Senza Titolo 2016
Smoke and soot on nine Panels 94.5 x 425.25 x 1.125″ (overall)
In the nineteen seventies, whilst clearing a dusty space given to him to exhibit his work, Claudio Parmiggiani was struck by the clear definition, preserved in dust, holding a memory of time, of an image outline where a removed object had previously stood.
Inspired, he began to develop his Delocazioni – his fire and smoke pieces.
He creates clearly defined images in sooty tones by making arrangements of objects against white paper or board in a sealed space and then burning tyres. The ritual quality of burning adds another layer of drama to the final visual creation. In this nine panel ‘library’ installation, the untouchable book outlines suggest the fragility of existence and the light and shadows left by the soot deposits are familiar and yet mystifying.
Those soft elegant outlines gently evoke memories of a ‘time lost’ leaving the viewer to write the tale. The library’s subtle tones are very beautiful as are the shapes themselves; some books upright, some half fallen, some with pages splayed open, all these images somehow suggesting the knowledge and culture that was held within. The fragility of the artwork itself only deepens our sense of mystery and wonder. The ‘once books’ whose pages were thumbed through to reveal their riches now are simply ghosts of the past.