October 1, 2022

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Art made in Rotunde. Irpinia as a mediating space between urban culture and peasant civilization: the Masseria Varco model by Eugenio Giliberti

When the blue path of the navigator path takes the serpentine pattern of a heat exchangerIt is definitely worth taking the alternate route. Get circularin Caudina Valleyfrom Avellino, means to go around a group chrysanthemums (meaning mountains) like marbles on a roller coaster. In Irbinia, as you know, there is a very simple logistical problem. As a rule, it is solved in the speech: what are you going to do in Rotunde?

Rotondi is actually what Governor de Luca calls a “The Informal Pole of Contemporary Art”. Its anomaly consists in gathering in one street, via VarcoFrom Four large workshops for local artists and Campania artists of international importance: Come on The Peroni brothers to me Luca Villi And the Emiliano PerinoOn the contrary Umberto Manzo And the Eugenio Gilberti, originally from Cervenara on the maternal side; They all gathered from September 16th at the exhibition Live in the ARCOS Museum in Benevento.

I arrive at Studio Giliberti from Naples, almost twice as many kilometers, and about half the time, compared to the flight from Avellino. Partigno National Park, seen from the top of the map, is an island located in the middle of the regional regions of Caserta, Naples, Avellino and Benevento. Caudina Valley, on this island of Partenio, serves as a port.

It is a borderline: it defines and intersects the differences. It is a piece of Irpinia, but also of Sanyo, and right at its feet lies the countryside of Caserta and this semi-urban extension of Naples that is Pomigliano and Acerera, up to the town of San Felice a Cancelo, a place that seems intentionally built to escape us. With all due respect to those who still live there, with courage and perhaps even dignity.

We know all too well the deadly combination of concrete and horror which is the stylistic symbol of the building or the reconstruction of the province of southern Italy, in its transition from a peasant civilization to a utopia that was never fully urbanized; Yet one cannot help but attend his presentation with a sense of disbelief and bewilderment. In Campania, the experience of beauty always comes from the contrast with the limitless possibilities of decadence. Here, beauty must have the character and duration of intuition, and the audacity of escape; That is why, when it occurs, its perception is very strong emotionally. It bears within itself the pathetic violence of liberation.

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After the exhausting anthropomorphic landscapes of Caudina State Road, The access to Via Varco, in front of the farm which serves as studio and home for Eugenio Giliberti, is truly liberating. The house hides under a thick vegetation of vines, almost a ball of ivy and jasmine, topped by a column of chimneys and fireplaces for the winter. The bell rings, meaning you have to hit the entrance gate with a metal rod to announce your arrival. No internal communication. Thus, striking iron, we declare ourselves to all inhabited areas, human and animal: including dogs, cats, ants, and frogs. It’s a matter of “waking up” your guests and “waking up” by them. Giliberti takes some time to open. He was busy on the workbench, with the drill and steel stirrups to drill into the vice.

When you meet an artist, the tendency is to consider anything you put in your hands as a work of art. Basically, that’s not how it actually works. I ask Eugenio if it’s a new sculpture. He replies that he finishes repairing his wooden tripod: one of the triangular orchard stairs that ends in a point, with trapezoidal and movable third steps. It has always been in agriculture.

It is a tool that sets the inevitable rules for coexistence with nature on Earth. sets boundaries. Giliberti carefully repairs it from those who cannot do without it. It’s made of wood, so when its natural life cycle is over, it doesn’t become a cost. The problem of waste disposal is immediately seen as central here. He encounters practical simplicity, confidence, and confidence drawn by a fine line of irony.

Gilberti, as an artist and resident, moved to the Rotondi countryside, where he carried out the process in contrast to the cultural diaspora of contemporary Italy. He has returned while others, in most cases, still feel compelled to leave; All while he miraculously managed to dodge the rustic temptation of the romantic ideal of his choice.

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as it happens in Walden from Thoreauback to “Life in the Forest” Supports the need for physical, material and even economic work. The artist inherits family property and decides not to give it up; On the contrary, he makes the most of the experience, working at a wise distance from the lackluster planning of contrasts that one might fall into in a rotundi or wherever there are more trees than houses.

Gilberti creates between the two opposite poles of its history and formation – rural and urban culture – a form of civic coexistence, a bridge through which the remaining parts of its explosions pass. The fact that, in his studio, one of his most famous works, of the harmonic series of dark-colored square painting, coexists softly, on easel before wax-colored trumpets, with the most tacky tools of home carpentry: from cordless drills to Allen keys.

Many, if not all, of Gillibert’s house refer to the concept of translation, in the dual sense of movement and transformation at the same time: from the image of a group of mules, vector par excellence, To the extraordinary pruning hallwall mounting of thousands of wooden discs, obtained from trim apple orchard Attached to the farm and cut as Chips improvised card game; A work that translates geometric perfection into natural perfection and vice versa.

The translation metaphor also finds, in Gilberty’s view, a rigorous kind of entrepreneurial practice. Sylvie del Palzo It is, in fact, awood processing company that the artist set it up with a group of partners with the aim of integrating the production of the chestnut grove in an independent way; A project that started from scratch, i.e. from that rather common situation where one cannot distinguish a walnut table from a cherry tree. Gilberty began to gather knowledge and information about the territory, as a kind of apprentice from his own forestry.

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Thus comes a capital of unwritten knowledge about cutting transformations; about how trees grow and regrow; on the quality of the wood and its potential uses, the age of the plants and their basic symbiosis with the orgasmology of the area; It generates a wealth of data and information that is used according to the circular principle of nothing being and nothing perishing. There is no wastage and nothing is eliminated from what is produced.

Carpentry by Selve del Balzo, Giliberti built, or perhaps hand-carved, with the help of his trusted helpers, nailing slices of dark chestnut for the exterior cladding one by one, enhancing their inimitable ability to withstand bad weather. When we go to visit him, the work stops, because Eugenio decided to stop the work for several years.

Again, the dimension of art and everyday life is indistinguishable. The shed is a closed plant and resembles a sleeping giant; He has the same creation. I ask if any of the young people from Rotunde have expressed interest in this project. But there is a risk of being discounted.

Giacomo LeopardiThe author to whom Gilberty now devotes impressive artistic and documentary research explains, in a clip from Zibaldone, that when a rare soul lights up and goes ten steps forward, all others who follow can advance only half a step toward time.

At lunchtime we leave after walking a short path along Isclero, the creek that marks the farm’s border with Municipal Road.

at work R-H2O + Giliberti Road opened to the public, in the shade of a row of poplarsCrossing over in time and memory, reading correspondence exchanges from the family’s historical archives, recorded on audio files, are entrusted to the visitors’ hearing. Now the poplars have fallen, and they are attacked by a parasite. Eugenio shows me how to replant it, practically like a fence post, and then take it more or less seven years to grow again. With all that can be done in the meantime, it’s a moment.