Alfredo Pirri and Valentina Valentini
Valentina: In the origin of the world there is this image of God pronouncing the phrase fiat lux – let there be light. Artists have reflected on this fiat lux, considering the relationship between image and word. You are an artist who works with images, yet you also work with words because you write and you have a rather close relationship with sound. How is this relationship translated into your work – as separation, as coincidence, as concurrence?
Alfredo: I take things quite literally. Fiat lux means that in the beginning of everything there was the image. There is a hierarchy between image, word and sound. Image is a generous environment in which both sound and word can be developed. Image is in constant expansion like the universe. For me word and sound are absolutely residual facts in relation to image. This does not mean that they are secondary, but they are nevertheless the remains of image. Neither word nor sound is able to substitute image. Image is the foundation of the world, the foundation of civilisation, of community, of being together, at least in our part of the world.
Valentina: Do you not think instead that people are brought together by hearing words?
Alfredo: But always starting with an image. I too suffer the fascination of the word, but I am conscious that true joy is in the image.
Valentina: Writing is different to the spoken word, which vanishes like sound; writing is creating signs that remain like traces on a background and can as such be assimilated to images, like hieroglyphics, ideographic writing. Writing is a work of composition, a transfixed desire from a concept, an idea, like the composition of a work of art.
Alfredo: I’m not saying that I don’t get pleasure from writing, but I only do when I manage to evoke an image or, better still, narrate an image. Sound too is like writing. I really like sounds that evoke natural ones by synthesising them; sounds that narrate the world, returning it to us amplified.