New Book–Stephan Balkenhol, Wim Delvoye, Marc Quinn.

Intersections: Balkenhol, Delvoye and Quinn (NB 497 .C84 F58 2007)

From the website:

 Three artists with international reputations for the third edition of Intersezioni, now an established sphere of cross-fertilization between contemporary sculpture and archaeology.
The scenario which many of the leading European artists desire to explore with their works is the Archaeological Park of Scolacium, the locality that derives from Minervia Scolacium, the colony Rome founded in 123-122 B.C. on the site of the Greek city of Skylletion. Projects were installed here by Antony Gormley in 2006, with Time Horizon, and in 2005 by Tony Cragg, Jan Fabre and Mimmo Paladino.

The decision to bring together the poetics of Stephan Balkenhol (Frizlar/Hessen, Germania 1957), Wim Delvoye (Wervik, Belgium, 1965) and Marc Quinn (London, 1964) was by no means casual.
Working with absolutely independent techniques, modes and poetics, the three artists, members of the same generation, have succeeded in grasping the evolution of sculpture by placing themselves in a dialectical relationship with the history of art, understood as a shared cultural stock on which they draw. If Balkenhol’s carved wood figures allude to the mediaeval tradition and the North European Renaissance, Delvoye’s creations in corten steel evoke Gothic, while Quinn, with his marbles, bronzes and concrete, reworks the very concept of classicism.
The contemporary work of art relates itself directly to the sign of history, seeking a new collocation for it.
This year we are witnessing an integrated project which, for the first time, also involves the important Archaeological Museum of Scolacium, with three sculptures by Quinn placed near to the Olive Press Museum, the oil mill which is an outstanding example of industrial archaeology.
All this supplements a project that involves the three emblematic places of the Park of Scolacium: the Basilica of Santa Maria della Roccella, the Forum and the Roman Theater.

Stephan Balkenhol has chosen to install his work on the site of the Norman Basilica of Santa Maria della Roccella. Here Das Boot, his vessel 8 meters long and weighing 5 tons, has made landfall. Sculpted in wood, it has two figures, one male, the other female, on its two sides. Almost a legendary evocation of an ancient ship. Das Boot appears like a wreck that has surprisingly returned to light in a context extraneous to it. Next to a series of characteristic works in painted wood and bronze that counterpoint the Basilica, the German artist has sought to pay homage to Scolacium, a place preserved for centuries by the olive trees. He symbolically crowns the Park of La Roccelletta with his Krone, a crown made up of 22 pieces in concrete with nine heads likewise in concrete. The project is completed by the retrospective exhibition in the nearby Olive Press Museum with a selection of works from the late nineties down to the present.

The neo-Gothic installation of Wim Delvoye is located in the zone of the Forum, in which his chosen style acquires a wholly extraneous allegorical and paradoxical force. Working on this theme, the Belgian artist has already presented his works in different contexts, but the project set in the Park of Scolacium is surely one of the most impressive and ambitious. Delvoye has created a true construction site in which each machine is transformed into a work of art frozen in its inactivity. The two mysterious Caterpillars nine meters tall have an extraordinary impact, as does the Dump Truck, another nine-meter vehicle: they transform the Park into a permanent construction site, opened during the exhibition with excavators, signals and barriers all strictly laser cut in corten steel with tracery patterns in which the fourteenth and fifteen centuries are blended with industrial design.

In his personal dialogue with classicism, Marc Quinn investigates the poetics of the fragment and uses the context of the Roman Theater as the setting for Flesh, a series of bronzes with a black patina in which the British artist investigates the organic element by presenting on the stage meat carcasses that, within the archaeological context, acquire the semblances of truly spectral figures. For the first time, he here exhibits two very recent works in concrete, the Hoxton Venus of 2006 and Totem of 2007, true fragments of contemporaneity. The installation is continued conceptually within the Archaeological Museum of Scolacium, which he uses as the setting for three white marble sculptures, Alexandra Westmoquette, Tom Yendell and Peter Hull. In this case the fragment underlies a new unity and is directly related to the headless ancient Roman sculptures, so creating a series of comparisons and richly productive relationships.


Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: