Untitled (a formal study on lightness).
Installation. Water, iron, electrical heater, light, acrylic, wood, nylon.
“…knowledge of the world tends to dissolve the solidity of the world, leading to a perception of all that is infinite
minute, light, and mobile.” Italo Calvino, Six Memos For The Next Millennium
The installation is inspired in the concept of lightness that Italo Calvino developed in the first section of a series of lectures named Six Memos for the Next Millennium. Calvino traced the concept of lightness through the history of literature: “We might say that throughout the centuries two opposite tendencies have competed in literature: one tries to make language into a weightless element that hovers above things like a cloud or better, perhaps, the finest dust or, better still, a field of magnetic impulses. The other tries to give language the weight, density, and concreteness of things, bodies, and sensations.”
To articulate the relation between these two tendencies I have used water as the main material of the installation. The liquid state of the water is related to weight – the effect of gravity on bodies and materials. The gas state becomes visible as ephemeral weightless shapes.
By using water, heat and light - letting them act and happen - gravity is incorporated into a dialog with other components. Its unavoidable nature is then acknowledged rather than negated.
Lightness for Calvino is “…something arising from the writing itself…” It is as if language would be releasing
an invisible substance that we incorporate. The people in the space surrounding the installation breathe the evaporating forms that arise from the heated iron.
The relationship between a heavy, hot, stationary body and the weightless vanishing shapes articulates a formal lightness. Water – by change of face – turns falling into flying.
[ movie clip, 640 x 480 px, 69.84 MB ]