TECHNE 20 (2020): Time and architecture
Dialogues

The shape of life

Published October 15, 2020
How to Cite
Uccelli, V., & Zermani, P. (2020). The shape of life. TECHNE - Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment, (20), 292-304. https://doi.org/10.13128/techne-9926

Abstract

This is a wonderful opportunity to be able to discuss architecture with one of the most intense architects on the international scene; one whose work deftly interweaves poetry and brickwork, penetrating glances and highly specific references, works of art and local patterns, all parts of a network of knowledge and expertise that engages with a surviving contemporaneity whilst having its roots in the fathomless depths of history.

Paolo Zermani is a true architect, because he always accepts the verification of construction when ideas become walls that are ravaged by the judgement of time. His line of research has, for years, engaged with a transforming landscape and the variation of its identity, and it is precisely through this critical practice – part of the process of his projects – that a role that is key to our discipline is activated, one which architecture seems to have forgotten in recent decades.

I find the shy, almost secluded nature shown by Zermani’s work very interesting indeed. It is a nature that expresses a contagious conviction, provided that we are willing to plumb its depths, going beyond the surface that now, more than ever, seems to be of prime interest to today’s rambunctious and widely-approved architectural scene.

I must admit that the work of very architects indeed interests me, regardless of their fame, the scale of their works, and the period of history in which they are, or were, operating; indeed, I do not care to differentiate between the works of contemporary architects and those of the architects of the past. When observing other people’s work, I try to capitalise on the experience, treasuring it through a process aimed exclusively at enriching my knowledge, and with no other purpose than to “learn how it’s done”. And it is through this lens that I view the work of Paolo Zermani.

Materials

Vittorio Uccelli. Recently, I happened to reflect upon the use of materials in architecture, the processes that lead us to choose them and the techniques that our craft provides us with to represent them. Personally speaking, I prefer to set up a fully-fledged “test run”, observing it at different times of day and in different weather conditions, which allows me to see how it will actually react to the light.

I believe that the conscious use of materials – that is, the choice of certain materials – is a way of passing into timelessness. Certain building materials, such as stone or brick, firmly bind us to the uninterrupted flow of history. And that is why they cannot be represented in advance: because it would be like attempting to anticipate the past, present and future all at once.

Paolo Zermani. Over the years, a pile of wood has formed between my home and the forest, created by that which the forest naturally returns to its maker. Slowly, the yet-unburned portion of wood in the fireplace is transformed into a dark, fertile ash that becomes one with the earth. From this humus, new trees may spring up. I could say that my house was born in the same way and that this perspective characterises my work. The old brick kilns which emerged from the ground, in this case, indicated the materials for the new construction.

Unfortunately, the apparently prolific relationship we see between architecture and technology is just that: an appearance. The response to the need to equip various types of housing with environmentally-friendly energy efficiency technologies is the most glaringly obvious example of this: a one-size-fits-all supply of bulky equipment with limited actual effectiveness, coloured with some sort of bizarre ‘eco-friendly’ disguise, resulting in the definitive amnesia of the typological character of the building. In the name of the semblance of environmental responsibility, architects conceive farfetched ideas for buildings which subsequently garner support and serve to assuage the clients’ guilty conscience. These false experiments – which pervert the natural vocations of the materials they use by inhibiting, through prosthesis, their technical truth – definitively destroy the meaning of the technologies and typologies available, as they have been provided to us by experience. This misconception distracts us from true research into materials, techniques, into the values of energy, intrinsic to each individual place yet always delegated, in architecture, to the specificity of its own measures of the environment, either untouched or transformed, to their giving and changing, which is neither neutral nor generalisable.

The great process that is inherent to the building material, which has always been characterised and resolved in the continuity between the material structure of the land and the internal structure that belongs to the construction (stone becoming ashlar, tuff becoming block, clay becoming brick), has been abruptly interrupted. This abuse of materials, this jam in the chain of transmission of techniques, formerly linked to the specificities of each place of origin, has therefore stimulated naive support for the more commercial proposals which do not even represent an evolution by contrast.

Persistence and measure

V.U. I believe that the secret of true architecture – that is, that long-lasting, material architecture that enters into a dialogue with history and is born out of its location – consists of refusing to remain caged in a limited period of time. And therein, perhaps, lies its extraordinary value as a discipline that is free and not bound to its contemporaneity. This is an idea that we can verify continuously, because the great works of the past stand before us, concrete and fateful, complete in their theoretical lesson and their physicality; but also inclined, by their very nature, to become part of another time, perhaps even our time. I believe it to be fundamental to look to the past to try and reveal the secret of that which persists in architecture, because the lasting principles of our craft exist in that dimension.

