An exhibition showcases small unstable architectures by the artist-designer: 9 "barricades" and 16 drawings that become a metaphor for the need to decide whose side to be on

Barricades, the latest project by Mario Trimarchi, is on display until 6 April at the Galleria Antonia Jannone in Milan: it is a small exhibition which however gives a lot to those who visit it.

The project includes eight small sculptures in brass and one in blown glass, accompanied by 16 ink drawings.

Mario Trimarchi calls them Barricades and they are geometric constructions, tubes that join, intersect, cross and lean on stones, pieces of wood, glass jars, methacrylate joints to create apparently precarious balances. It's natural, looking at them, to think that if one element were removed everything would collapse.

The word Barricades evokes Commune de Paris scenarios, physical disorder but very clear ideals, chaos but commitment.

Who says "barricades" and immediately thinks of those "walls" of barrels assembled in the streets of the French capital, apparently unstable structures built in a haphazard manner but in reality very solid and protective for the rebels.

“I decided to work on the theme of the Barricades which today seem to me to represent the need to choose, without hesitation, which side to be on”, explains Mario Trimarchi.

Barricades is a project to be enjoyed slowly

Like all the projects of this artist and designer who "designs to understand the poetic soul of objects" and "draws to understand the world", Barricades should be savored slowly. Because it's the opposite of the large immersive events that are popular today: here the wonder appears only to those who take the time to observe, be inspired, make connections.

The sculptures, set up along the walls of the Gallery, are objects made of assemblies of other objects: enigmatic presences which, from afar, one gets the impression could collapse at any moment, "that they are unfinished, awaiting a final gesture from their creator", as Marco Sammicheli writes in the catalogue.

All it takes is to get closer, however, to understand that everything here has been made with unprecedented mastery.

The brass is offered in a polished version, but also brushed with different grains and sandblasted.

The wood is thousands of years old, collected from the sea. The glass is blown by Lunardon who created the removable jars but also the green glass piece, a great example of talent (all the tubes are connected, with only one outlet hole for venting).

The three-armed joints in methacrylate were machined with 5-axis machines on both sides and then finished by hand: the precision is such that there is no sign of continuity with the brass tubes that hold together. The methacrylate flag that stands out on the sculpture called "The war is over" is decorated with a drawing between two very thin plates: and when the light bathes it it draws clouds on the wall strong>.

“I wanted a whiter flag than all the white flags”, explains Mario Trimarchi. “There is nothing whiter than clouds.”

The stones are from quarries in the Ossola Valley or, in other cases, stones collected on the shores of Lake Maggiore. “We have hundreds of them in the studio, they are my passion,” says the artist. “Beauty is all around us, we just need to know how to grasp it”.

So what's the meaning of these  Barricades

Each of these sculptures is therefore a Barricade, therefore in theory an accumulation of things that protect us from the outside.

But it is discovering the names of these works that we understand their meaning.

They are called To stop time, To listen to the sunset, To touch the clouds, To capture the wind, To challenge the storm, To be reborn from the ruins, To stay in balance, To be shipwrecked in this sea. And then, as already mentioned, the war is over.

It is by discovering the names, it was said, that we understand that the protection that these Barricades give us is not a closure towards the world but a possibility of discovering it with different eyes, far from the frenzy, the haste, the things done quickly and badly.

“Halfway between random assemblages and construction science, my Barricades would like to rise up to the sky to shout that the war is over”, says Trimarchi.

And those who visit the exhibition are left with the task of deciding which side to take.