A film made for the Whitechapel Gallery about an installation sculpture by Giuseppe Penone, the youngest member of the Arte Povera group.
The Bloomberg Commission: Giuseppe Penone > Spazio di Luce at Whitechapel Gallery
Over the past 45 years, Italian artist Giuseppe Penone has examined our relationship to nature. For the latest Bloomberg Commission, he has created a twelve metre bronze cast of a tree, with a radiant gold-leaf interior, which spreads across the columned gallery.
In 1969 Giuseppe Penone(b. 1947) covered a tree in a thin layer of wax calling this seemingly simple, yet complex reflection on the passing of time All the Years of thetree plus one. He now recalls this poetic action by casting a layer of wax in bronze to spectacular result.
At first sight Spazio di Luce (Space of Light), could easily be mistaken for thestraightforward life-size cast of a largelarch tree. However, where once there wasa tree now there is a void. The inside of thecast replicates in minute detail the tree’sbark while the finger prints on the outsidesafeguard the memory of the many handsinvolved in the sculpture’s making. The gleaming gold inside the tree paystribute to the life-giving forces of light.
At the same time, the fusion of bark and hand prints alludes to the inseparable bond between humankind and nature. Penone was part of the legendary group of Arte Povera, which called for a radical rethink of society through making works directly appealing to the senses and challenging common conventions of artmaking.