Carlo Gabriele Tribbioli

Future Greats 2013

By Chris Sharp

Rome-based artist Carlo Gabriele Tribbioli is a maniac. Not only is the unorthodox thinking behind his practice potentially dangerous, he is one of the most disciplined and hardworking artists I have met in years. Having studied philosophy and possessing no formal training in art (aside from a stint as the assistant to his grandfather, the Roman artist Gianfranco Baruchello), Tribbioli is something of an anomaly, insofar as they just don’t make them like this any more. Perhaps the best way to describe what he does is to borrow Harald Szeemann’s term: individual mythology. Driven by complex, self-sustaining systems of thought and a predominantly classical frame of reference, projects are methodically elaborated (and documented) through performance, photography, sculpture, drawing and film over extended periods of time, such as his recent Reperti per il Prossimo Milione di Anni (2007–9/2012). An exhaustive and forlorn attempt to create a contemporary mythology, this exhibition (the artist’s first solo in a gallery) established the uncompromising mode of his hyperintensive working method. Forthcoming projects, which include making a film in Liberia (of which I can say no more), are liable to get him thrown in jail or killed, or both – although I really hope not, as that would mean the loss of someone who is already a unique artist and his even more promising body of work.