Glass Reflections
Cambridge 7th to 9th September

Presenting Author:
Francesca Giubilei

article posted 13 Mar 2015


Francesca Giubilei graduated in Art and Economics at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice in 2007 and completed her education with post-graduated studies in Management of Cultural Assets and Activities. She is currently completing a second degree in Contemporary Art History and Criticism.

Till 2013 she has been the project manager of Berengo Glass Studio working on the development and organization of cultural projects such as Glasstress, a biennial event dedicated to contemporary art in glass.

Actually she is a free-lance art curator, partner of Valorizzazioni Culturali (company dealing with the valorization of historical buildings through art and events) and co-founder of VeniceArtFactory (first consultant group of professionals that helps artists to experiment with glass in Murano, assisting them during the production steps and the exhibitions? organization) She occasionally writes for Espoarte (contemporary art Italian magazine).

Fragments of a Discourse on Light and Glass
A Close View on the Exhibition Within Light/ Inside Glass

Francesca Giubilei
Independent Contemporary Art Curator and Exhibition Project Manager

The question of light has always played a central role in art that, however, for centuries has made use mainly instrumental and ancillary to a symbolic or natural representation.

This new interest in light as a true artistic language, a material and support that express the spirit of the times is testified by the works of such contemporary artists as Joseph Beuys, Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman, Mario Merz, James Turrell, and Olafur Eliasson, who have not established merely an intuitive, spontaneous and mythical relationship with light, but also an intentional and absolute one, formulated on its technological potentialities and social implications.

According to the modern concept of light, advanced by Planck and Einstein between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and still shared today, two natures coexist in this luminous medium: the undulatory and the corpuscular. It is not an easy subject because it contains aspects of advanced physics, but suffice it to say that, thanks to this dual nature, another element comes into play for understanding of light and its phenomena, the material.

Light, natural or artificial, is changed and "characterized" from time to time according to the specific material with which it interacts. In this interaction, glass is one of the most interesting materials: it can contain, reflect, and refract light. It can multiply and distort vision. Due to its qualities, it is a kind of membrane, a border, which can conceal and protect. It is a barrier between the external world and the internal world, closed space and open space, with the property of blocking air yet letting light through. Because of this particular nature, since the Middle Ages it has been considered a magical material, capable of connecting the visible and the invisible, reality with the divine. As a "door", glass is thus an ideal mediator between the spheres of luminous clarity and conceptual clarity, an element of contact and, at the same time, of separation from the natural and spiritual phenomena.

Light, glass and their interaction from an artistic and scientific point of view is the theme of "Within Light / Inside Glass" a contemporary art exhibition (with 15 international artists invited) conceived and promoted by VICARTE and curated by Francesca Giubilei with the contribution of Rosa Barovier Mentasti.