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The End of Inertial Motion  
Alessandro Tempi
ISSN 1127-4883     BTA - Telematic Bulletin of Art, January 13th 2001, n. 245

Just like at the end of an inertial motion, Fabrizio Gerbino's sculptures reach the quiet stillness in which they appear, disseminating space with their incomplete residual state, a final state the seems finished, but nebertheless it is a state that will continue to deteriorate in front of your eyes, if we only have patience and time to follow it.

Their stillness however is not purely terminal, since they allude to something far more active, that is to say a disposition to carry on that original formative process which, by dialogueing with its constitutive materials, returns it as a form to our eyes. In Dynamics we speak of Material Bodies that reach stillness by way of resistance and friction. So in Gerbino's sculpting language, they become Material Bodies.

That a fundamental spirit of Physics dwells in Fabrizio Gerbino's artworks, we can tell from the way in which artwork's formative process determines the existence of each of them. Not otherwise than in Physics of Motion, Gerbino's Material Bodies are determined by the system in which they come to be. The artists is not the only nor the main affecting force in it, as everything happens as if in a scenario where several interactive factors can be found : the artist's desire for making, the coercing and unavoidable reality of materials (as well as the resistance that it opposes to any sculpting action), the ways and techniques in which that action is codified and, in the end, the actual destiny of these artworks. Therefore the choice for iron, a virtually strong material that can be irreversibly deteriorated by oxidation, confirms the deliberate similarity of artwork's formative process to the physical one : the former is inscribed within the latter as a sort of yielding and/or wide aware separation from the Maker and all his artistic privileges. In fact, once Gerbino's Material Bodies have taken their shape, they are bound for a different cycle or state - that final active state we spoke about at beginning - in which the artist neither want or can do something anymore. Once the are given to the inexorable Nature, we realize that their inertial motion had not come to an end because it was only interrupted or suspended. Only the idealistic illusion of the artwork as a well polished and well finished thing has led us to believe it was over. On the contrary, Gerbino admits that in his case Nature is stronger than Art : yielding to Nature, artwork takes a new shape and continues its material existence as a form that keeps on forming itself without any intervention of the artist.

If it can be considered as an account on the purpose or the destiny of Art today is not in Gerbino's deliberate intentions. However, Gerbino's Threshold is as a matter of fact a surprisingly advanced artwork in which all the potential developments of his artistical concepts are amazingly outlined. Obviously enough, Threshold itself can't help taking artistic instinct of self consumption we can see in every Gerbino's artwork to its very end. In this artwork, the choice for water is not to be understood as a linguistic tool in order to get a depaysage effect (that is to say placing the artwork into an anomalous contest), but as a non-human factor acting in the continuation of the artwork's formative process. In fact, the contact with water can do nothing but accelerate the physical decay of the material. But in this degenerative phase, artwork entrusts itself to a different destiny which responds only to the laws of nature or chance. During this phase, artist is eclipsed by other forces.

If in the apparent prodigy of Threshold (four iron plates incongruously floating above the surface of water) we can recognize the idea of the artwork that is not destined to last (but actually lasting by means of its organic mutation), Threshold also makes it visible the theme of an uninterrupted or inertial formativity that incorporates several but interconnected aspects of its artistic identity.

Here it comes the modular order of most artworks, a sort of ars combinatoria which constructs and at the same time deconstructs forms according to a random and free creativity. Here it comes the very size of the artworks, that deal with the reasons of an actual sculpture settling into the space and violating its prefixed order.

In the garden where they are graciously placed (and where a harmonizing Reason is mirrored), these artworks assert themselves for what they do to it. And this could be : subversion. In a sense, Gerbino's artworks come to break up a dream of predestined quietness. But just like the end of the inertial motion, this could hide a new beginning too.

Fabrizio Gerbino, Corpi Materiali
ill. 1
Corpi Materiali

Fabrizio Gerbino, Corpi Materiali
ill. 2
Corpi Materiali

Fabrizio Gerbino, Corpi Materiali
ill. 3
Corpi Materiali

Fabrizio Gerbino, Corpi Materiali
ill. 4
Corpi Materiali

Fabrizio Gerbino, Soglia
ill. 5



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