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Nottingham Contemporary presents Piero Gilardi Collaborative Effects

Submitted by on January 15, 2013 – 8:19 am

Nottingham Contemporary presents Piero Gilardi Collaborative Effects, an exhibition on view 26 January–7 April 2013.

Piero Gilardi, Vestito Natura-Anguria (Nature Watermelon Costume),
1967. Polyurethane foam. Courtesy the artist.

Piero Gilardi was an influential figure in the development of Arte Povera in Turin in the late 1960s, and his international networks and collaborative approach to exhibition making influenced the development of the two key post-Minimalist exhibitions, When Attitudes Become Form and Op Losse Schroeven in 1969. Collaborative Effects tracks his radical approach to collaboration inside and outside of the art world from 1963 to 1985. This 22-year period spans his interactive sculptures, including his celebrated Nature Carpets, and his subsequent creative work with many radical social and political movements in Italy and around the world.

Gilardi’s celebrated Nature Carpets are highly realistic slices of nature made from hand-painted and carved foam—audiences were originally encouraged to lie on them, picnic on them, or carpet their homes with them. Other early sculptures were designed to be worn and performed as costumes. Based in Turin, Gilardi left the art world in the late 1960s, at a time of great political turmoil in Italy, to become a “creative facilitator” for a range of left-wing causes: workers’ revolutionary struggles, the anti-psychiatry movement, radical youth groups and the rights of indigenous people around the world. His sculptural props and choreographed acts of protest continue to this day—his recent activist work has opposed austerity programmes and climate change.

Collaborative Effects reveals the significant role Gilardi played in the development of the Italian and international avant-garde of the late 1960s and ’70s. It is the first exhibition to integrate his activist work within a museum exhibition amongst his sculpture. An exhibition of recent works will be shown at Gilardi’s art/ecology Parco Arte Vivante in Turin to coincide with Collaborative Effects at Nottingham Contemporary. Collaborative Effects is curated by Andrea Bellini and Diana Franssen and is a partnership with Castello di Rivoli in Turin and Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. A major publication, produced by the three institutions and JRP Ringier, documents the exhibition and the wider contexts of Gilardi’s fascinating creative and political trajectory.

Nottingham Contemporary
Weekday Cross
Nottingham NG1 2GB


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