CHELPA FERRO “Spacemen/Cavemen” at Marsèlleria, Milan

Chelpa Ferro, Spacemen:Cavemen, exhibition view at Sprovieri
Ph. Milo Hutchings


On Thursday January 18th at 7pm, Marsèlleria presents in its via privata Rezia 2 venue in Milan, Spacemen/Cavemen, installation by Brazilian collective Chelpa Ferro. Composed by artists Barrão, Luiz Zerbini and Sergio Mekler, this artistic project draws its name from an old colloquial Portuguese word meaning “money”, chosen by the group because of its sound. Their multifaceted research explores the plastic dimension of sound and its dynamics through the use of sculptures, objects, installations and sound performances challenging the public’s point of view in respect to daily objects.

Displayed in Italy for the first time, Spacemen/Cavemen is composed by different materials, suspended a few centimeters above the floor; they reproduce lights, sounds and music composed by the artists, with a dense and apparently incomprehensible dialogue among the installation elements. The insert of technological elements on common materials, also obsolete ones, gives them a new sense and a new voice, creating a confusion in the recognition of sense, time and space coordinates in which the work could fit; but, as it is evident from the title itself, space men and cave men are very different, but coexist in the realm of the same species, making it difficult to find a clear position.

Chelpa Ferro have always worked on the dignity of “modest” sounds and materials, also going back to traditions and examples drawn from art history, together with totally contemporary ideas and creations. The layering of history and the potentialities of the objects, very often different from the usual ones, create a surrounding inviting to interaction, which the public is driven to comply, taking part to the narration of the work, physically “entering” in it and reflecting on use, consumption and cultural attitudes accompanying objects and sounds.

Chelpa Ferro is an art group formed in 1995 by the Brazilian artists Barrão, Luiz Zerbini and Sergio Mekler. Barrão made a name for himself in the 1980s, by using banal materials, from refrigerator components, to television parts and other fragments of household appliances, to create sculptures with a sense of humour. Luiz Zerbini is one of the most recognized Brazilian painters and Sergio Mekler is one of the most sought after editors of video and cinema in Brazil. Since 1995 Chelpa Ferro has exhibited extensively in galleries and museums, both in Brazil and internationally; it has also participated in art biennials, São Paulo in 2002 and 2004 and Venice in 2005 when it represented Brazil. Chelpa Ferro already released four albums and has played live concerts in the UK, United States and Europe. In 2010 the group was shortlisted for the Nam June Paik Award, International Media Art Award of the Arts Foundation of North Rhine, Westphalia, Germany.

Thanks to Galleria Sprovieri, London.


Chelpa Ferro, Spacemen:Cavemen, exhibition view at Sprovieri
Ph. Milo Hutchings


Chelpa Ferro, Spacemen:Cavemen, exhibition view at ECO
Ph. Clara Gouvea 


Chelpa Ferro, Spacemen/Cavemen
Ph. Rafael Canãs


Opening and performance Thursday 18 January 2018, 7–9 pm
19 January–2 March 2018

Marsèlleria | via privata Rezia 2, Milano
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