(Just like in the Perenne series) in the large installation UNDERGROUND, whose 104 sheets take up three walls of one room, (...) the sheets (of copper) absorb the imprint of natural elements, fragments of the plant world (the partial imprints of a series of roots), identified and selected but not manipulated, their shapes and sizes impressed like a negative and – following a radical drying process – devoid of all organic qualities and transformed into metal surfaces. (…) Gori’s works could not be fully understood if not interpreted also in light of another key element around which his poetic revolves: time. The inner time of the artwork, necessarily linear because it begins in the moment in which it is completed and continues for the entire duration of its existence, does not, therefore, have a regular rhythm. The salts used to etch the surface, in fact, are also responsible for a process of oxidation that brings about the colour shades and lustre of each sheet. Thus the work, once left by the artist, continues the initiated process of transformation by itself, with a result that is certainly expected, but not completely predictable, not conceivable in detail, an outcome that is determined over time, and in which time assumes a not insignificant responsibility. Its action, however, is not yet a ‘destructive’ one (…) but is a work of formation, of generation, of continuation of the gesture made by the artist’s hand. Neither is the element of time susceptible to this single interpretation, since the time sentiment that inspires Federico Gori and pervades his work is heavily indebted to a circular concept, originating as much in the constant rhythm of nature’s cycles as in the dual anthropological and cosmological interpretation of the Nietzschean idea of eternal recurrence, as admirably explained over half a century ago by Karl Löwith on a page worth quoting in its entirety: “[eternal recurrence] means just as much the world’s recurrence of the same as one’s own repetition of the selfsame. The “again and again” of the recurrence has the twofold meaning of a naturally necessary “again and again” in the whole of the revolving world, and of a self-overcoming that is again and again requisite for man’s will to existence (in contrast with the simple necessity that lies in the Being-thus-and- not-different of the physical world)”1.


1. Karl Löwith, Nietzsches Philosophiederewigen Wiederkehrdes Gleichen (1956), trans. Nietzsche’s Philosophy of the Eternal Recurrence of the Same, University of California Press, 1997, pp. 156-157.

Marco Pierini, Terram Vertere, from the catalogue of the exhibition Federico Gori, Come afferrare il vento – Curated by Marco Pierini – ed. Gli Ori Editori Contemporanei, Pistoia 2015.


UNDERGROUND - copper engraving, natural oxidation – environmental dimensions – installation view, Palazzo Fabroni Arti Visive Contemporanee, Pistoia, Italy, 2015. photo credits: Bärbel Reinhard