APOLOGY Greta Alfaro, Juan Pablo Macìas, Fabrizio Prevedello curated by Federica Forti

14 December 2013 15 February 2014, Museo Civico del Marmo, Carrara

Inaugurated saturday 14 december at 6.00 p.m. the group show Apologia. Will be displayed until 15th february 2014 works created for the DATABASE 2013 residency programme that invites artists to create projects designed and executed ad hoc for Carrara.

Each artist is free to establish a project with us, and to select the residency location that best meets its requirements. In fact, every residency is intended as a research grant aimed at supporting a non commercial creative idea; it’s the artist’s dream project, or the continuation of prior research, which may be reread or reinterpreted in the particular context of the Apuan region. Three different projects have resulted from the programme, which are however linked by a shared reflection tackling the relationship between man and nature, and the cosmic balance they inhabit, from multiple perspectives.  The works created by the artists will be displayed in Apology, group exhibition curated by Federica Forti, the closing event of the 2013 DATABASE program. 

Artists selected:

Greta Alfaro | Spain

This project continues the artist’s research on the contemporary Western world, among Catholicism, artistic expressions and the baroque ideology; among religion and superstition. For this project, the artist undertakes a consideration of marble as a natural element both noble and inviolable above all others – even above any artistic expressions which man has produced or may produce in the future. A voyage through the language of the systems of communication which are employed as a weapon of power both by Catholicism and by totalitarian regimes, which have adopted its dogmas and language. The existence of a dark cult, active in Carrara and worldwide, is theorized: its aim is to eliminate every form of artistic expression so as to destroy culture, civilization, and their highest expression, art. The artist has traced and translated the key moments in the history of the cult, through an artistic operation which employs the impartial tone of a documentary, and places the viewer at the centre of a personal consideration. 

Juan Pablo Macias | Mexico 

The video on display by Juan Pablo Macías was shot at Campocecina (Apuan Alps) during the residency program DATABASE 2013. The artist chose to spend time in these places to develop a dissertation on the cosmos and culture through a series of walks in the woods. By retreating into nature, the artist distanced himself from civilization and carried forth a long-distance consideration on the nature of man and the cosmos which he had begun in Mexico along with historian and philosopher Braulio Hornedo Rocha, and which he continued in relation to the specific setting of the Apuan territory. The image of the fog-enveloped landscape is etched with the mechanical sounds coming from the work in the quarries, as well as by the fleeting appearance of life. A voice-over then creates a temporal and narrative short-circuit by pronouncing a sequence of words within a timeless space, reminding viewers of the universal and mutual communication of thoughts and intentions that can be achieved through speech. Juan Pablo Macías indirectly quotes Étienne de La Boétie, who had stated that it would be our voice and words – an ability provided by nature – that would allow us to connect with each other, rather than the written word of tyrants and the words of law. 

For years the artist has been carrying out the project “Tiempo Muerto”, a periodical he founded in 2012, focusing on the relationship between institutional and insurrectional knowledge. The idea for “Tiempo Muerto” was conceived following the 2009 closing of the Biblioteca Social Reconstruir, the most important archive of books on the Anarchist ideal in Latin America. Since then, the artist has performed a number of actions promoting the reopening of the library. To this regard, his editorial project provides a platform in which to continue the discussion on the fundamental issues linked to anarchism, as well as a way to promote the existence of the BSR.

The exhibition “Apologia” hosts Tiempo Muerto#3, which gathers historical and current texts on the relationship between man and nature. Historia del Universo en veinte minutos” (History of the Universe in twenty minutes) by Braulio Hornedo Rocha opens the theoretical dissertation, later handing the floor over to Henry David Thoreau, Étienne de La Boétie, Frederich Nietzsche. The cover image, shot in the woods of Campocecina (MS), is engraved with a poem written by the artist, which was published in his periodical. 

Fabrizio Prevedello

This project by Fabrizio Prevedello (Padova 1972), one of the artists invited to participate in the DATABASE 2013 residency program, picks up a project started in 2010 titled: “Giving words back to words”.

The artist’s intention is to pay tribute to a number of abandoned quarries in the Apuan Alps and the Venetian Dolomites through a sculptural intervention known as “grafting”: an inlay, which the artist hand crafts in his workshop, and later places in the heart of the selected quarry, which he reaches on foot, retracing the “via di lizza”, the path once used to transport marble blocks down to mountainside. Prevedello’s walk is solitary: only the camera follows him to document the process. The artist himself places and later retrieves the camera during his walk and during the grafting phases.

For the first graft, I recovered a piece of Black Belgium Marble among the waste of a sawmill in Seravezza. I trated the marble in my workshop, and finally walked to a quarry and inserted the slab in the carved mountainside. The small inlay enters into dialogue with the enormous space of the quarry. I then reached one of the Firo di Pesco quarries where I carried out the second grafting with the black marble slab. I have chosen abandoned marble quarries as my setting, but I did not think of it as a form of protest. (Fabrizio Prevedello, from an interview with Luisa Castellini,Espoarte #68, gennaio 2011)

The 4th graft, which can be viewed on the artist’s website along with grafts #2 and #3, was placed in a red marble quarry in the Venetian Dolomites in 2011. It marks a shift in the style in which the artist documents these actions, through which Fabrizio Prevedello reciprocates Nature’s gifts with a token, a small feat of love and effort. In the fourth video, the criteria with which the scene is shot changes, and the camera goes from being a mute, external witness to the process, to an internal narrator which lyrically conveys the artist’s emotions.

During his residency in Carrara, the artist focuses on the area of Mount Sagro and Mount Sella. The residency program invites the artist to select a location in which to spend time in preparation for his project: in this case, Prevedello spent two weeks on the Apuan Alps, sleeping in refuges and quarries. This experience resulted in two graftings and two videos, which have been premiered within the DATABASE 2013 program. 

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