The Stones are My Ideas of Imagination was the final exhibition, curated by Mike Watson within the Database program, which closed the project’s calendar of residencies and workshops Speakin to the Walls, helded within the Museo Civico del Marmo in Carrara.
A resident curator at Nomas Foundation in Rome in 2012, Mike Watson has invited artists Graham Hudson, Robert Pettena and Andrew Rutt to work in Carrara during the months of September and November 2012.
During these months, a new approach to the concept of workshop was tested: the artist selects a target group of the population, but the workshop is managed horizontally – it’s not about the artist imparting a lecture. Rather, the interaction with the public shapes the work of the artist itself.
As suggested by the title of the exhibition, The Stones are My Ideas of Imagination – which adapts a famous quote by William Blake – the material resulting from the workshops has become the founding element of the works on display at the Museum of Marble in Carrara.
Graham Hudson contributed the results of research carried out with the students of Professor Francesco Galluzzi’s course in Aesthetics at the Fine Art Academy of Carrara. The group took into consideration the theme of ‘Speaking to Walls‘, devised by Maria Rosa Sossai (Alagroup) and Mike Watson and based on the work of Lacan.
Robert Pettena worked on the theme of Anarchism, entering into contact with both the quarrymen who work in the three quarries of Colonnata, Torano and Miseglia, and with the anarchist groups Germinal and Gogliardo Fiaschi, from the historic centre of Carrara.
Andrew Rutt engaged with sculptors from Studi Nicoli in Carrara, the oldest workshop still existing within the centre, giving voice to the craftsmen who actually execute and create marble works of art on behalf of international artists.
The exhibition also included works by Stefano Canto, an artist selected by the curator for his philological research into the creation of the Monolite, the obelisk which was placed in the Foro Italico in Rome in 1932 by Carrara native Renato Ricci and Benito Mussolini. The project traces a connection between Rome and Carrara, two cities linked by a historic relationship of power play and the will to submit beauty to the service of power.