Like Marble-Like

CAP (Centro Arti Plastiche), from 6th February to 16th April 2018, Carrara.

The project developed for the CAP (Centro Arti Plastiche) in Carrara looks at the processes of modification typical of natural materials, aiming for a reflection on the birth of the concept of nature and thus of its opposite, the artifice. The marble, through which it is possible to read the history and culture of the entire community of the area, comes from a natural process. On the contrary, the extraction from the caves brings it to a high level of abstraction. It is precisely sliced. A rock, shapeless, is extracted, cut, and squared. The formal abstraction tells of the violent process of alteration impressed by human on nature, modeling and shaping it. The highest grade of alteration is the classic sculpture, the impression of human physiognomy into a squared piece of marble. A violent manifestation that perfectly describes anthropocentrism and the human primitive will to impose itself on nature, and in this case even to model it in his own image and likeness. In the classic column,fundamental element of the trilithic system, the stone imitates the tree and its irregular non-Euclidean geometry by transfiguring it into the Corinthiancapitol.“Like Marble like” plays by mixing marble and its fictional contemporary copies, thus reflecting on the concept of nature itself. The project asks itself if the idea of nature itself is a human artifice. Western culture has a particular meaning for it, one that is completely different from other cosmologies. McKenzie Wark writes that “any history of the concept of nature would be a history of western civilization itself.” It is complex: “it can mean the quality inherent in a thing” or “the force that directs the world. Or the world itself.” It is imprecise: it can “include or exclude the human” and can comprehend entire human production. The idea of nature exists when a difference exists,in the moment that shelter is realized. There is no natural without the artificial. The concept of nature itself is created to build a difference—it places man at the center but outside of nature, with architecture and its materials as his pedestal, his castle.
The project tries to rebuild an environment inspired by the laboratories and ateliers of Carrara where marble is transformed since the origins of this community. The main focus is the visible tension between tradition and propensity for the future. In a sort of possible future laboratory, marble mixes with plastic materials entirely made by man and with all those typologies of materials so-called “marble-like”. The exhibition transformed into a processual performance during the week before the opening. In those days space became a laboratory in which all the artifacts were produced. Furthermore, a workshop invited the participants to manipulate, work and interact with the elements of the exhibition, that is the laboratory.


Art residency and exhibition curated by Arteco (Beatrice Zanelli).

Workshop partecipants: Viola Bonuccelli, Veronica Venturini, Alessia Farina, Lucian Martisy, Eleonora Corbani, Samuel Fantini, Giada Russo, Claudia Pino, Maria Chiara Gagliardi, Alex Guerrieri, Arianna Papi.


With the support of Comune di Carrara and CAP- Centro Arti Plastiche.