Giuseppe Gabellone. Km 2,6
- 3 May 2023 - 1 October 2023
curated by di Elena Volpato
2,6 km is a video by Giuseppe Gabellone (Brindisi, 1973) from 1993. It is one of those rare works that is created very early on in an artist’s career, and yet, already seems to embody the entirety of an artist’s thinking. Not because Gabellone is an example of steadfast loyalty to a technique, or a theme, or an iconography. Actually, it is precisely the opposite, because the intelligence that animates this video has developed with absolute consistency, over the last thirty years, in a range of results.
2,6 km takes shape in an interstitial space poised between an idea of sculpture and a filmic dimension. And the works that have followed have the same characteristic of unfolding in an undecidable copresence of techniques and languages considered alternatives to one another: Gabellone makes sculptures that can be seen only in photos; he has spent time on the hybrid nature of the bas-relief, poised between two- and three-dimensional art, and he overcame the traditional ambivalence with the explicit pictorialism of color. He has created sculptures through thread-like elements; designed volumes with overlapping two-dimensional components; and entrusted to the bi-dimensionality of textiles a sculptural value rarely seen before.
2,6 km is a linear unit of measurement that becomes a measurement of duration. The length indicated is given by the tape Gabellone, in the video, unrolls around the furniture and on the exterior of his family home in Puglia, up to embracing in a single sculptural spider web even some trees from the garden. The unraveling tape corresponds to the flow of the blank tape recording the work, thus translating space into time, and time into space.
Each single video frame is a bona fide sculpture, and is so twice thanks to a monitor, an old hantarex, the use of which was becoming rarefied precisely during the early 1990s, but which for the early decades of artist video history lent volume to the electronic language, as a minimalist solid, that would later be lost in the use of projections and flat screens.
On all the walls of the display room, as if to mark a horizon of space that embraces the visitor and unfolds around the video that unfolds around itself, we find a series of 8 photographs, Untitled from 2009. These are photos of photos, images of sculptures made of images, images of landscapes that contain sculptures that contain photos that are also made up of paintings, in a color palette that changes the original print. They are all this, but also fixed images, of volumes anchored in space, which at the same time bulge due to the wind that shapes them as if they were flags, as if, after a 20th-century story of relations between sculpture and movement begun with Futurism, Gabellone knotted once again and joined in a unique work all the loose threads: the sculptural sense of ancient drapes, the dream of kinetics begun under Boccioni, blurring all barriers between sculpture, painting, and photography which began with Medardo Rosso. Upon the drapes, images of children laughing outdoors—a theme dear to Medardo—join with cast metal and the lumpy porousness of details of dirt. It seems that here Gabellone raised in the landscape, like banners, in a heraldic form, the elements that lie at the heart of sculpture itself: casting and crafting, making it sub specie photographic.
Gabellone’s works are like see-through Chinese boxes that contain, one inside the other, all the artistic disciplines while his thoughts cross them with the delight of dissolving them into one another, up to liberating the image as a sheer force of the mind.
The Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT acquired the work 2,6 km, thereby guaranteeing the VideotecaGAM Collection with a pivotal testimony of the 1990s art scene which in this language has found one of its elective expressions.
We thank ZERO…, Milan, for their precious collaboration.
Gabellone, 2,6 km, 1993, video, color, sound, 30', Fondazione per l’Arte
Moderna e Contemporanea CRT
**Giuseppe Gabellone, Untitled, 2009, 8 digital prints, 52 x 35 cm, courtesy the artist and ZERO…, Milan