Pagina:8. Giovanni Oberti.pdf/14

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Ma il tempo è anche circolo, un particolare circolo, dicevamo, a forma di 8, con torsione al centro. La stratificazione infatti, da un lato, trasforma l’oggetto, con delicatezza, spesso non nella sostanza materiale, ma certamente nell’apparire e nel significare.

Dall’altro, il rimettere in circolo dà all’oggetto un senso proprio, autonomo, che ritorna cambiato al mittente, attraverso l’occhio dell’osservatore. Così, anche l’osservatore, specularmente dall’altra parte del processo di produzione, ha depositato la sua polvere, la sua umidità, il suo velo sull’oggetto. Così, infine, il lavoro del tempo, un lavoro sul tempo, assume un’aria — sì, un’aria — misteriosamente senza tempo.

Elio Grazioli
Milano, settembre 2010



Where are the works of art, in fact? A water pond, a plinth and a neon lamp in the shape of the number 8 look more like a work in progress, or even a failure, than an actual exhibition. The only piece evoking a real object is the neon, though very simple and immaterial, a mere number. Which is just the clue: the number deserves the credit for showing the beholder the appearance and the meaning of the other entities. 8 is a circle twisted on its centre, a double and wiggly form, more a round than a circle. Its shape brings to mind that of an hourglass, thus hinting at the flowing of time.

That is just what everything is about: a circle operated by time. This is a production device of what is visible: the pond on the ground is the result of the dampness collecting everyday just inside the space dedicated to the exhibition — through dehumidifiers which are actually there, but not visible and poured every morning onto the ground, thus becoming visible again and turned in a shape, which is shapeless indeed, but free to flow again; the plinth, taller than an average adult so that no one is allowed to see or to touch what is lying on the top of it, is a dust collector — Duchamp would have said a "breeder" — and its activity is perennial, as no one will ever be allowed to cover it or to turn it upside down, it will always be active in its verticality.

Watery, dusty, dried, moist, horizontal and vertical, shapeless and shaped, reflecting and opaque, liquid and gritty, everything is on the fringe of existence, yet there and pre-existing inside the space dedicated to the exhibition, the space itself. Everything has been taken and then given back — on the fringe of visible and recognizable — then again everything is spread around again.

So, what is this? A missing tautology? A limping perpetual motion? A virtuous but useless circle? A weak version of the search for eternity? Or perhaps the sign of infinity shrewdly set straight? Vanitas was the title of the work immediately preceding these, the first based on dampness collection. A recall to caducity, but also, literally, to fragile vanity delicate narcissism, care for discretion and good taste, a silent exercise of accuracy, a fondness for reality and a capability of dealing with what is at one’s disposal, a way of cultivating oneself without issues or