Giorgio Andreotta Caló, instilation view of “La scultura Lingua morta lll,” 2015.

Giorgio Andreotta Calò



Eschewing John Ruskin’s famous 19th-century treatise The Stones of Venice, contemporary Italian artist Giorgio Andreotta Calò turns instead to the wood of Venice. With an interest in the literal foundations of the place, Calò has taken the massive wooden stakes that support the “floating city” as his sculptural starting point. In previous exhibitions of the same series—“La scultura lingua morta” (literally “dead language of sculpture”)—he presented these stakes as found objects—they apparently turn up on nearby beaches, rotted and dislodged. Yet here, he has also chosen to cast them in bronze like trees in a fossilized forest, meticulously re-creating the weathered surfaces of the wood. There is an intriguing pun on materials in play, as well as an investigation into the very nature of sculpture. The works highlight the two principal ways in which sculpture is made—removal or addition of matter—while also interrogating the idea of the readymade. Calò places casts on top of one another—creating a kind of mirroring that one might find in the reflective waters of a Venetian canal. Such an arrangement also mimics stalagmites touching stalactites, suggesting another natural process that marks time. The resulting hourglass silhouettes heighten an almost obsessive insistence on the passing of time and the idea of memorialization. …see the entire review in the print version of October’s Sculpture magazine.