Exhibitions 2023

JEAN-PAUL PHILIPPE, POETA DELLO SPAZIO

The artist atelier in Asciano, Siena, italy

Curated by Alessandra Rey
Association Site Transitoire

21.07.2023 - 30.09.2023

THIRTY YEARS OF SITE TRANSITOIRE


The monumental sculpture Site Transitoire by French artist Jean Paul Philippe has the privilege of being a free work, born from the artist's inspiration for the unique nature of the Crete region. In 1993, its installation on a hill between the locality of Leonina and the village of Mucigliani, after the abandonment of that part of the Tuscan countryside by humans, became a gesture that marked the return of human presence.

Over the years, the artwork has been a source of inspiration and has been supported by renowned writers such as Antonio Tabucchi, Bernard Noël, and Antonio Prete, as well as internationally acclaimed artists who brought their creations to Site transitoire, transforming "the site" into a cultural and heritage site appreciated by a wide audience.

Recognition of this place has led to the inclusion of the artwork in guides from the Tuscany Region, those of the Antica Lauretana, in numerous publications, magazines, newspapers, documentaries, films, and art books published in Italy and abroad.

Last year, Jean-Paul Philippe's work was at the center of a twinning between the municipality of Asciano and the municipality of La Roque d'Anthéron in Provence, which resulted in the creation of a monument in dialogue with Site transitoire, titled Résonances, inaugurated in October 2022.

The Site transitoire Association invited photographer Alessandro Griccioli to accompany the sculptor for over a year in various stages of work to create an exhibition that aims to celebrate the artist and his most emblematic monumental works.

The exhibition retraces this journey, starting from Site transitoire and leading to the creation of sketches in the studio for the sculpture Résonances, the travertine quarries of Rapolano where it was realized, its installation in La Roque d'Anthéron, the exhibition of his sculpture/sketch at the Jeanne Bucher Jaeger gallery during the Archeologia Interiore exhibition, and concluding at Evidence(S), the studio recently inaugurated by Jean-Paul Philippe in Perigny sur Yerres.

I am pleased to have co-founded the Site transitoire Association with Jean-Paul Philippe, writer Antonio Prete, and poet Bernard Noël. This association was created to make the installation of a work that could have been only transient everlasting.

Accompanying the work of Jean-Paul Philippe over all these years has been an original and exciting journey, marked by beauty and friendship. This publication seeks to pay tribute to the author and his work on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of Site transitoire.

Alessandra ReyPresident of the Site transitoire Association

INTERVIEW WITH ALESSANDRO GRICCIOLI

by Alessandra Rey


AR - From its installation on a hill in the Sienese Crete, Site Transitoire began to construct what we could call, borrowing the words of Antonio Prete, its own inner archaeology made up of silent passages of stars and initial encounters with visitors. One day, returning to his studio in Fonteluco, Jean-Paul Philippe found a note on the door left by someone who wished to meet him. That note, written by Stefanella Griccioli, marked the beginning of a long-lasting friendship passed down through generations to her grandson Alessandro.
Alessandro Griccioli, from a very young age, has witnessed almost all the cultural activities organized around the Site transitoire work, from exhibitions at Santa Maria alla Scala in Siena to events at the sculpture.
Can you tell me how your encounter with Jean-Paul Philippe happened?

AG - The meeting happened through my aunt during the annual theater events that were organized at the sculpture, which I found wonderful. On one of those occasions, not only did I meet Jean-Paul Philippe for the first time, but I also started to develop a passion for photography. In fact, my attention was immediately captured by the group of photographers documenting the performance. Subsequently, I also began to photograph these unique events.

AR - When you started photographing artists like the dancer and choreographer Lisbeth Gruwez / Voetevolk in the show L'Origine or the tightrope walkers Chloé Moura and Mathieu Ibon in Fildiluna, can you tell me how you interpreted their creations in relation to the monumental sculpture with which they interacted?

AG - In 2011, I took my first photographs with a strong focus on interpreting the invited artists as they interacted with the sculpture. I am fascinated by humanistic photography, and in the performance L'Origine, I tried to capture Lisbeth Gruwez's movements in relation to the various elements of the Site transitoire. It was a powerful performance that I followed with passion, captivated by the artist's use of space: the transformation of the stage through the introduction of objects like the ladder, which became elements merging the dancer's body with the sculpture. In particular, I was struck by the original choice to start the show with a birth, with the body emerging from the depths of the earth with partial and enigmatic appearances. These powerful and primordial movements perfectly complemented the mineral nature of the soil and the sculpture's stone. At that time, I didn't have much reference in photography, and my work was driven mainly by instinct. I was captivated by the extraordinary performative dimension and aimed to capture the sensations it emanated.

AR - Your photographs often feature the presence of humans, such as in your street art exhibition in London. However, for this exhibition, you have created images that integrate and dialogue with the artist and the artwork. Can you explain how your working method has changed for this project?