Persistence is an interesting trait, because it has been put to the test, it has withstood all the trials and tribulations of time, and it is in persistence that history guarantees – by way of a process of selection – a certain quality, a certain truth, and therefore a state of necessity. Whilst pre-existing has a different meaning, because it merely indicates something that was present before, it is not necessarily a property that denotes any sort of qualitative merit. I believe that this is an interesting distinction, precisely because it confronts us with a problem of choice during the design phase: in my opinion, persistent is more interesting than pre-existing, precisely because we can find a measure of persistence.

P.Z. True: pre-existence taken as a detectable quality, and therefore as persistence, determines the measure.

Since the times of Roman architecture, Italian architecture has presented a set of clearly-recognisable original features which, acquired by the progressive evolution of the classical style, have constituted a heritage that was drawn upon until the end of the nineteenth century. These features are defined through constant, repeated figures. Other features, in architecture as in the backdrops of pictorial art, define a regional truth, i.e. a corpus of more intimate revelations, capable of helping us to understand the evolution of Italian architecture as a sequence of micro-stories, steeped in stylistic and spatial connotations specific to a setting.

As such, over time the picture outlines an overall Italian identity and a collection of regional identities, all totally heterogeneous and differentiated between themselves, which do not escape the wider scope of a unitary design, but rather contribute to it through differences and distinctions. During the transitional period of the early twentieth century, the Modern style, as far as architecture was concerned, interpreted these differences, revealing itself over the course of a difficult path and until the end of the 1950s, then again with some significant isolated experiences. This is the originality of the Italian condition which, up to a certain point, kept us safe from any type of deviation, keeping the compass of architecture’s autonomy steady, safe in the knowledge that the instruments of the discipline are the same as they have ever been and that they cannot be confused, bent or distorted.

The tragedy of the landscape, brought on by the 20th century, has now changed the distance between things, triggering an alteration of centuries-old relationships. Even our architecture schools are invaded by pitiful reproductions of clichés born out of architectural consumerism. In this context, it may even seem seditious to invoke words such as rule and measure. But it would be unthinkable to replace that system, in the jaws of a crisis, with a derivative solution. We know that we have to fill the riverbed that has these words as its banks with the uncertainties and contradictions of our time.

Construction

V.U. I see you as a very poetic architect, precisely because you are very concrete. Very poetic and concrete because you create your architecture with brick and stone, cement and iron, yes – but also using the place, the time, the land, the light and the silence as elements of construction on a par with any tangible material. I am very interested in this approach, when you no longer notice the distance between a brick wall and a passing cloud, or between a glimpse of the landscape and a painting. There is no need to add any emphasis to all this poetry, because in any case, once it has been built, it has become reality through the measure that has been found and is therefore prepared to accept the test of human life.

The measure finds its proper place between poetry and material; others might say between heaven and earth. The same measure that guarantees the identity of places, and that will safeguard the Italian landscape from becoming debris “«[...] if we continue to measure it».

P.Z. When St. Francis wanted to rebuild the church of Portiuncula, abandoned and reduced to crumbling walls, according to St. Bonaventure, he went out in search of money and materials. That concrete act was how he translated the very sense of belonging to the landscape, near the leper hospitals of Santa Maddalena and San Salvatore. Nowadays, in the time of technical reproducibility, architecture – put to the test by the drama of the transformation that is underway – seems unable to find the time to recognise the results of experience or to question the differing nature of each individual act of construction. The oblivion of history and the aversion to rules manifest themselves just as cynically as the indifference to the critical significance of the current state of places and the determination of their desperate resistance.

And yet, even when the building is new, any construction is always a reconstruction, with all the enormous weight that brings with it. As far back as in the stories of the Bible, with regard to the building of Solomon’s temple, the act of construction was invested with the significance of an exemplary gesture, one of all-encompassing cosmic meaning.

Italian cities and their landscape have now taken on the evocative structure of a superior mosaic whose pattern presents an equal quantity of gaps and anguished, surviving fragments. Nearly a century ago, Rudolf Borchardt already spoke of “a brilliant totality of rubble”.

