Civic Centre for Contemporary Art La Grancia, Serre di Rapolano, Siena 1997
TorBellaMagica, Rome 1997
I worked on a series of watercolors entitled Sonno d’Europa (Europe’s Sleep) during the same period as I worked on the sculptures called Ratto d’Europa (The Rape of Europe). In the middle, using pressure with a metallic matrix, I painted the phrase “QUI RIPOSA” (Here lies…) translated into twelve European languages. A dark indigo, almost black, frame encircles the words. Everything is submerged in a glow of liquid color, aquatic, emanating color and light. The image rests in dreamy quietness, still in balance between the depths of the tomb and the heights of dream.
For the exhibition Luoghi ritrovati: 6 artisti europei (Rediscovered places: 6 European artists), organized by Zerynthia at the Civic Centre for Contemporary Art “La Grancia”, I arranged a space divided into two parts. Entering the room, the right and left-hand walls were embedded with equally shaped watercolors, each composed of three horizontal sheets of paper. The sheets were walled into the plaster and distributed in such a way as to appear continuous. On the walls there were also empty recesses, without sheets of paper. The ensemble gave the impression that the painting ran in the wall as sap runs in plants, or blood flows in the body, underneath the skin. The building a pulsating, living body: the walls, a whitish diaphanous skin under which the color flowed. The composition even brought to mind the single frames of a film in action. The two sidewalls were connected by a series of windows that entirely occupied the front wall. Wide windows through which it was possible to admire the landscape of the valley sloping down from the bottom of the building. Below a vision of hills and valleys, upwards the blue sky.
Three large elements painted in very dark indigo were placed in front of the windows, the lower part obscuring the view of the landscape, while it was still possible to see the sky. The back of the work was painted blue, the same blue as the sky. The same blue reverberated on the sides of the elements, on the windows and filled the whole of the front wall, making the sky come with its color and its infinite dimension into the room. The watercolors in the walls and the walls themselves seemed to share this glare brought by a pictorial surface which concentrated in a flattened dimension the aspect of day (coming from outside) and the aspect of night (that ever present dark indigo inside the room which would join the sky as night progressively drew near).
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