On the occasion of the celebration of 60 years of activity, FOMAS Group, an international leader company for the production of forged and steel rolled rings, announced – between July and September 2015 – an open call for international artists, offering them the possibility to create a massive work in steel. Dr. Jacopo Guzzoni, vice president of the family business, said that the project was born from a passion for contemporary art and the intention to give space and voice to a young artist, involving her at the techniques of forging; contributing to professional development and bringing the company's employees to the art world as well.
The project, curated by Careof, involved a jury composed of Vincenzo De Bellis (former Artistic Director of Miart and Curator for Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis), Jannis Kounellis (artist), Gianni Bolongaro (president of La Marrana arteambientale), from Careof and FOMAS staff. Among the more than 70 applications arrived, the jury selected the projects by Michele Bazzana, Alice Guareschi and Serena Porrati, which had the opportunity to visit the company and rethink their own project presented.
Serena Porrati was the winner. The work The object is not there investigates the idea of matter intented as flow; an unstoppable movement which transfer ineluctably the systems that is occupying, an idea inspired by the notion of General Economics of the French philosopher Georges Bataille. The work consists of five pieces forged in an alloy composed of 97.08% iron. The heights of the elements remind the performance of the market prices of this material, in particular the "commodity futures" of the Iron Ore Index, a financial negotiation able to fix the cost of the material in a specific spot in the forward market.
The daily quotations have determined the height of each elements, representing at the end of the week a peak, a decline and a stability. As an instant work, it materializes some abstract values; random data has been created, disseminated, engulfed and soon forgotten in the server. Computer systems go through the natural and industrial business world; disclosing the viscosity and the porosity of everything. Therefore, the object is not here, but everywhere. It is a flow, an agglomeration of terrestrial thermodynamic elements that transform the matter, including human being. Forging, for the artist Serena Porrati, it becomes a synthesis thought, a synthesis of the language categories and actions that assemble the interaction between civilizations and the physical world we live in. The work is the result of two months of production where the exchange of skills and languages between engineers and technicians of the FOMAS and the artist herself, was essential, providing the opportunity for mutual comparison and professional improvement.
Here the link to the video about the project.