Drawings, mechanical works and artificial intelligence, tracing Donato Piccolo’s key phases of research, are exhibited at the Galerie Italienne in Paris. Drawing, sculpture and painting have always been metabolised within a research framework that ventures into nature’s hidden angles, exploring the delicate balance between chaos and order, with particular attention paid to the concept of spontaneous rupture in nature’s symmetry, according to the Nambu-Lasinio model. The invisible motions of nature and man and how they are connected to the movement of science are thus immersed in a dimension that becomes visible through works created with all the means at the artist’s disposal.
The theory ofchaos, including everything revolving around the ‘liquid society’ (Zygmunt Bauman), has found different forms of expression, each of which explore a diverse angle in a research project that already comprises Artificial Intelligence. This can be found in what animated Anna non porta rancore(Anna does not hold a grudge), recently presented at Fondazione Pomodoro – a cardboard box able to walk around a hall, observing and getting to know its surroundings and, consequently, to experience and gain awareness. Now this box crosses a room where the walking Gioconda, a new work giving the exhibition its name, is also equipped with mechanical ‘legs’. This inevitably brings to mind the figure of Samsa, from the novel by Kafka, who is transformed into an insect which then begins, from a novel perspective, a new acquisition of knowledge regarding the world.
In Piccolo’s previous workThinking the Unthinkable– first presented at the Ermitage inStPetersburg, then in New Yorkand finally as part of the Media Festivalat theMAXXI in Rome – a male head speaks about the world from his perspective, upside down under a table: “All we cannot understand is inside our brain / All we cannot see is inside our eyes / All we cannot imagine is our future.”In the current exhibition in Paristhis world is narrated byEinstein who, reproduced as a robotic head, takes the floor and interacts with visitors. These are previously unseen works and the focus of an exhibition where visitors are welcomed byButterfly Effect, a historic installation byPiccolothat begins with a butterfly flapping its wings on a drum to transport the sound across an itinerary of twisted metal tubes. The installation illustrates, in a monumental way, the theory of chaos according to which the slightest flapping of a butterfly’s wing in one place is able to provoke a hurricane on the other side of the world.
The artist’s works– as presented in the press release that accompanies the exhibition- bring together complementary and inseparablefeatures: they are simultaneously sculptures and machines, form and process. For Donato Piccolothis hybrid character represents the very nature of ‘holistic’ art – a type of art whose essential function is to explore ‘the enigma of the visible world’.
The exhibition and works become a “metaphor for art and the constant evolution of form and meaning”. The exhibition itself is a large sculptured body, according to the definition provided by the curator,David Rosenberg. (…) All works are created and situated to construct a sequence of cause and effect. Every work influences the next. Everything is conditioned by particulars.
«Donato Piccolo. La Gioconda che cammina», curated by David Rosenberg, Galerie Italienne, Paris, 11.10 – 01.12.2018