14.11.2023 > 07.01.2024
Galerija mesta Ptuj, Slovenia
curated by Marika Vicari & Jernej Forbic
supported by Italian Council
opening November 14th, at 6 p.m.
The exhibition titled "Daily Archaeology" consolidates an important connection with Perino & Vele, key figures in Italian contemporary art, and the history of the city of Ptuj, which has been a crossroads of cultures for centuries, a place where the past and present intersect.
After creating a site-specific artwork on the facade of the Miheličeva Gallery in 2014, reminding us of the severe fires that have repeatedly devastated the city, and participating in three group exhibitions in Ptuj, curated by Marika Vicari and Jernej Forbici for ART STAYS, Perino & Vele are now having their first solo exhibition in Slovenia. This project, strongly supported by the curators and Dušan Fišer, the director of the city gallery, is realized with the support of Italian Council, Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity, Municipality of Ptuj, and in collaboration with Kud Art Stays and the Carditello Foundation.
When we first entered the chaotic, disordered, and frenetic world of Perino & Vele a few years ago, we were literally captivated by the convergence of emotions, logical thoughts, and intriguing elements in their projects. As we later understood, this experience was one from which we never truly departed.
Getting to know the Valle Caudina, where the artists live and work and where they developed their skills during their years of study, meant encountering a welcoming environment, sometimes reserved, yet curious in anticipation of encounters with others. It's a place where people set the pace of their lives amidst mountains and countryside, halfway between the bustle of cities and the sounds of nature.
Their studio, built by recycling prefabricated modules used during the earthquake of '80 and attached to a body shop, which has since been expanded, is situated along what, in recent years, many have called the "Art Road." In a small, somewhat decentralized area of Campania, different from the usual routes of cultural life, there exists a vibrant, widespread reality. Something in the air calls for creativity and exploration, new future prospects for the region. This is a sign that sculpture is seen as a privileged space for thought. In all of this, we feel a connection to our small town of Ptuj, where over the years, many have worked to create and consolidate the Slovenian cultural field while opening up to the world. Jadranska ulica serves as an ideal counterpart to Via Varco. And, even though different, we feel that the dialogue between archaeological findings and contemporary works, seen as fragments of daily life and objects from the past, allows us to reconstruct the history of their/our territory.
Perino & Vele are inspired by a simple yet complex ancient material, papier-mâché, which is printed, re-ground, and infused with fragments of words, scents, and sounds. The sculptures and installations in the exhibition, from "The Big Archive 1994-2014" to "Giovanni, Mimmo, Ciro, Francesco, Alessandro, Nicola, Giuseppe, Paolo, Mario," and including "Grande Elpìs" and "o' databas," to name a few, are relics, blankets, everyday objects, trophies, and toys created over more than two decades. They veil, cover, or conceal uncomfortable realities of violence and current events.
The six installations, seven sculptures, and eight drawings are presented within the exhibition as a carefully selected and reasoned archive, reminding us once again that art can, starting from archaeology, become a journey through history, give itself to the everyday, and become an instrument, material, and gesture of knowledge and civic consciousness.