handle with care

galleria annamarracontemporanea - rome

Press review

Solo show curated by Lorenzo Respi. The exhibition includes, in addition to some historical works that tell the path twenty years of their research, "Grande Elpìs", installation that consist in five vases with stacked sheets, specially made for the space the roman space. 

Since always papier mache is the favorite material from Perino & Vele for the realization of their sculptures. Laid out in thin colourful sheets, kneaded into checkered quilts or coated in resin making them immune to the weather, the papier-mâché constructs shapes and condenses meanings, dialogues with the spectator using the spontaneity of the visual language, to communicate a new message, the artists’ points of view on society and our times. Perino & Vele make fun of the heaviness of the sculpture, transforming it into lightness, ironizing on the recognisability of everyday objects and astutely revealing the contradictions and violence of contemporary society.  

“Handle with care” is not only an explicit reference to the intrinsic fragility of papier-mâché, but above all it is a warning to the public, a warning not look at the works of the Neapolitan duo superficially, an exhortation to go beyond the material and the technique to reflect on the deeper sense of this mixture of media. Under the apparently soft and reassuring skin of their sculptures are hidden, among the many current issues, the condemnation of violence between people, the disapproval of ballistic testing on animals, the concern about pollution and the resulting genetic mutations. The indicators of this uncomfortable are felt on the surfaces riddled with bullets from firearms, bristling with sharp points and indicated by the repeated warning signs.

From the fragility of papier-mâché – and from the awareness they themselves are fragile – Perino & Vele set out to reconstruct a different but still possible reality. 

The installation “Grande Elpís” (2014) is composed of one large vase in precarious equilibrium and by four other vases arranged along the wall.  The central vase is surrounded by a disorderly pile of sheets of coloured papier-mâché and is inspired by the esthetic and human fragility of Alberto Giocometti’s filiform figures. The vase, a symbol of insecurity and mythological container of all evils and the goods of the world, becomes the object to be investigated in more recent work: Perino & Vele look into the black depths of the container a new impetus to creativity and an alternative for our common future.