The twentieth century ignored this consideration, and its desire to immerse itself in the contemporary still to this day produces a certain blindness, a crippling shortsightedness. Guido Ceronetti clearly spoke about the “fragments of beauty” that await us.

Theory and experience

V.U. Your work interests me not only because I agree with the positions it takes, but more importantly because those positions are constantly called into question and verified by the construction.

To paraphrase Massimo Cacciari, we could say that architecture is a discipline that lies exactly on the threshold, on the border between knowledge, in terms of number, form and disposition, forced – unlike other arts – to continuously reflect upon its principles. This is why any reflection upon the principles of a techne can only occur if tension is maintained between the theory and the test of construction, the first inevitable aim of architecture. On the other hand, building satisfies an ancestral need much like hunting, fishing, gathering fruit, etc.; the need to build a refuge exists within us as members of a living species that naturally seeks shelter. But the comparison with this that this practice expresses, or represents, or stages, goes beyond the mere satisfaction of a need: it interacts with a desire to never die, with the need for eternity. And this destination only becomes real when theory transforms into experience, through construction. A process which, by analogy, we also find in poetry. On the other hand, without a comparison with some form of reality, poetry would mean nothing.

P.Z. A master of the art of cinema, Andreji Tarkovskij, who lived in the Italian landscape for the last quarter of the last century and measured its changed distances, believed that framing played a fundamental role in the construction of the final story. Indeed, this key operation already contains the meaning of things within itself.

He allows editing only the fate of making the best selection of that which has already been seen in the shot, precluding it from taking the role of a practice which combines possible solutions and, above all, depriving it from the outset of any gratuitous technical creativity that it may otherwise lay claim to.

The truth of editing lies in its connection of the time contained in the shots that have been filmed, which already contain the innermost truth of time in themselves.

And it is time itself, imprinted into each frame, that dictates to the director such and such criteria for editing, whilst, as they say, “you can’t edit together” – that is, it would be a bad fit – any sequences in which a radically different form of the existence of time has been established. So too in architecture, no possibility can be left to the result of a combinatory exercise to be performed at the table, to each inconsistent graphic artifice, and no content can be revealed, corroded in its entirety, by the haste of collages and the sophistication of graphics. A gratuitous game of images attacks the nigh-archaeological substance of a civilisation that wishes itself dead or buried whilst, clinging to the earth and its legend, it insists upon the urgency of a truth.

Thus the drama of each Italian building or city is defined by precise measures which continue to emerge and cement themselves on the earth, to engage with the passing of time and determine its intensity.

Nobody can abstractly manipulate its flow.

Scale

V.U. I share a passion with Paolo Zermani, namely Attilio Bertolucci, a poet with whom each of us has been acquainted with in our own way. Zermani more directly, in his fully-fledged friendship with the poet; mine, meanwhile, is a more deferred relationship, having chosen Casarola as my home precisely because it was chosen by the poet, whose work I love but whom I was never lucky enough to meet, our paths never having crossed in time. But this experience, despite the discrepancy in time, has never lost its power – if anything, it has only helped to reinforce the legendary figure of Bertolucci that I had conjured up and found confirmed in Zermani’s anecdotes. But more importantly, it enabled me to look at the work of both artists with the necessary detachment, given that they are so comparable in some respects.

I refer in particular to the constant change of scale that is ever-present in the poetics of both of them, and which is reflected in the mutual exchange between the general and the specific, the everyday and the exceptional, the private and the public. Between the intimacy of “weekdays” and the whole world.

I believe that this thought has taken architectural shape in the library of Casa Zermani, where the fireplace – the heart and hearth of the house – provides a contrast with the oculus which reveals a close relationship between the centre of the house and the Via Francigena, an ancient road of construction of the territory which has been radiating outwards for centuries, finally reaching its cornerstones. This relationship embodies that mutual change of scale that seems to invite everyday life to aspire to something greater, going beyond not just its place, but also time itself.

On the other hand, what does it mean to open a book, let your mind wander and, through its pages, reach unimaginable places?

P.Z. Of course, the problem of scale is central to grasping the new measure of things.

