Werther Gasperini. Shipwreck and knowledge

Werther Gasperini. Shipwreck and knowledge

Centre Tour à Plomb, a hub for arts and culture in the heart of Brussels, presents De(la)mesure humaine, the last solo show by Werther Gasperini (Milan, 1987). The historic spaces of the centre, made in the nineteenth century as a munitions factory, hosts a site-specific project that responds to the history of the building, as well as its current destination. The exhibition is a meditation upon micro and macrocosm, human scale and architectural proportions, artifice and nature.

Artworks made of classical materials – clay, iron, marble – as well as bread, fabric and motors, create a strong bond between the bricks and, metaphorically, the life of the centre, in line with the current mission of Tour à Plomb. The space currently hosts site-specific projects by emerging artists, programmed by the coordinator and curator of the show, Stephane Roy.

The excess of measure, and the measurements of the excess are inquired by Gasperini, who is a sculptor and art historian by education. His research touches many leitmotifs in western and universal history: architectural and geographic scale, the thirst for discovery, the loss of boundaries into landscape, representation and iconoclasm.

A metal structure, put against a wall, evokes a chapel by architect Filippo Brunelleschi (Dé-mesure humaine). A latin-rig sail, with an ancient shape, is installed on top of a staircase, its feature evoking sea conquests and shipwrecks. A sundial (À une heure certe) is recreated after a grindstone, left since the time the factory was a mill.

The exhibition evokes, furthermore, the charm of the ruins: the fragments of a celestial planisphere (Repère) welcome the visitor. Every fragment, like the old bricks, is as important as the sum of all parts.

The artist works also with machineries (Métier): a spinning wheel rotates with an apparently eternal movement, powered by a motor. The piece stands like the metaphor of the insolence of the modern man: apparently necessary for progress, yet harmful. In Gasperini’s practice, what is eventually pivotal is the poetics of art making.  The particular banality of the everyday gets translated into universal statements, as the artist looks into its fundamentally tragic nature.

Elio Ticca


Werther Gasperini. De(la)mesure humaine
11.12.19 – 29.12.2019
Centre Tour à Plomb, Bruxelles

Werther Gasperini

For all the images: Werther Gasperini, De(la)mesure humaine. Installation view at Centre Tour à Plomb, Bruxelles



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