Fragile Skeletons

By Giovanni Longo
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“Fragile Skeletons” by Giovanni Longo is a series of sculptures realized with the wood recovered on the beach (driftwood), creating a fragile bond between the osseous and the ligneous elements.
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Discussion

Nigel P
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'Heads or Tails' - is the small round object between the two figures a coin? Is the 'fragility' of the title a reference to the play of logic & chance? Is this a contest between the two, or a lineage - a line from one to the other? Bodies once balanced on the edge of becoming, or imagined missing links, evolutionary glitches- dead ends.

A kind of driftwood serendipity, drawing the figures into being through luck and ingenuity: endeavour & creativity directed by the fates: held together by anatomical conventions & laws of physics. If I throw enough words down, some are bound to land right. Others perish on the harder ground.

Then again, the figures are placed & pinned, deliberately poised. Though the whole is framed with some weighty institutional cues, as Nina noted - like in a Natural History museum: the figures are tensed, arched (in at least two senses of the word).

I like these improbable imposter monsters - seeing a family resemblance to Donna Haraway's trickster cyborgs: mammalian forms combined from flotsam thrown up by the sea, a perverse evolution: a mythical return -debris of ancient forest from fantastical lands drowned for millennia, now given up from the deeps, recombined to Iive again. Or bits of a wrecked shipping pallet, the chippngs of global commodity exchange. Either way, adds up to a game of gloriously botched Darwinian permutations.

Giovanni Longo
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Hi Nigel, yeah the small object between the two figures is a coin as in a game for their survival. Thank you so much for your comment.

Nigel P
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Hi Giovanni My money is on the little one, looks nippy & snappy, and just about to spring! Great stuff.

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Nina Parys
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About "Heads or tails" we can see two skeletons of animals, quite complicated to identify for a no professional in biology (dogs?). They are both vertebrate, face to face, an adult and a child, maybe his child. And these skeletons are made of wood. The wood is dry. It seems fragile and light. The fragility is increased by this confrontation between the big one and the small one. The tail draws an "S" like a necklace of pearls. There's a little object in the middle of the scene, the smaller animal seems to play with this object. The space is neutral, almost the same clear color as the bones, and the light gives an atmosphere of serenity. A strange feeling takes place, the postures refers to living actions whereas skeletons refers to death, but in addition to this, the skeletons are not real skeletons, they are made of dead wood. It's more dead than death, it's more silencious than a silence of death.
This sculpture makes me feel alone, like if nothing on Earth really existed, because these sculptures put like in an museum of natural history, using the same scenic language as a scientific exhibition, mimics and fakes reality. These animals have never been. And that's a deeply interesting point in art, to make you doubt of what you think you know. You're just looking at sculptures, and gradually, you realize that your strongest certainty are light like dead wood.

Giovanni Longo
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Thank you Nina :)

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Giovanni Longo
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Giovanni Longo (born in Locri, 1985) is a sculptor and visual artist based in Italy. He has been experimenting multiple art languages for several years searching for different solutions able to describe the contemporary precariousness at the best. From 2005 his attention is basically focused on reclaimed wood with which, creating a bond between the osseous and the ligneous elements, he represents symbolic skeletons weakened by time (Fragile Skeletons). His work does not put over space but on the contrary dialogues with it through “site specific” installations.
In a two year period, from 2009 to 2010, his works have been selected among different International Art Awards: “Arte Mondadori”, “Arte Laguna”, “Combat”, “Premio Celeste”, where he wins the first place in a row in the category: “Installation and Sculpture”/ e-voting. In 2011 he is in residence at the 54^ Biennale of Venice with an artwork showed at the Pavilion Italia/Accademie in Tese of San Cristoforo. In 2012 he participated in “Eurasia Wings Workshop” located in M50, the artistic quarter of Shanghai, where he has the opportunity to experience the accuracy and the aesthetic neatness of Chinese culture, much in contrast with the tumultuous chaos of the metropolis. Among recent international projects: Kunstenfestival Watou in Belgium, Wood Mood Valcucine in London, New York and Milan, art residence in Grasse curated by PHOS, Jeune Création Européenne biennale in France and Denmark. In 2016 the MARCA Museum of Arts Catanzaro dedicates him the first institutional solo exhibition curated by Marco Meneguzzo. Currently he lives and works between Rome and Reggio Calabria.

Artist Statement

Giovanni Longo (born in Locri, 1985) is a sculptor and visual artist based in Italy. He has been experimenting multiple art languages for several years searching for different solutions able to describe the contemporary precariousness at the best. From 2005 his attention is basically focused on reclaimed wood with which, creating a bond between the osseous and the ligneous elements, he represents symbolic skeletons weakened by time (Fragile Skeletons). His work does not put over space but on the contrary dialogues with it through “site specific” installations.
In a two year period, from 2009 to 2010, his works have been selected among different International Art Awards: “Arte Mondadori”, “Arte Laguna”, “Combat”, “Premio Celeste”, where he wins the first place in a row in the category: “Installation and Sculpture”/ e-voting. In 2011 he is in residence at the 54^ Biennale of Venice with an artwork showed at the Pavilion Italia/Accademie in Tese of San Cristoforo. In 2012 he participated in “Eurasia Wings Workshop” located in M50, the artistic quarter of Shanghai, where he has the opportunity to experience the accuracy and the aesthetic neatness of Chinese culture, much in contrast with the tumultuous chaos of the metropolis. Among recent international projects: Kunstenfestival Watou in Belgium, Wood Mood Valcucine in London, New York and Milan, art residence in Grasse curated by PHOS, Jeune Création Européenne biennale in France and Denmark. In 2016 the MARCA Museum of Arts Catanzaro dedicates him the first institutional solo exhibition curated by Marco Meneguzzo. Currently he lives and works between Rome and Reggio Calabria.

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