Magazine article Artforum International

Paolo Canevari

Magazine article Artforum International

Paolo Canevari

Article excerpt

VOLUME!

Volume! is a new exhibition space founded and run by the collector Franco Nucci--a rare example of a nonprofit private initiative in Rome. The idea is simply to allow the invited artists to freely transform the interior spaces and the material composition of the building's walls, ceilings, and floors. Site and work inevitably enter into a state of symbiosis, or else of conflict, calling into question the white cube and traditional hierarchies of use. But for his work Mama, 2000, Paolo Canevari decided to leave the space intact and unaltered. Everything was left in its raw state, the walls peeling, the floor bumpy and uneven. The viewer followed a path through what resembled a construction site the day before work begins, in search of something that would materialize, as it turned out, only at the entrance to the last of the spaces on the way. Here, wedged frontally between two walls, preventing entry into the next room, was a large rubber inner tube-one of this artist's favorite materials.

With an object as humble as the auto motive inner tube, Canevari has managed to construct and codify a personal language sufficiently ambiguous to be adapted to a wide variety of situations and needs. Even in his first solo show, ten years ago, the potential creative energy of something so formless and insignificant was developed in a full-bodied way, showing a demiurgic dexterity that fully exploited the range of references and enigmas, questions and answers, that the manipulation and distribution of such a material can offer. …

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