Contemporary art meets industry
Industry and art meet in Genoa
by Bruno Guidi
Organising artistic events at a time of negative economic growth signifies reacting to crisis, rather than giving in to it. This is my company’s philosophy. lnvesting more in research, spending energy on innovation and opening up to inventive ideas in communications.
Our adventure in the world ofart began, timidly at first, in 2008, when we met the Amerlcan photographer Jill Mathis and produced a book of her photographs to mark our company’s 40th anniversary.
We were amazed by the artist’s sensitivity, by her ability to reveal to our eyes the artistic aspects of what we do.
During the 2011 Genoa Boat Show, we presented Industria, an exhibition of JilI Mathis’s photographs at the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa: a series of photographs inspired by the birth of our products and the process of transformation from raw material to ﬁnished product; photographs that help us grasp the latent beauty of various stages in the process.
With the success of the Industria exhibition, we decided to continue the artistic journey we had begun. In 2012, again in Genoa, we worked with Michelangelo Pistoletto, at the Palazzo della Meridiana with his installation, Love Difference, a mirror table in which the Mediterranean Sea becomes symbolic of a meeting-place: a particularly appropriate work of art for the boat show, when the city of Genoa becomes an international meeting-point.
In 2013, we started working with another world- renowned artist, Chris Gilmour, and well-known curator Luca Beatrice.
The British sculptor, who uses recycled cardboard and glue to create sculptures, reproducing full-scale industrial objects with incredible realism, built a small yacht from the seventies for us — a yacht made by the historic Camuffo shipyard in Portogruaro, already a customer of ours from that time — complete with every detail, including some of the accessories we produced.
Chris Gilmour’s sculpture will be presented at the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa along with a new series of Jill Mathis’s photographs focusing on the manual skill that is still so important in industry today.
The exhibition “Gilmour&Mathis. Contemporary art meets industry” has thus become a celebration of work in general and of the synergy created between two essential fields of human experience, art and industry, which are only too often kept apart.
In my opinion, this project ﬁts into a wider-ranging ethical concept which aims to use art and creativity to promote change, or at least a new point of view, in the link between man’s activities, to ensure a better life tor future generations.
For ethics and creativity are resources which art and industry must share in order to find new solutions and advance research to improve, albeit in different ﬁelds, our quality of Iife. This is the meaning I wish to see attributed to my vision of industrial patronage: playing an active role in changing our society for the better.
Cantiere navale Camuffo
Cantiere Navale Camuffo is the world’s oldest existing shipyard, as demonstrated by numerous commercial documents and notarial deeds preserved in Italy’s national archives and Iibraries. The shipyard’s history began in 1438 in Candia (Crete), and moved to Chioggia, Italy, in 1470. lt has seen the uninterrupted work of nineteen generations of shipwrights, owners and builders of every type of wooden vessel for a great variety of use: fishing, shipping, military and leisure. The shipyard, now operated by brothers Marco and Giacomo, ranks tenth on the list of the world’s oldest fami|y-run companies, and first in the shipbuilding sector, according to a study conducted by the Harvard Business School. Since the fifteenth century, the Camuffo family has jealously handed down the different construction methods and secrets of building their valuable boats. ln 1840, Francesco Luigi Camuffo, the third son of Fortunato Camuffo, was unable to inherit the family’s Venetian boatyard and moved to Portogruaro, where he in turn established his own flourishing shipyard. In 1927, Camuffo built its first motorboat, nine metres Iong, with a FIAT engine. Beginning in the fifties, the Camuffo’s began producing small wooden motorboats of solid, double planking mahogany with outboard or inboard gas engines, Iater going on to build cabin cruisers. Master shipwright Marco Camuffo draws on the latest technologies and hisfamily’s experience to produce unrivalled hulls which are far removed from the standard, renowned for their perfection, safety and performance, earning Camuffo vessels the nickname of “Stradivariuses of the Sea”.
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