A gaze from within: the social experience of Giulio Delvè

The recent research of Giulio Delvè (Naples, 1984), delves into the study of dominant social dynamics in gentrified spaces, especially in those contexts more harshly hit by this almost ten-year old crisis. Delvè’s approach to social dimensions is characterized by a direct participation in these social bounds, in order to gain a first-hand knowledge and experience of them, his artistic output is often expressed through sculpture-objects and installations marked by a metaphorical language. His gaze from within comes, all of a sudden, synthesized and through “sought objects” translated in a new meaning-form, despite their being firmly embedded in the real world.

Muralismi, a work-in-progress series, is composed by various graffiti’s colorful flakes of plaster, rearranged in order to form abstractly the setting from which they come from. My reflection is dedicated in this case to observation, not to painting: I needed a pretext to analyze a situation, a movement, a contingency much close to me”.

Muralismi I, 2015, graffiti crusts on shaped aluminium, 45 x 35 x 2 cm. Courtesy by the artist and Supportico Lopez, Berlin.

The flakes of plaster come from Berlin, Revalerstrasse, where the artist has been living for two and a half years, especially from a place where random meetings were held, meetings that over the years became real assemblage where the denizens discussed about strategies to forestall gentrification and real estate speculation. Delvè’s works may appear hermetic at a first glance, even symbolic, still one cannot help but reckon with its dense layer of reference to social signs rather than formal or pictorial’s one.

“With the rent of my home-studio tripled, I had no choice but to come back to Naples. Here I studied different survival methods. I started to analyze alternative economics, collective and shared participation, bottom-up systems. I lived in an occupied house, with families, kids, students, unemployed or temporary workers (one of the many symbols of the real-estate speculation)”.
This community was governed by a political organization which consider itself as anti-capitalistic, devoted to de-growth, repossession of public spaces through a shared administration, vindication for people’s rights. And yet not everything was positive.
“Within this context, however, a short circuit occurred: time freed from capitalistic logic had to be spent to sustain this cause. I saw the very same manipulative strategies, control, excluding inclusiveness, all typical tool of capitalism. A situation in which the time actsas a protagonist: the more you commit to the cause, the more you gain in responsibilityand power”. It creates an imposition, a blackmail that could be difficult to avoid.

Muralismi II, 2015, graffiti crusts on shaped aluminium, 60 x 48 x 2 cm. Courtesy the artisti and Supportico Lopez, Berlin.

In his last exhibition (Conspire means to breathe together, Supportico Lopez, 27 February – 2 April 2016), Delvè has worked with time, symbolized by the “picchetto notturno”, performed first as a necessity, in order to avoid the clearing by the police, then as a ritual enacted even once it was no more needed.

Muralismi III, 2015, graffiti crusts on shaped aluminium, 70 x 55 x 2 cm. Courtesy the artist and Supportico Lopez, Berlin.

Gianpaolo Cacciottolo


Giulio Delvè was born in 1984 Naples, Italy, where he lives and works.
He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples and completed his studies at the Weißensee Kunsthochschule in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Conspire means to breathe together, Supportico Lopez, Berlin (2016).
Among Delvè’s most recent group exhibitions are: (2016) I Will Go Where I Don’t Belong, Fiorucci Art Trust, Stromboli, Aeolian Islands; Par tibi, Roma nihil, Palatin Hill, Rome. (2015) ALT, by Cripta 747, Turin; Nobody Home, A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia; Wholetrain, Fondazione per l’Arte, Rome. (2014) Per_formare una collezione#3, Madre Museum, Naples. (2013) Andata e ricordo. Souvenir du voyage, MART, Rovereto. (2012) Sotto la strada, la spiaggia, Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation, Turin; Voyage Voyage, Maison de l’Amérique latine, Paris (2011). Based in Berlin. He received the Moroso Award for Contemporary Art IV in 2015, the Talent Prize in 2011 and the Terna Prize in 2009.

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