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.
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.
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.
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