Canti, Tucci Russo Gallery May – August 2008

Chant is a relative of breath, it is a conscious and diurnal form of breath. Only in automatic nocturnal breath do we truly breathe through our diafram, the kind of breathing which is the correct kind of breathing, the kind of breathing at the base of all beauty in chant. This exhibition, to me, is an harmonic chant, expanding and contracting in the manner of breath. As it expands, is opens up to space around and distant; as it contracts, it curls around the work, protecting its boundaries.

Projects for ‘Last Steps: Forum Julium, Rome 2007’.
The pieces that follow are the preparatory studies for the installation by the same name presented last September at Rome’s Forum Julium, the archeological site which represents the foundational act of the Imperial City. The work takes its place within a cycle of works created for spaces of historical (notably religious and celebratory) interest, a cycle called Passi, ‘Steps’, which I have worked on since 2002. The cycle began at the Padula Charterhouse, moved on to the Novalesa Abbey, then to the Marino Marini Foundation in Florence, to the Villa Guastavillani in Bologna, and to the Centro D’Arte Contemporanea Pescheria in Pesaro.
The installation consists of a paving of broken mirrors (580 square metres approx.), which covers a portion of the original paving of the site which is still visible. The final image is a ‘kaleidoscopic’ vision of the Forum Julium, of that which remains from the advancing of history. Some of the existing architectural elements are picked out by a process of underlining its ‘dreaminess’: each single fragment offers itself to view potentialised in its singularity, doubled. The resulting vision is atemporal and selfreferential, and at the same time forcefully marked and characterised by the path (or the galop) of history and its footsteps, interfering with fractures and rifts into the ordered picture that every human being would like to have of the surrounding world, and in particular of the past, and of its traces.

Le Jardin féerique, 2006
The title of the work brings to mind the title of a piece by Maurice Ravel, one of a series of sonatinas composed for his young children. The ‘fairy garden’, the work, is enclosed in a regular parallelepipedus constructed from an ordinary sheet of drawing paper which, suspended in height and repeated over various layers, becomes a sort of ‘drawing holding’ piece of furniture. The levels and the facades of this ‘piece of furniture’ are transparent, making visible an evanescent form which appears layer after layer. A red swirl in the shape of a cone points downwards and moves on a light blue background. The form is composed of white feathers, which project and contain the colour, moving disorientatedly as if a wild wind were blowing through them, attempting to scatter them all around.

Arias, 2007
Two transparent vertical planes accommodate a rainfall of feathers which falls rhythmically, almost geometrically, tracing gestures which make us think of the (quiet) sound of a falling body which glides through space, leaving behind itself the traces of this passage. A winged, feathered body which has let itself fall, almost with a hop, in front of our eyes and of their crystalline nature, brushing againts them like a caress.

Project for red interior, 2007- 2008
From a distance, you can see a red colouring which appears to taint the internal walls of a while box, whose external walls are made up of transparent, opalescent sections. As you come closer, the colour appears as if it had the intensity of a gassy mass. As you move even closer, the colour tends to disappear, becoming transparent. What initially looked like a work of painting reveals itself as the radiant refraction of a monochrome surface on the lower wall of the box. The colour of a flooring which imbues itself with the colour of the people who inhabit it: the mass of people and the mass of gas, as well as the colouring on the internal walls of the edifice, are all equivalent. Each person who inhabits the inside of the space contributes to the collective creation of the luminous phenomenon, which invades the space symphonically.

Untitled, 2008
The interior behind a window houses the broken pieces of what used to be a model for a white room in the shape of a cube. On the background, behind the sharp shards, the external landscape is still visible. The sun during the day, and artificial light at night, make the shards incandescent, as if they were burning of a fire which in their preceding form (the white cube) was invisible, but which gives them form and sense in their present condition of being in a heap.

Canto no.1, no.2, no.3, 2008
The exhibition’s name comes from a small cycle of three works, which I have imagined as if they were small monuments to the cinema. They have in common the cast of a 35 mm film containing a film, which is unraveled into a conical shape, thus becoming a sort of metaphor of a luminous projection as well as a true projection, in the space, of its mould. As such, the cone becomes the visible aspect of a projection which is destined to expand into infinity. The image a ribbon of light, soaked in stories and in images, which has its origin in a single point and which then opens up toward its environment.

Canto n.1, 2008
The cone of film is of a pearly white colour, it’s positioned quite high up, its vertex pointing downward; it is enclosed in a transparent box, with a light shining up towards it from below. The pearly colour is, by its own nature, inconsistent: it camouflages into the environment, creating a synthesis of its general tint. Below, in the empty space which separates it from the ground, its double produces itself: a sort of luminous ghost, unreal and attractive, into which the spectator can immerge his/her hand until it disappears into the brilliant matter. The double cone creates the image of an hourglass, in which physical material and luminous material switch position in an eternal temporality.

Canto n.2, 2008
A cube shaped box, open on two sides, is placed in front of a wall. Its distance from the ground is that of a small table. From the outside, the box is white; on the inside, it’s garnet red, and houses a cone of the same colour obtained, this time, from the cast of the inside of the mould of the film, of which it partially reveals its trace (as if it were a generator) on the vertex, which faces the spectator. The image could make us think of a megaphone, with the mouth placed facing the wall, which emits a reflected light which hits the portion of wall framed by the box that, in this case, is at the same time both the frame of the cone and the frame of the light which illuminates the same wall. The pointed body in film, followed by the garnet red portion of the cone, and then by the uncorporeal light thrown onto the screen / wall, creates the effect of watching a progressive accelleration of the speed of light. The work appears as physical and luminous device in which the combination of leaden and high notes generate light and counterlight, subject and background, canto and controcanto, detail and story.

Canto n.3, 2008
The mouth of a cone is directed frontally towards the spectator; the cone in itself has its base in a structure composed of three white axes. The inside is traced with white lines etched into the red material, lines which converge towards the background (or which derive from it?). This inside coincides with the inside of the film mould, and it comes towards us, it almost assails us. This time the megaphone is pointed towards the spectator, and at its focal centre, at the back, a thin crystalline line is afire with light, accentuating the other, etched lines, and blinding the spectator who watches. The megaphone, the cone, the light and the material become a flower with its pistil, which is attractive, aglow.

Lectern, 2008
Three white axes connect a triangular base to an inclined plane. The perforated ‘reading’ plane leans againts the wall: a lamp shines upon it from the front and from below. The space between the wall and the lectern isn’t sufficient to host a reading body: the reader, the storyteller is the wall itself, which displayes the luminous projection of a series of lenses placed on the plane of the lectern, as if they were abandoned pairs of glasses, together with their shadow. A colourful gaze hence interferes with the red shadow of the plane, transfigurated into an atmospherical phenomenon, as if it were a dawn or a dusk…

Alfredo Pirri

to see the images of the show click here