AG - The project evolved during its execution because initially, I was proposed to create a reportage-style intervention, a kind of visual storytelling related to the monumental sculpture Résonances, which was about to be realized after seven years. Subsequently, thanks to the friendship and trust that developed over time with Jean-Paul Philippe, a much more intimate and profound approach emerged. It was linked to the desire to celebrate the artist on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the installation of the Site transitoire sculpture. I focused more on his ability to create poetic spaces, whether they are monumental sculptures, studios, or even his own home. For this work, I had some references like the photographer Ugo Mulas, whose wide-angle, sharp, and well-focused shots, attention to materials, such as the texture of hands, and the definition of the artist's space, inspired me. The overarching theme is the fundamental concept of Jean-Paul Philippe's use of space, which he calls "the first gesture." Another photographer I drew inspiration from is Bruno Munari.

AR - Your exhibition will be displayed in October at the Silvacane Abbey in La Roque d'Anthéron, a commune in Provence twinned with Asciano, where the sculpture Résonances is installed. You have followed the various stages of its creation, from hand-etched sketches in the Asciano workshop "La Bottega di Jean-Paul Philippe" to the realization of the elements in the quarries and the installation. What did it mean for you to get so closely involved in the artist's work and to operate in completely different spaces?

AG - Going through all the stages of the artist's work, from the intimacy of the project's atelier, still at the sketch stage, to the vast spaces of the travertine quarries where the Résonances monument was created, was a significant human experience. I let myself be guided by Jean-Paul Philippe, and this experience lasted more than a year, strengthening our personal relationship and maturing my choices regarding the work.

AR - What struck you about the "Archeologia interiore" exhibition at the Jeanne Bucher Jaeger gallery in Paris, and what did you want to convey in your photographs?

AG - The exhibition's synthesis of selected works, representative and important pieces, exhibited and juxtaposed in a remarkable way around the gallery's chosen theme of "Enchan-temps," which provides the fundamentals for understanding the artist. In this purely formal space, I played with the interplay of transparencies and reflections created by the artworks and the materials they are composed of: glass, mirrors, lead, alabaster. In one photograph, Jean-Paul Philippe appears among the columns of the exhibition space, creating a powerful effect that transforms the columns into stage sets, and the gallery opens up like a stage.

AR - "Evidence(S)" is the studio in Perigny sur Yerres - Paris that Jean-Paul Philippe recently inaugurated, a house-museum with a large exhibition gallery, a grassy courtyard where some monumental works are installed, a studio for design, and a workshop for creating sketches. You are one of the first photographers to enter these new spaces inhabited by the artist and his work. What choices did you make to reveal them?

AG - I allowed myself to be guided by Jean-Paul Philippe and to hear the story of "Evidence(S)," which was born as a place dedicated to sculpture. I photographed the spaces, relating them to the artist, avoiding the creation of staged portraits. Instead, through details, I aimed to capture the essence of the sculptor: from materials to tools for processing, from notes to memories, from sketches to sources of inspiration. This research led me to rediscover the works of a young Jean-Paul Philippe, a painter not yet a sculptor, which I revisited with the artist after a long period in which they had not been exhibited. I experienced and developed "Evidence(S)" as a space to gain a deeper understanding of the artist and his journey. The long-standing friendship, trust, and complicity between us were crucial keys in overcoming the reserve of a solitary character like Jean-Paul Philippe.


Exhibitions 2022

NEVER TIRED OF LONDON

Galleria Belvedere
Casole d'Elsa, Siena, Italy

Curated by Andrea Buzzichelli

18.12. 2021 —  03.01. 2022

Book presentation by Michael Neale and Elisa Dainelli


Michael Neale / Foreword

By training and profession, Alessandro Griccioli is a winemaker.  He excels in the management of a business producing and selling wine, olive oil, truffles, and other fares for gourmets.  Yet, as a gifted portrayer of humanity through the lens of his Leica he shows as much skill in the craft of photography, and dedication to its art, as the finest of professional photojournalists.  It is rare, if not unique, to find such a combination of such skills.

The brilliant images displayed in this exhibition and in his book Never Tired of London are an enduring tribute to the city that captivated both his heart and his eye in the early years of the 21st century.

Maria Elisa Dainelli

“Ci si potrebbe sorprendere, non delle sorprese del caso, -sono così frequenti- ma del fatto che il fotografo sia spesso presente per coglierle” (Willy Ronis, Le regole del caso)

Cosa significa fare fotografia street in un mondo in continuo movimento? Cosa significa “fermare istanti” apparentemente casuali in una serie di immagini?

Never Tired of London è un libro e un lavoro di Alessandro Griccioli, in mostra dal 18 dicembre 2021 a Casole d’Elsa, alla Galleria Belvedere. La sua è la narrazione di un momento; la fotografia, che nel progetto diventa corale, di un’Inghilterra prima della Brexit e prima della pandemia da Coronavirus. Un lavoro che assume oggi un valore storico e politico e di cui dovremo fare tesoro, per sapere come eravamo e per vedere come, forse, torneremo ad essere in futuro. 


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