Le Stanze del Possibile. Jewellery variations and inspirations on Italo Calvino's Six memos for the next Millennium

Exhibition  /  09 Oct 2019  -  08 Nov 2019
Published: 13.09.2019
Le Stanze del Possibile. Jewellery variations and inspirations on Italo Calvino's Six memos for the next Millennium.
Hannah Gallery
Nichka Marobin
Leo Caballero, Amador Bertomeu

© By the author. Read Copyright.
Helen Britton. Necklace: Horse of Stone, 2019. Tumbled mixed stones, silver. 
. Piece part of the memo Visibility at the exhibition Le Stanze del Possibile at Hannah Gallery.
. Unique piece. Helen Britton
Necklace: Horse of Stone, 2019
Tumbled mixed stones, silver

Piece part of the memo Visibility at the exhibition Le Stanze del Possibile at Hannah Gallery.

Unique piece
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Estimated price: 12000 €

Ten Artists jewellers, six memos, twenty jewels, one book and a text: welcome to LE STANZE DEL POSSIBILE, an exhibition project based on Italo Calvino’s “Six memos for the next Millennium”.
There’s a “written world” (1) marked by punctuation and organized in words, lines, paragraphs and footnotes. It encloses poems, novels, posts, articles, short stories, all following the rules of composition and language techniques:  this is the world I belong to.
There is also an “unwritten world” made of metals and stones, both precious non-precious, of wires, plastics, objects trouvés, paper, glass, wood and other different materials. This “unwritten” world is made of personal imagery, imagination and inventiveness which is like “an electronic machine takes account of all possible combinations” (2).  The “unwritten world” conveys large subjects and themes through different media and objects of various sizes; it gives voice to all sorts of fragments that are composed and recomposed following precise rules of combination and techniques: this world of contemporary jewellery.
The passing from the “written” to the “unwritten” world is as entering into a room of multiple possibilities and “Le Stanze del Possibile” aims to be the medium between these two worlds where the jewels are the fuel for words and vice versa.

“Le Stanze del Possibile” is an exhibition project based on Italo Calvino’s “Six Memos for the next Millennium”. The Italian writer was invited in 1984 to give the Norton Lectures at Harvard University about the values of literature that he considered as a heritage for the years to come. Unfortunately, he died prematurely and the corpus of his “American Lessons” was published posthumously in 1988.
In a book every kind of experience is possible, but rarely it goes beyond the border of the page: how the values of Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility, Multiplicity, as well as the unfinished memo of Consistency, written by Italo Calvino can be observed through the lens of contemporary jewellery?
How and why we define a piece of jewellery “light” or full of lightness? How can we detect movement through the structures and goldsmiths technique applied to contemporary jewellery? How the internal rhythm of a jewel can be achieved and detected by the wearer and the viewer?

The language, made of images of the visibility memo, offers a multiplicity of messages. Thus, whether we consider literature and contemporary jewellery, it is a truth that each work is not a mere work for itself:  it encompasses values, ideas and languages, conveying messages able to touch large subjects and setting itself in the world. How does the “self” described by Italo Calvino place itself in the world? What about the peculiar “self” in the field of contemporary jewellery?

Following the wanderings of the Italian writer through the “memos” of Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility and Multiplicity, the artists involved in this project are invited to create two pieces of jewellery inspired by Calvino’s words on the values of literature.
In addition to the artists, also the gallerists are invited to give their own contribution to the exhibition with an essay on the last, unfinished “memo”: Consistency, intended in Calvino’s thoughts as “coherence”.
So the gallery is not merely the “frame” where the pieces will be displayed, but an active part of the project. Focusing on the binomial individual/multiplicity in the field of contemporary jewellery, how coherence settles itself in this domain of activity? How were and are the roles of the gallerists facing the multiplicity of contemporary jewellery on the web? And moreover: which subjectivity arises from the multiplicity of the web? What is “consistency” according to the founders of the world-renowned platform for contemporary jewellery?

Every exhibition project is a real privilege because it gives the opportunity to share visions and ideas: entering “Le Stanze del Possibile” is an invitation to take a look upon the creative processes and the network of possibilities provided by the “memos”: a bridge between two worlds.
Nichka Marobin, Exhibition Curator


(1) For the “written and “unwritten” world see the lecture given by Italo Calvino as “James Lecture” at the Institute of Humanities on 30th March 1983: The Written and Unwritten World, “The New York Review of Books”, May 12, 1983, pp. 38-39.

(2) Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the next Millennium, Harvard University Press, 1988, p. 91.