Pagina:8. Giovanni Oberti.pdf/4

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THE LARGE DEVICE


September 2008, Dafne Boggeri creates an enormous and lowered carton ceiling: walking inside the Careof space, through a strained passagenote1 that forces odd and clumsy movements, the visitor has the feeling of being in a place of imagination, maybe in the insides of a large animal that produces minimal and gentle movements with it’s slow breathing.
September 2009, Mauro Vignando suspends at mid-air an exact reproduction of a coffered ceiling, like if it were a room with non-existing walls. The light of his seven lamps transforms the space into a magic box.
Semptember 2010, space is still the heart of the exhibition that Careof devotes to a young Italian artist at every season opening. Giovanni Oberti creates a large device composed of primary mechanisms that concur to a common purpose: to gather elementary particles dispersed in space, then to elaborate them and return them in a different form.


At the center of the gallery Oberti places the sculpture Untitled (Piedistallo per polvere), an about two meters high irregular pedestal act that collects the dust that deposits itself on its upper surface for the whole duration of the exhibition.
A neon shaped as the number eight set at the top of one of the four walls saturates the atmosphere with a warm glow. The continuous but barely perceptible flickering seems to almost animate the sinuous shape of the small sculpture.
Like an hourglass or a Möbius strip (or a Lemniscate) it sends back to the symbol of eternity, of infinity, of the constant transition of matter from one form to the other, metaphor of a stratified memory and therefore a recollection of the interior chronology of things. But it’s also an eight, which is the number of the planets of the solar system, the tips of the wind rose, in chemistry it’s the atomic number of oxygen, in nuclear physics it’s a magic number, in Christian symbolism the eighth day represents the transfiguration and the New Testament.
Through the use of more dehumidifiers the artist gathers the moisture present in the gallery space, in the warehouse, in the offices and then renews it every day creating a large puddle of water. This way he generates a perpetual cycle where everything is transformed, but just to turn back how it originally was: the water spilled on the floor evaporates, then it’s collected by the dehumidifiers, it spills again and then it evaporates once more. In this effort, the large device at every passage seizes, in a very subtle way, everything that lingers in the environment, it absorbs the light coming form the neon, it gathers part of the dust that deposits on the big sculpture, it assimilates the traces of the passing of visitors, of the architecture, of the walls . . . Everything enters a single circle of life and death, and as a large palindrome, its likely to be read and reread starting from one end or the other.
At the same time, day after day this big invisible machine deposits traces of limestone, mixed with dust and other sediments that draw on the floor irregular shapes placed one on top of the other, almost like jagged coasts eroded by continuous motion of the sea.
In those fragile forms just hinted on the floor, Oberti seems to narrate the relation between the elements that inhabit the space offering his own personal "translation", wich is not only a "reading" but most of all comprehension and synthesisnote2.