Past Residencies  
Umberto Cavenago
August- September 2000

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Umberto Cavenago's exhibition centres on a large plywood and metal structure on castors. This could be described as 'useable sculpture' that is both beautifully crafted and practically useful. The structure can be used as a reception desk, work station, display unit and meeting point for both gallery staff and visitors. And, as it is supported by castors, it can be moved in different positions within the exhibition space. Umberto Cavenago has based the design of his work - including its dimension, proportions and lay-out - on an analysis of the spatial relationship between the gallery space, the surrounding urban context and the objects found in IASKA's office. All of the objects placed on the platform - chairs, rubbish bin, boiler etc - have been carefully selected and arranged by the artist and are an integral part of the work.

The sculpture is intended to interact visually and conceptually with the surrounding empty space of the gallery and with the streetscape. For example, the idea of placing the structure on casters implies notions of movement and alludes to the close relationship linking the gallery to the road, the pipeline and the railway. The works seems to comment on the fact that the whole town of Kellerberrin is structured along a west to east axis of movement that involves water, vehicles and trains. The north-south orientation of the piece is intended to deliberately disrupt the town's east-west axis introducing an element of dynamism and surprise.
By creating a sculpture that also fulfils a practical function, Cavenago ironically challenges the traditional notion that art is merely object of contemplation. This work appears to invite us to consider art as something that can be part and parcel of our most familiar everyday experiences.

The exhibition is completed by a series of photographs that show details of the pipeline. These are startling images that transform the traces left on the concrete surface by time, nature and human intervention, into beautiful visual statements.

In addition this work, Umberto Cavenago has carried out a collaborative project with four local emerging artists: Kathy Barber, Consuelo Cavaniglia, Gina Cinanni and Stuart Ringholt. This work consists of three components: a painting on IASKA gallery frontage, an out-door installation linking the gallery to the playground across the street and a video projection on the Tammin Silos.

Umberto Cavenago is a sculptor and multimedia artist from Milan. He has participated in major international exhibitions such as the Venice's, Johannesburg's and Sao Paolo's Biennales. He lectures at the prestigious Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, one of Europe's oldest academies of fine art.


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