In the large site-specific installation UNDERGROUND #2, 95 sheets of copper take up three walls of a black 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 devoid of all organic qualities and transformed into metal surfaces. Here, the element of nature acts as a generator of images, as a device that causes the figure to take shape, life and autonomy. This element, the starting point of reference, cannot be represented because it does not remain inert in the execution process. It instead in some way intervenes directly in the same, to become an instrument at the artist’s disposal, the agent of a new form that derives from itself but not through the volume of its material and organic consistency, but rather through the void of the imprint, of the track, of the semblance of its own presence. Underground #2 is strongly linked with a concept of suspension, not just physical but also spiritual and metaphysical. This is mainly because the work in copper is by its very own nature changeable. It undergoes a natural transformation due to the process of oxidation, which is why its perception changes with each passing day. In fact, this work 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 at 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, 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.

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UNDERGROUND #2 - copper engraving, natural oxidation – environmental dimensions – installation view, Palazzo Fabroni Arti Visive Contemporanee, Pistoia, Italy (permanent installation), 2016. photo credits: Eleonora Chiti

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