At the heArt of Forging



Vincenzo De Bellis (Direttore Artistico Miart e Curatore per le Arti Visive al Walker Art Center di Minneapolis), Jannis Kounellis (artista), Gianni Bolongaro ( Presidente de La Marrana arteambientale) e da persone di Careof e della FOMAS

Michele Bazzana, Alice Guareschi e Serena Porrati

Serena Porrati

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.


Serena Porrati (1981) is both living and working between London and Milan.

Recent solo exhibitions 2014: COLLASSO MAG Arco Museo Alto Garda. 2012: Supporto Chan Genova. 2011: Faccio fatica, a volte, a vivere da anarchico Spazio Senzatitolo Roma                     

Recent collective exhibitions.2015: CHAOTIC PASSION Museo Villa Croce Genova, THE WRONG new digital art biennale, MOSTYN OPEN 19, Mostyn Gallery; 2014: A-EYE Goldsmith University; 2013: Show One Central Saint Martins, Encounters between Art and Science British Library, London, The Crooked Tree Sink Art Gallery London; 2012: Artists’ Shorts. An Unfinished World Modern Art Oxford, Is It Really Now? Galleria Artra Milano. 
Residenze e premi. 2015: Mostyn Open19 2013: Iron R2, Sculptor Factory Cork, 2012: Advanced Course in Visual Art, FAR Como 2011:, Default Masterclass in Residence, Ramdom and AGM culture Lecce, _ApertoArt on the Border, Valle Camo

FOMAS Group is an industrial group that produces forgings and rings in steel and non-ferrous alloys destined to different markets (Power Generation, Oil & Gas, Automotive, General Industry). With six production sites in Italy and four abroad (US, France, India and China) the Group employs about 1500 people in the world.
The primary objective is to satisfy customers' requirements in terms of technology, quality and on-time delivery. In fact, FOMAS Group provides the customer with the highest level of knowledge of the materials and processes acquired in 60 years of significant activity in the most critical industrial sectors, regardless of where the production plant is located.
For FOMAS Group, forging is a form of ART, an ancient technique that must be handed down, and from this point of view the desire to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the company was born, to "train" an artist in the art of forging steel .

But art has been part of the Group for several years. The Group's passion for the plastic arts has a long history. In 2004, in fact, FOMAS (company at the head of the Group) created the sculpture "Sole per Merate" for the town of Merate, created by the sculptor Giuseppe Spagnulo (one of the artists who have worked with FOMAS for several years) and is now on display in Piazza Italy in Merate.
But this is just one example of the union between FOMAS Group and art, there are other important collaborations and just to name a few, we remember Sean Shanahan and Nagasawa.
Another important juncture between the art world and the Group is the long association with the Foundation "La Marrana Arteambientale" based in the Montemarcello Park, where 35 installations created by artists are gathered in an area subject to landscape constraint known worldwide (from Kounellis to Kosuth, Spalletti, Mainolfi, Fabre, Fulton, Rantzer, Roccasalva, Losi, Airo, Vedovamazzei, Benedini, Mocellin and Pellegrini, Golba, Azuma, Campos-Pons).

These results were also possible thanks to the sponsorship of FOMAS Group which has been supporting the Foundation in these important initiatives for years.


The theme At the heArt of Forging invites a reflection on the knowledge of the subject ("at the center of the matter"), but also as an introspective dimension that pushes man to the passion for his work, for his art.
Taking into account that art contributes to "forge" life and to build the future, Art gives a stimulus for a positive vision, as it is a push to go beyond the "present present".

The Award is aimed at the realization of a sculptural work in carbon steel or low alloy (with a maximum weight of two tons and a maximum size of 5x3x5m in height) that enhances and highlights the potential of steel and all its possibilities and variations. The work will be carried out at the FOMAS S.p.a plant in Osnago (Lecco).