Depart Foundation presents its first solo exhibition of works by Italian artist Giorgio Andreotta Calò, on view March 10 to May 7, 2016. 5122.65 Miles, curated by Luca Lo Pinto, refers to the numeric distance between Italy’s Venice, where the artist was born, and California’s own Venice, linking the two cities from distant continents both literally and figuratively. The exhibition is Calò’s first in the United States, and will feature photographs, sculptures, and film drawn from the artist’s ephemeral and performative practice. Interested in the intersection of architecture, time, and object-based art, Calò creates spatial and experiential interventions, preserving the residual remnants and artifacts as photographic records, or transforming them into sculpture.
In 5122.65 Miles, the artist presents a series of photographic images drawn from an extensive archive documenting his projects and interventions into various urban and rural centers. Like sensory notations or visual notes, the photographic ephemera from these explorations capture fleeting moments and impressions of time and place. Among Calò’s past projects are a series of walks taken over 1,600 miles through France, Portugal, and Spain, and the site-specific transformation of an abandoned parliament building in Sarajevo, which Calò semi-permanently lit from morning until night with artificial light. Calò has also captured images of Los Angeles with an improvised pinhole camera created in the trunk of a car. In this series, the artist captured images of the LA landscape from the confines of a trunk, physically enacting the visual restriction of cinema in which the periphery is always obfuscated. The images are direct exposures onto photographic paper, unmediated by additional time or processing.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Calò is releasing a photography book published by NERO featuring the entire series of car trunk photographs taken in Los Angeles in 2010.
Time and perception are recurrent themes in Calò’s work. He persistently explores what he calls the “active residues” of materials or objects. His sculptures and images always recall living things, linked, as they are, to intervention, interaction, and the specificity of time and place. Charged with the valence of origin and narrative, Calò will formalize found materials or components extracted from the landscapes and structures he has visited. He has transformed, for instance, the found eroded wood pillars used for centuries to moor boats in Venice, Italy into vertical bronze monoliths, and core samples of earth taken from coal mines into formal sculptural compositions. An undeniable element of alchemy and transformation informs his sculpture, as the artist converts geologic specimens, the leavings of industry, and structural ruins into formal, totemic symbols. These objects, though derived from contextually specific materials, invoke broader associations of impermanence, mortality, and decay.
In addition to the photographic notations, the exhibition will include a selection of these sculptural works by Calò, and a film shot in the south of Sardinia, 400 meters below ground in the obscure depths of a mine. The exhibition will create a dialogue among these varied examples of his explorative work, demonstrating the connection and continuity between his impressions, images, and objects. The works seem disparate and unrelated, but as one travels through the installation, the interconnectedness of the photographs, sculptures, and film will reveal the holistic nature of the artist’s process-driven practice.