Second episode of the program “Pralines. Deliciousness from the world of art” by Ly thi Thanh Thao and Sergio Mandelli dedicated to Dario Ghibaudo.
Dario Ghibaudo is born in Cuneo in 1951.
After finishing his studies, Dario Ghibaudo believes that making art should lead him to achieve economic independence.
What stands out in this artist is his instinctive capacity to invent solutions to everyday problems by adopting the tools created by himself.
He therefore feels at ease manipulating and assembling diverse materials.
In the mid-80s, Dario Ghibaudo can’t resist the call of the city of Milan.
In 1988 the Cenobio Visualità Gallery organizes his first solo exhibition titled “Tessuto Connettivo Urbano” (“Urban Connective Tissues”).
Yet for a long time there are two sentences swirling around his head: one is stated by Jean Jacques Rousseau: “All that is educated by man is unnatural”;
the other is voiced by Michel Serres: “At the moment man elevates himself, his relationship with nature degenerates”.
To Dario Ghibaudo, if we approach our world by giving priority to technology, we will risk threatening the harmony between man and nature.
In 1990 he gets an illuminating idea that characterizes his artistic production from that moment onwards.
He envisions his own museum where every new exhibition is conceived as a hypothetical room.
So while each and every artist aspires to have one or more works displayed in an art museum,
Dario Ghibaudo would like to make the museum his masterpiece.
In fact, as a Natural History Museum stores different plant and animal species from all over the world, Dario Ghibaudo’s museum, called “Unnatural History Museum”, aims to collect all the signals predicting the broken bond between man and nature.
Importantly he feels fascinated by the idea of the Wunderkammer, in other words, the Cabinet of curiosities, that houses collections of rare specimens or extraordinary artifacts in vogue from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
Dario Ghibaudo thus engages himself in crafting new forms, which are the results of his in-depth study on crossbreeding among different species.
For instance, let’s have a look at room n°8, devoted to organic botany: the sample of Malum Magnum Gilvus, a kind of melon whose perfectly reproduced digestive animal apparatus, is showcased.
So how can we keep ourselves from thinking of the ongoing experiments of transplanting animal DNA into plant specimens in some laboratories?
With these combinatorial principles in mind, Dario Ghibaudo works out other rooms such as room n° 4, devoted to insects, and room n° 9, to the skin of improbable animals.
It’s particularly interesting to visit room n°6, where eleven samples of “Homo pronto” are on view. They feature men and women reproduced in 1:1 scale and put in vacuum-sealed bags.
Through this work, Dario Ghibaudo wants to highlight that man can be reduced to merchandise.
Each “Homo pronto” is accompanied with a data sheet that provides instruction for using the “product” properly, also specifying that it can always be put back in the bag and reused when necessary.
Room n° 10 is as fascinating. It is composed of a series of geographical maps, each of which is densely covered with small crucifixes made of luminescent materials.
The crucifix, the universal symbol of man’s suffering condition, would be present at every corner of the world.
This series is entitled “Caritas Christi urget nos?”
This famous quote of Saint Paul ends with a bitter interrogation mark:
Does it still hold true that it’s the charity, it’s Christ’s love, that propels man towards action
and it’s not the disheartening human conflicts?
The theme of crucifixion is repeatedly treated in a work titled “Siamo dei” (“We are gods”), obviously referring to the life of Jesus, God made man.
The work is composed of seven sculptures featuring human beings with outstretched arms. That which impresses is the anonymity of these figures, representing the entire humanity.
Dario Ghibaudo further realizes other sculptures such as the one in stone representing the mathematician Giuseppe Peano. The sculpture is made up of a unique line, which then develops and occupies the whole surface.
Among other stone sculptures are “Labilostomis Lithica” and “Aquifera rupestri”; while his “Cervus Alatus” is made in bronze.
Dario Ghibaudo’s “Sculture da Viaggio” are splendid: they are small porcelain artworks, placed in display cases, that are easily transportable and that represent the briefest way of evolution from fish to mammals through singular specimens.
Let’s be sure of one thing: his work doesn’t convey any comforting message.
Dario Ghibaudo’s art, due to the complexity of elaboration, the immensity of ambitions, the large number of idealized objects and of used materials, can be considered unique in the contemporary art panorama.