Le Stanze Delle Meraviglie Infrante
Room of Shattered Wonders.

Fish, ancient symbol of fertility and death, moreover one of the earliest Christian codes, is also found in present day art. One only has to think of Joseph Beuys' multiple "Freitagsobjekt ‚1a gebratene Fischgräte (Hering)" dated 1970. Or the concept-collage "Liberation Sonata for Fish" created the year before by Nam June Paik who calls on the observer to throw the mounted dried fish back into the sea.

The plastic art of Luca Gemma even uses fish as its base material: their scales. The artist, born in Castiglione Della Stiviere (Italy), has been using these opalescent, gleaming particles of fish skin, finest bone platelets, for many years. He forms serially designed surfaces with them and fixed unto synthetic covers or plates, they evoke an image of rectangular wings. And they do actually move! They sway lightly over the ground as if breathing or even swimming. Ephemeral situations, triggered off by the mechanical parts of the art objects: here visible motors on pulling ropes, there hidden motor activity.

The interleaving and intermeshing tiny natural elements and the things made by continually inventive mankind, result , in a double sense of the word, in fantastic machines. They are stationary and mobile self-playing instruments and create through the continual and mutual scrapping of the formaldehyde hardened fish scales strange and quasi-maritime sound spheres.

In Luca Gemma‘s natural as well as rational world, a functionless functioning machine park of fiction, the familiar evokes a web of “beyond time“ - from today's perspective.

German Text by Stefan Fricke (German by Séan O'Sharp)

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