Giorgio Andreotta Calò


The research of Giorgio Andreotta Calò gravitates around the idea of crossing, seen as a path of approach to the work, developed through a process of extraction of fragments from reality and reappropriation of the landscape and its history. Using abandoned spaces and buildings, salvaged materials and objects left at the mercy of the elements, Calò creates situations on the borderline between operations of participation and direct architectural intervention. Therefore the work shown to the audience is never an object made for the occasion or simply the result of a project, but the whole of a process and a time inserted in the physical character of the material, which takes “form” from the interaction with the context and the energies that are unleashed inside it. In the case of the project for Peep-Hole, Calò interacts with the space and its architectural structure, inverting the everyday logic of viewing of the place and opening up an unexpected perspective. 

level, a palindromic term, sums up the meaning of the whole project, dividing into two specular moments. Untitled (level) is an architectural intervention that through the removal of the covering of a rectangular cut in the floor physically and visually connects the two levels of the building that houses the exhibition space. The upper level, as the point of observation, establishes a dialogue with the lower level, not presently in use ( occupied by the Fonderia Battaglia), where a reflecting pool creates a visual reversal, a reflection, a legacy of the artist’s place of origin, Venice, which always returns in his works in different ways. Venice is also the source of the wooden material, which through the process of casting is transformed into bronze sculpture: an hourglass, a specular and “palindromic” object that measures a suspended time, conveying the image of the process of corrosion caused by the oscillating action of water in its continuous shifts of level. While on the one hand Clessidra (Hourglass) stems from an uprooting of the material that has generated the wood of the piles of the Venetian lagoon, it is thanks to the temporary flooding of the space, its transformation into a lagoon, that the device of environmental viewing is activated in Untitled (level). The type of relationship the two works develop with the viewer are also of a different nature, the first being tactile and materic, the second visual and projective. The apparent dichotomy, nevertheless, finds cohesion in the specular character of the interventions, and in the shared reference to a temporal dimension. The flow of time suggested by the hourglass and frozen in sculptural form is dilated in the installation, in keeping with individual rhythms of perception. Inside the space, in fact, the gaze gradually gets accustomed to the darkness, giving sight time to open, getting clearer, like a painting in which we gradually glimpse all the details: the reflections off the water, the particulars of the lower level, the spread of the light. Sound also has an important role to play: the continuous flow of the water evokes a presence below, a rhythm in a state of becoming. What seems like a void is actually something full. The energy unleashed by the opening in the floor channels the gaze of the viewer and attracts attention, influencing movement in the space. The linear, horizontal character of the empty room is countered by the vertical character of the sculptural form, creating a disjointed perpendicular perspective in the two spaces, where the vanishing point is represented by the hole. Sculpture and architectural intervention are placed in a direct relationship for the first time in the exhibit design, interpreting the same principle of symmetry and mutual reflection. Thus the space of the foundry, where the sculpture was cast, is reconnected to the exhibition space, almost as if to underline a fluidity and continuity in the process of identification of places and their functions.

Giorgio Andreotta Calò (Venice, 1979. Lives and works between Amsterdam and Venice). He studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice and the Kunsthochschule of Berlin. From 2009 to 2011 he was artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. In 2011 his work was shown at the 54th Venice Biennale. In 2012 he won the Premio Italia for Contemporary Art, promoted by the MAXXI Museum in Rome. In 2013 he was tutor at Genova maXter Program at Villa Croce, Genoa. He is the recipient of last edition “Premio New York” promoted by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Recent solo shows include: 08.09.2012 – 21.10.2012, SMART Project Space, Amsterdam, 2012; Scolpire il tempo, Wilfried Lentz gallery, Rotterdam, 2010; The bakery, Annette Gelink, Amsterdam, 2010; Monumento ai Caduti, ON, Bologna, 2010; 1979-2009, Galleria Civica, Trento, 2009; Atto Terzo. Volver, ZERO…, Milano, 2008.

01. Giorgio Andreotta Calò, level
Exhibition view

02. Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Clessidra, 2014
Bronze, nails, 226 x 27 x 27 cm

03. Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Clessidra, 2014 (detail)
Bronze, nails, 226 x 27 x 27 cm

04. Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Clessidra, 2014 (detail)
Bronze, nails, 226 x 27 x 27 cm

05. Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Untitled (level), 2014
Installation view

06. Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Untitled (level), 2014
Installation view