In Pietrasanta, Lucca, home of bronze foundries and marble workshops, where art is able to conjugate its connotations of eternity and challenge to time, an unusual exhibition “Nothing is real” by Chris Gilmore, from March the 9th up April the 10th 2012.
The location is the Galleria Arte Contemporanea Marco Rossi in Piazza Duomo 22.
The sculptor, born in Manchester in the 70s, has been living in Udine in the North of Italy for some years. As from his curriculum, he exhibited in Italy in 2001 at the Archaeological Museum in Bergamo, in Padua at the Galleria Perugia and in 2005 in Milan at the Bells Foundation. He also is appreciated in the States for his past exhibitions at the Museum of Art and Design and at Freight + Volume Gallery. The material he uses in the works on show here in Pietrasanta is rather unusual, recycled cardboard turned into an unsuspectedly expressive material. The sculptor abandons the quasi- noble materials, marble and bronze to devote himself to a perishable stuff. Everyday objects such as the moka(Italian coffee maker), the typewriter or more defined contemporary cultural symbols such as the Lambretta (a biker of the fifties) or the Fiat 500 become embodiments of his playful imagination.
The cardboard, extremely poor material, generally used in packaging, accomplished expression of consumer lifestyle, is here being ennobled by artistic inspiration. Art is trying to overcome the decaying feature of the material it works on, simultaneously hinting at the ephemeral and transient features of contemporary times. Nothing is destined to last. Gilmore’ artistic coordinates may be found in the Arte Povera of the sixties for the refusal of the traditional means of expression in favour of non- artistic materials, such as natural wood, stone, rag, industrial waste.
According to Germano Celant, its main theorist, the Arte Povera aims at reducing signs to their lowest terms to bring forth their archetypal values. Therefore, Arte Povera not as an impoverished art, but an unrestrained one, a working lab in which the theoretical basis turns in a complete availability towards materials and processes, beyond any apparent negation and deflation stance.