Casarola is the epicentre of the poetry of Attilio Bertolucci, a man with whom I shared a friendship and an outlook. The term ‘epicentre’ frames rather precisely the point of application or the source of a poetic phenomenon which, rich though it may be in measured sweetness, is not idyllic, but rather constantly crossed by subterranean tremors, marked above all by departures and returns. This is where the family home is, the starting point for the poem in verse entitled “La camera da letto” (“The Bedroom”), which increasingly concentrates its gaze as it shifts from the topography of the landscape to the topography of the house: as the narrative flows, we return from that room of the house to the two streets, to the plains, to the cities, Parma and Rome.

The narrative of the poem and Bertolucci’s entire poetic construction are founded upon the repetition of this double journey, there and back; its speed and its timing; its extended pauses and the ways in which it unfolds. How is it that time and place come together in poetry? And at what point do the words become measures?

The initial image of “La camera da letto” has established the meaning of the verses on the threshold of the newly-built house, and thus between inside and outside, and this is the same threshold on which the poet so adores being portrayed.

It was Pasolini – a guest of the poet on multiple occasions, not only in Rome, but also in the Apennines – who summarised Casarola and the family home’s sense of belonging to a wider landscape, a continuous inside-outside in the time and place of the twentieth century.

“La lucertola di Casarola” (“The Lizard of Casarola”) is the title of the poet’s final collection of verses, published in 1997, as well as its opening poem.  Bertolucci returns to the front door of the house and its universal value for a departure that is an ode to life, describing the most defenceless and fragile animal, but one whose body – if wounded – reforms itself over time, the altered measures of which come back together in its new form.

It was in January of that year, a few short months after construction was completed on my house, that “La lucertola di Casarola” became the first book to grace the library which serves as its heart, the medium through which the things of the house are transferred to the street and those of the street into the house.

A liberated gaze

V.U. I have always loved architectures that develop an element through which our gaze can be freed and liberated, and with it, our imagination and spirituality. I refer to that element belonging to the construction thanks to which the architecture establishes a relationship with the clouds, the sky, the stars; as is the case with the oculus of the Pantheon, for example, or with the “comet of Sant’Andrea in Mantua”. But as is also the case in many architectures in which windows and loggias, as well as walls and alignments, specific references and landmarks, radiate the architecture into the area in an ideal way. I find these architectural elements to be very interesting when they take on this meaning, precisely because they raise the purpose from mere function to poetic significance, on the cusp of the indecipherable.

I think that in your work, it is possible to identify a sort of circular path, composed of architectures that feed upon these elements, which are at times made explicit and at others unveiled with prudence and discretion. A path which – in my opinion – starts from the round window in the library in Varano and finishes with the skylight in the Temple in Valera, facing heaven. That relationship is one which fascinates me greatly, because on the one hand I see reason projected into infinity by the oculus of “Enlightenment”, whilst on the other, I see spirituality which, like a breath, is invited upon whoever it may be, wherever they may be, once again surpassing time and space – perhaps even eternally.

P.Z. A loss of sight, be it from near or far, represents a different degree of physical and psychological impairment. According to Aldous Huxley, a loss of sight is a physiological occurrence, but it is the cumulative result of a series of factors that go beyond the sphere of the clinical and in fact have their roots in the soul. Huxley is the same man who, visiting Sabbioneta in the early 1900s, noticed how the inhabitants of this town founded by Vespasiano Gonzaga, farmers and horse traders, lived amongst architectural treasures of the late Renaissance without seeing them. By following this logical thread, perhaps we can claim the existence of a contemporary disease which began a century ago and which has now degenerated, leaving us incapable of recognising the very objects we observe.

In the Western condition – and more than ever in the Italian condition – it is as James Hillman says: «We cannot imagine anything, or do anything, that has not already been given its form by the archetypal imagination of the Gods». Indeed, even in our disenchanted present time, the form of seeing cannot be separated from the face that the eyecup of a camera or video camera has the proportions of the proscenium of a classical theatre. As a result, at a time when the distances between things are suffering a crisis, the transformation of the landscape that condemns us to an inability to see and recognise seems increasingly to be a “vain escape from the Gods”. We cannot exist without mythical figures which represent the ideal parameters. But if we analyse our disease, Hillman tells us, «disabusing ourselves of the illusion that the archetype is primordially pristine, [...] in other words, if we recognise an original disease of the archetype», the future no longer seems so dark. Even the archetypal myth which we have always taken as a point of reference was, in fact, subject to infirmitas. Hillman thus identifies, de facto, a new and reformed visual possibility, a path of refoundation each time it becomes necessary, which takes into account the barrenness and suffering of the present.

