April 2, 2010 - Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci - Paolo Canevari: Nobody Knows
April 2, 2010

Paolo Canevari: Nobody Knows

Paolo Canevari
Nobody Knows

21 March – 1 August 2010

curated by Germano Celant
Viale della Repubblica 277
Prato, Italy


Canevari’s work investigates the impermanence of art, the meaning of sculpture and how it relates to the contemporary social fabric. Since the early nineties, Canevari’s elective material has been rubber – taken from tires and tubes – developing a personal language aimed at rethinking the everyday and the most intimate aspects of memory: overlappings of symbols, icons, pop culture, historical representation and political awareness. His work is among the most relevant contemporary syntheses of the linguistic expressions elaborated since the Sixties, and its forms know no boundary, including videos, installations and performance.

Canevari’s work, however, avoids monumentality, and steers clear of all rhetoric connected to concepts such as “tradition” and “classic”. The primary, simple materials constituting his work relate to the notion of representation, and act as “keys” to which every possible reading is viable. They nonetheless bear witness to the continuous metamorphoses of matter, whose instability goes hand in hand with openness to interpretation.

Paolo Canevari’s huge solo show, curated by Germano Celant, is focused on his Globes series, forming a constellation in the Museum’s spaces and centered on the image of a massive black globe holding the silhouette of a human figure, referencing art’s original nature: a place for the investigation of reality, of the world’s fates. A romantic image projecting the spectator in an ever uncertain future, “nobody knows”, the artist always struggling with interpretive doubt, “nobody knows”, the original moment of inspiration of every artistic gesture. These ambiguities are synthesized in the show’s title, Nobody Knows.

The show includes previously unreleased videos – one of which is US (2009); a new series of drawings on black marble, depicting animal symbols of power and aggression, always an important element of Canevari’s imagery; some recent installations as of yet unreleased, as Hanging Around, a huge gallows turned into a swing by a hanging tire. The exhibition path will feature references and hints to important past works, offering a counterpoint to the latest production and marking the oeuvre’s continuity over time: animated films produced for Blobcartoon RAI 3 in the early nineties, the first inner tube sculptures (Elmi, 1900), the Lupa Roma (1993), the Colossei from a decade later. Other works from the nineties will include installations such as Esodo (1998), a crowd of people cut in tube rubber, and Jesus (1999), an eighteenth-century wooden sculpture holding a tire. The show will also feature the Bouncing Skull video, premiered in 2007 at the 52nd Venice Biennale and included in the MoMA’s permanent collection, and Little Boy, a huge atom bomb covered in mirrors like a disco ball.

The show is documented by a monographic volume, published by Electa and edited by Germano Celant.

curated by Germano Celant

From March 21st to August 1st, 2010

Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
Viale della Repubblica 277, Prato

Opening hours 10 am-7 pm; closed on Mondays and on May 1st; from Wednesday, June 8th: every wed 10 am-11 pm

Guided tours sat and sun at 5 pm until June 6th; wed at 9 pm from June 9th

Silvia Bacci/Ivan Aiazzi

ph. +39 0574 531828 – fax +39 0574 531901

National press office:
Studio Pesci di Federico Palazzoli
ph. +39 051 269267 – fax +39 051 2960748

Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci

Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
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