Galerie Mario Mazzoli is pleased to announce the exhibition Empty Matters by the Italian artist Michele Spanghero.

Spanghero’s artistic work can very basically be comprehended as an exploration into the state of emptiness. At first, this emptiness appears in his works in authentic form, where the artist works with the acoustic representation of spaces that have been divested of their actual purpose. Thus, in Ratio, abandoned theaters and auditoriums act as the source of the sound; in 1:10,000, it emanates from the inside of an empty oil tank. Alongside these are works in which emptiness is a moment created by the artist: in this case, Spanghero restores co-opted objects with the sound of their original function. In Stream, for example, the sound of oil can be heard flowing inside of pipes which, for the observer, are visibly empty. Paradoxically, by setting a sharp contrast to the emptiness of the object, the acoustic illusion of the aliveness of the object underlines its lifelessness in an effective way.

Thus, with Spanghero, the sonic equivalent of the physical state of emptiness is by no means found in silence. Quite the contrary, it is precisely the sound that creates a reference - which cannot be ignored and is thereby much more impressive - to that which is not there (any more). Consequently then, it is not the sound as such that is at the center of the work, but rather the emptiness, whose resonance it is. Hence, in his works, Spanghero comes close to a sound of emptiness. And by capturing this sound again and again in hermetically sealed spaces and literally sealing it, he also gives this project its own visual language. In this sense, it can also be understood that, for the artist, the physical object is more than just the carrier of the sound. For Spanghero, the sound of the object gives its form a meaning that is direct and extends far beyond the aesthetic aspect.

Not uncommonly, a very special tension emerges from the works: from the sheer heaviness and massiveness of the empty objects, the high-gloss, perfectly formed materials arranged around an empty core. In a very direct way, the objects play with the fascination and respect that the state of emptiness brings to bear on a modern world drenched in consumption and stimulation. And thus, time and again, the different works of Spanghero may be understood as exaggerated, compressed materializations of emptiness; objects that lend the state of emptiness a tangible weight – an existence that is literally palpable.

Michele Spanghero, born in 1979, lives and works in Gorizia. Spanghero’s works have been shown internationally at various museums and galleries, and represented at many festivals and fairs. Highlights include: Artericambi, Verona; Casabianca, Bologna; Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice; Villakabila Stichtingcentrum, The Hague; Museo Revoltella, Trieste; Galerie Mario Mazzoli, Berlin, Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea, Monfalcone; MoKS Residency, Moste; HAIP Digital Art Festival, Ljubljana; 404 International Festival of Electronic Art, Trieste & Basel. Selected concerts: Neu New York/Wien; Institute of Improvised Music, Vienna; Neon Campobase, Bologna; Galerientage, Graz; Plan B, Warsaw. His recordings have been released by various labels including Palomar Records, Gruenrekorder and MiraLoop.

Text by Manuel Wischnewski and translated in english by Laurie Schwartz.

Galerie Mario Mazzoli 
Potsdamer Straße, 132
D-10783 Berlin, Germany
Tel +49 (0)30 75459560

Opening hours 
From Tuesday to Saturday 
12am-6pm and by appointment