In my work, I seek out these cracks and peer through them.

Expressiveness

V.U. I think I can state that good architectures always bring two aspects with them. On the one hand, rationality and a certain objectivity in dealing with problems; on the other, they always display an emotional aspect which is tied to the creator’s personal experience. In other words, they contain something that is perhaps intuitable, but difficult to explain.

I feel that your work is also made up of these two “substances”. What is surprising, however, is that in its efforts to be conveyed, all the expressiveness contained within it never resorts to expressionist forms, forced and boisterous, or taking on formal references from outside our discipline. In other words, all the expressive content is conveyed by means of the traditional elements of architecture – of architecture as it has always been and which, for this precise reason, allows for a dialogue between distant eras and different generations.

On the other hand, I think that history always exists in the present in architecture.

P.Z. Expressiveness is a condition more than it is a form.

Referring to the transformation and illumination of invisible and confused matter, even Augustine, in his speculation produced from earthly matter to reach the core of the sacred, evoking the words «Let there be light and there was light», is astonished: «So many things have I written with so few words – so many things!».

Faced with the shipwreck of the landscape that the twentieth century introduced and that we are still living in today, in which matter as a whole, through the fault of man, is once again becoming similarly imperceptible and formless, new and urgent things must be excavated, written and ordered by art, in order to admit them to a soberly-lit zone of suspension that attributes measure and meaning to reality and pursues its higher truth. The silence I am referring to, with regard to architecture, is not, therefore, a matter of form, even if it affects form. The principle of suspension itself, of distancing from the process underway, expressed with today’s rugged materials, constitutes the fundamental critical condition for design, which, conversely, qualifies its existence in the present reality.

Suddenly, silence appears and its presence does not impose itself upon the unjustified frenzy of our words, but perhaps it is expressive – perhaps it has something to say.

As the shadow sustains the light, so too does silence sustain the words that are necessary.

Grounding

V.U. What is striking in your work is the bold, peremptory way in which the architecture rises out of the earth. The “ground zero” of architecture, in which its highest expression takes shape, in clearly showcasing that primordial act of architecture itself: a wall rising up, bursting out of the earth.

It is this dynamic gesture, in my opinion, that makes architecture foundational. This is how the true construction of a place and an area takes place, starting from the construction of the ground itself. Is the foundation not the one element that architecture can never forego? In other words, the element that resolves the contact between the architecture and the ground, the architecture and the horizon?

At the end of the day, we find everything that clarifies the building where the grounding is laid: we find its position, its alignments, its typological evidence, its relationship with the orography. In other words: we find the ground being translated into architecture.

P.Z. Let us reflect further upon the structure of architectural time.

In architecture, this theme strikes up a surprising analogy between two elements: the foundation and the tumulus. The former gradually falls apart, losing its material unity. The latter is formed at the precise moment at which – with the adventure of the body of man, with the decline of the civilisation that marks its existence – the usefulness of the evidence of the former ends. Between these two states, architecture withstands the changing conditions to continue to feed our need for beauty, for appropriateness, for identification. At the moment of the dematerialisation of the body – transient by definition – the tumulus, a foundation that supports nothing but contains the body itself, is reformed as a way of paying it tribute and respect.

Indeed, Western culture considers the buried body to be the origin of civilisation. The foundational value of death constitutes the covenant that establishes the value of time, memory and history. It is in the manifestation of time deposited by memory that we acquire an awareness of the transience of life and architecture, but also the challenge posed to the possibility of achieving eternity. It is upon death, therefore, that our sense of time is built, and consequently our sense of the work, and therefore paradoxically the continuity of life. Starting from this unbroken ground, the time of architecture is reformed on each occasion. Architecture has the power to sculpt time, without being allowed to halt its ceaseless march. As for my own approach, I always work with an awareness of this powerful and fragile foundation that falls apart and reconstitutes itself.

Precision

V.U. The issue of precision in architecture is very important, because it is through precision that we achieve the delicateness that is always adjacent to appropriateness.

Our area needs this sensitivity, as now more than ever, each architectural insertion takes place is fragile, tormented places, just one step away from irreversible disaster. That is why each architectural intervention must be precise in seeking out the rules and proportions that dictate its reasons, that reveal its exact measure, the “word-music”, to borrow from Jorge Luis Borges.

