FORWARD ARCHEOLOGIES, September 15 - September 30, 2012.
For the 15th Edition of the Festa della Ceramica / Portoni Aperti, to be held in Nove (VI), the Jerome Zodo Contemporary Gallery is proud to present the sculptural work Test Site (2006-2007) by American Artist Steven Montgomery (1954, Detroit, U.S.A.) in the wonderful setting of the Baccin Cecchetto Meneguzzi Pestasassi Mill (XVIII cent.) that is an extraordinary testimony to the archaeology of Italian manufacturing. The Exhibition entitled Forward Archeologies / Archeologie del divenire opens on Saturday 15th September 2012, at 19:00 at the Mulino Pestasassi Baccin-Cecchetto-Stringa, in Via A. Munari 19, 36055 Nove (VI).
Organised by the Jerome Zodo Contemporary Gallery and hosted by the Stringa family, the historic owners of the Pestasassi Baccin-Cecchetto-Stringa Mill, the Exhibition project was created in collaboration with the Civic Museum of Ceramics in Nove and the Nove Municipality, with support from 55DSL, the Italian brand that is always connected to creativity and design working with artists, promising or established, from all over the world. Founded in 1994 as an experimental spin-off from Diesel, today 55DSL is an independent fashion company and part of the Only the Brave group (Diesel), with a provocative identity and young, fresh attitude. 55DSL is untiringly attracted to searching to collaborate with artists and companies of different kinds and could not miss out on the opportunity of supporting an Exhibition by Steven Montgomery.
Forward Archaeologies / Archeologie del divenire comprises a double exhibition path in which the eternal dialogue between memory and the present is aimed at the duplicity of the exhibition elements, from the crumbling infrastructure of the Mill to the imposing sculptural body of seven ceramic elements that make up the installation entitled Test Site (2006-2007). With its century-old fascination, the splendid frame of the Pestasassi Baccin-Cecchetto-Stringa Mill provides a suggestive atmosphere: sensitive to the history of the ancient Mill, the work of this American artist shares the specificity of the place, like relics of a past ritual, between industrial archaeology and modernity, the sculptural group evokes the memory and spirit of a millennial tradition.
Ceramic, the absolute protagonist of this Exhibition, is the material that American artist Steven Montgomery (1954, Detroit, U.S.A.) prefers to use in his works of art. Intent on evoking post-apocalyptic creations, with his Test Site (2006-2007) Steven Montgomery has made a series of ceramics that reproduces elements of the industrial world in an authentic manner, such as screws and bolts. His works offers the spectator a poetic view of ruin, some parts of these works show an evident state of decomposition, obviously consumed over time, and become a pretext to broadening our thoughts to the social and intellectual decay of our time.
Steven Montgomery lives and works in New York. His art work is present in the most important American museums, including: the Metropolitan in New York; the American Museum of Art in Washington; the Museum of Art and Design in New York; the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse; the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte (NY); the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art in Sedelia (MO); and the Racine Museum of Art in Racine (WI). Public collections abroad include: the Museum of Shigaraki Ceramics Art Center and Cultural Park, Shigaraki, in Japan; the National Museum of History and the Tapei County Yingge Museum in Taipei, Taiwan; and the Icheon World Ceramic Center, Icheon, in South Korea.
Mulino Pestasassi Baccin Cecchetto Stringa – Active in the XVIII century, the Mill is a fundamental testimony to the history of ceramic production. The date 1638 is engraved into the external fireplace and corresponds to the end of construction, which is nearly one century before the first affirmation of ceramic production in the area: therefore, the hypothesis is that the building was initially used for other purposes. Over the final decades of the 18th century Giovanni Maria Baccin, an important ceramics businessman, restructured the building and adapted it to use as a mill for the preparation of ‘impasti bianchi’ (white paste) for ‘terraglia ad uso inglese’ (earthenware for English use), produced in Nove from 1786. This restructuring was carried out at the same time of receiving a concession for exclusive privileges and fiscal exemptions from the Venetian Magistrates Court. In 1817 the property passed to the Cecchetto family before being bought by the Stringa family in 1965, who are the present-day owners, and who saw to the restoration and re-evaluation of the property. In 2004, the Pestasassi Mill was voted among the top five “Luoghi del Cuore” (Places of the Heart) in the FAI second national census. The Mill, still functioning, had the task of milling the quartz stones and calcium carbonate brought from the Brenta River, to be used in the preparation of ceramic pastes, and to mill and amalgamate the ‘fritte’ (vitreous base) for varnishes and enamels. The complex was built in hand-made bricks and rocks collected from the pebbly banks of the Brenta River, placed in parallel rows, the roof was supported by large square pilasters in brickwork. The Mill is made up of two systems: the first, towards the north, is characterised by a vast loggia on the first floor, with two batteries of pestles on the ground floor driven by a large paddle wheel outside. The second, to the south, is still discretely maintained in its original hard wood structure and has a large horizontal wheel that drives six grinders housed inside as many vats.