At 10:30 or so, I wandered back down the Middle Road, past the Casa Cordati again, past the ragazzi kicking a soccer ball around the campo before the Teatro, rounding the corner into the Piazza Angelio. The cube was aflame now, an eery interior light bursting through its orange skin. It pulsed with the music of Guzzoletti and Venturi – harmonious yet cacaphonic, rhythmic yet jarring, echoing the sonic contradictions of cities real and cities imagined.

Keane and Da Prato were furiously painting, covering the cube’s four visible faces with immense mandala-like designs in blue, black and gold, climbing wobbly ladders to reach the upper storeys, sprinting to a nearby table to mix colors, refill their buckets and change brushes. Keane kept his eye on a stopwatch. The minutes ticked away in a manic rush, time flinging itself forward towards the appointed deadline of 61 minutes and a single second.

This is conceptual art at its metamorphic best, and no one — not even the artists themselves – has the last definitive word on what it means. All I can do here is report on the themes that gyrated through one observer’s mind as the performance raced to its finale. I thought about the relationship that inextricably ties cultural workers (represented by Guzzoletti and Venturi) to critics and reviewers, who paint their own intepretations on what is heard or seen. I thought about the resonance between art and its setting: the cube was suggestively mirrored in the noble rectilinear windows of the Angelio palazzos and in the palazzos’ geometric forms.

I thought, too, as the music soared into the evening skies, that you can’t imprison art or try to limit it, and still call it art. It may be enclosed in a box, even hermetically sealed away, but one way or another it will escape. Guzzoletti and Venturi did just that as the clock ran out. They exploded into the piazza, after Da Prato and Keane traded their brushes for knives and slashed liberating gaps in their own work, creation married to destruction.

“Frank Viviano from”

Video by Alessandro Stefani

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