Through the precision of the artifice, by which I mean the flawless coincidence between the form and the due substance, the artist leads us from the visible to the threshold of the invisible in order to reconnect spaces and times in torn-apart territories. «Only thus can we hope that our time flows into the long time of architecture».

P.Z. “Art is a weapon”, wrote Iozif Brodskji in 1987, «determined not by the individuality of the artist, but by the dynamics and logic of the material itself, by the previous fate of the means that require (or suggest) a qualitatively new aesthetic solution on each occasion».

The “previous fate” mentioned by the Russian poet is actually the dictate of language, in the awareness that it is not language that is his tool, but in fact he himself who is the means through which language exists: «the feeling is that of being in direct contact with language, or, more precisely, the feeling of falling into a state of addition to language – to all that which has been expressed, written and obtained in this language. This addiction is absolute and despotic – but it is also liberating. Indeed, as it is always older than the writer, language still possesses the boundless centrifugal energy bestowed upon it by its temporal potential, that is, by all the time that it has before it [...], not only because language is a longer-lasting thing than man, but because it is more capable of mutation than man [...]. Anyone who writes a poem writes it because language suggests – or even simply dictates – the next line to them».

With regard to the relationship between thought and work in architecture, and with language and time being considered as two of the founding elements of any architectural expression, we could say that it is through time that the dictate of language expresses itself, changing itself as it does.

The language we speak has clearly determined the forms around us and live with us, establishing a constructed order for them which time has acted upon and changed, and nowadays, our duty seems to be that of responding to what language has decided should be questioned.

The final horizon

V.U. I believe that today more than ever, there is a need for architecture whose ultimate goal is the pursuit of a happy relationship between the building and the skyline; a relationship that declares the need for the architecture to be completed through the landscape and the location, to carry out its task of active criticism towards it. On this subject, one of the most brilliant and poetic – yet also absolutely useful and functional – intuitions that emerges in your work, and that constitutes a real and active criticism exercised by the architecture towards the condition of the territory, defines that vanishing points on the horizon that is constantly moving in relation to the spread of the «wound on the body of the world». I believe that the final horizon, taken in this way, is a means of measuring space and time.

P.Z. If you look at the plans for my works, you will notice that typologically speaking, they are composed by means of a journey towards the essence of the places being designed. Friendship and mutual exchange with photographers, from Luigi Ghirri to Giovanni Chiaramonte to Mauro Davoli, has undoubtedly contributed to this approach, in which architecture attempts to summarise the sense of the things that the eye – but not the eye alone – perceives.

«Here, in Italy, I witnessed the turn of the century» observed Romano Guardini in his “Letters from Lake Como”, between 1923 and 1925. In nine letters dedicated to the relationship between man and technology, moving between the shores of the lake and the places of Manzoni, observing the changing horizon, Guardini outlines the condition of man in the early twentieth century, confronted with the first true artificiality of existence. Moving beyond nature, man’s age-old prerogative in his relationship with nature itself, is already boundless in a superficial abstraction. “The mechanical process” writes Guardini, «has the same character as conceptual thought. Both dominate objects, coming out of their original relationship with the specific, indicating them all with a sign which substitutes them and thus creating an artificial order in which – more or less – all objects can align themselves».

He cites the example of the fireplace, placed at the heart of the Italian home: «In all Italian houses of old, especially in the countryside, you will find an open fireplace in the room. This is also a fact that is connected to the deepest roots of human existence: the once-free fire is imprisoned, its flame enslaved, and it serves to warm others. As such, there is “ingenuity” in this work, and nature has been reworked by man [...] I know the inebriation of fire, the primitive power of the untamed flame. In the case of the fireplace, however, it is entirely diminished – it becomes farther away, detached somehow. This was the price paid for the first work of culture. But nature still remains nearby: there is a real fire, blazing, still lit and kept alive by man».

“Now, however,” notes Guardini, «the dominion of man has spread even further». He «instead replaces individual achievements with a summarising, amalgamated concept. [...] As such, man remains within the sphere of substitutions, signs and expedients, in an order that is no longer the primitive, original one, that which is given immediately, but rather a secondary order: derived, composite, abstract, unreal [...]».

The continuous shifting of the line that marks out our space and our gaze tells us that real space is growing smaller and smaller, but we are still able to see.

Now, of course, my work takes a very critical approach in observing this unreality and abstraction, chasing the only form that I believe still makes sense in the remaining horizon: the form of life.

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