, as well as the reflection on the instability and semantic “drift” of perception suggested by Cornelia Parker’s hybrid trap/shelter structures, Tobias Putrih’s experimental apparatuses and Hector Zamora’s sculptures teetering on the fence of a double abstract/figurative, heavy/light duality; or Ernesto Neto’s walk-through installation in which perceptive instability is augmented by aromas and odors that physically involve the spectator in concert with the fluctuating and organic forms of the structures.
Multiple lines of experimentation converge in the ever-changing and mutating relationship that works of art establish with the space around them, in virtue of their suspension and instability.
Artists: Alexandra Bircken (Germany, 1967), Beth Campbell (USA, 1971), Daniela De Lorenzo (Italy, 1959), Claire Morgan (Ireland, 1980), Franco Menicagli (Italy, 1968), Ernesto Neto (Brazil, 1964), Jorge Pardo (Cuba, 1963), Cornelia Parker (UK, 1959), Tobias Putrih (Slovenia, 1972), Tobias Rehberger (Germany, 1966), Tomas Saraceno (Argentina, 1973), Bojan Šarčevid (Bosnia 1974), Hans Schabus (Austria, 1970), Luca Trevisani (Italy, 1979), Pae White (USA, 1963), Hector Zamora (Mexico, 1974).
February 11, 2011