The Alberto Peola Gallery is pleased to present ‘o databàs, Perino & Vele’s fourth solo exhibition.
Archiving means organizing, collecting, and then storing. When it comes to cultural institutions, museums, libraries and archives store objects, documents and artworks, and preserve their semiotic value, so as to pass it down to the future generations. However, in today’s society, archiving has become common practice. We all file away personal documents in virtual archives every day. Databases, clouds and servers – they all collect private files as once did photo albums and dusty paper folders. A database is not only a collection of data, but also of personal life experiences, a repository that we sometimes would like to conceal, close, and make no longer accessible. Instead, in multiple cases privacy is infringed, and confidential data are publicly disclosed without the user’s permission.
Perino & Vele open their private archives with the exhibition ‘o databàs, a set of ‘data,’ namely drawings and sculptures, which bring out the kindred concepts of collecting, storing as well as disclosing. The never before exhibited installation Big Data (2019) is the result of archived sketches, a repository of ideas and works produced over 25 years, now finally accessible to the public for the first time. The artists revisit old themes, starting from the concept of archive: the great installation Big Archives, currently in the MART collection in Trento and Rovereto, was presented for the first time at the Alberto Peola Gallery in 2002. It features all the fundamental elements of the archiving process – organizing, collecting, storing – which the two artists have revisited, remoulded and divulged according to their personal conception of an archive in the age of digital contemporaneousness.
Big Archives filled the whole space of the gallery, which was transformed into an annex to the artists’ studio, where was a tall heap of crates containing fresh, unused papier-mâché, made from milled newspapers and magazines. This same papier-mâché was propped against a roller shutter to keep the deposit door closed – the papier-mâché was kept in a heap waiting to be moulded. Through that installation, Perino & Vele revealed their working method and the material of their works. ‘o databàs takes us back into their studio and leads us through the stages of their artistic investigation and the accomplishment of their works, starting from everyday objects and forms, current news stories, social critique, stereotypes and commonplaces. Whatever the subject, the artists’ rendering is always unpredictable and ironic, as it plays with the viewer’s ability to recognize reality in their sculptures.