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Marble Detritus Finds New Meaning In Fabio Viale’s Monumental Installation

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Italian artist Fabio Viale presents a tale of decay and reconstruction, as part of his ongoing exhibition ‘Acqua alta High Tide’ at Galleria Poggiali in Florence, Italy. In what looks like a waterfall of marbles, several truncated statues and shards of vessels, limbs, and heads of stone are reclaimed as noble artworks through a new impressive display.

The Piedmont artist has displayed 18 tons of stone chippings and marble sculptures cascading from the ceiling into the floor, filling the white space of the Florentine gallery. The art installation, titled ‘Emergences’, is a transposition of the ‘Root’la’ performance carried out by the artist in the Gioia quarry of Carrara, Italy. The artwork resembles a portion of the quarry’s ‘raveneto’, an area in which inutile rubble and chippings discarded during the quarrying are traditionally cast downhill, generating a rocky slope of marble waste. As part of the ‘Root’la’ performance, Viale reproduced the process, hurling down several previously acquired and deliberately varied marble sculptures, which resulted in a cracking and mutilation of the statues and damaging of their parts. Partially shapeless, the disfigured artefacts were retrieved and utilised for the monumental display at the gallery.

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“The scene illustrates a process of decay and reconstruction, of fall and redemption,” a statement from the gallery reads. “Viale has addressed a process of return to the source and moulding of the artefact-work.” The deliberate alteration of the form and surface enhances the vital power inherent in the material: “Sheared of every figurative quality that linked it to the model, the sculpture now shows itself to be authentic, having become a metaphor for human experience.” Displayed as artworks, the shapeless commercially-produced marble forms become noble fragments. The show will run until October 2020. For more information, click here.

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Images © Artist. Courtesy Galleria Poggiali