Installation view

Equorea (di mari, ghiacci, nuvole e altre acque ancora) – 8/12. Michele Spanghero

ph. Simone Panzeri

 

Michele Spanghero
Stream II (detail), 2012-2023
varnished steel tubes, bolts, speakers audio, media players
2 elements measuring 28,5 x 54 x 108 cm
8 m, loop

 

Michele Spanghero
Stream II (detail), 2012-2023
varnished steel tubes, bolts, speakers audio, media players
2 elements measuring 28,5 x 54 x 108 cm
8 m, loop

Equorea – 8/12. Michele Spanghero

29.07.2023 – 04.09.2023

From July 29th to September 4th 2023, BUILDINGBOX presents the artwork Stream II by the artist Michele Spanghero (Gorizia, 1979).

 

The sound of flowing water is white noise, a special type of noise in which all the possible tones of the sound spectrum have the same level of amplitude but no periodicity in time. Its definition refers to the white light that the human eye would see in the presence of electromagnetic radiation of the smile spectrum. White noise is often associated with calming properties because it is reminiscent of the sound of the womb, the primary receptive environment for human beings. Although this particular sound cannot be visualised, its identity and sensory characteristics can be formally investigated. Michele Spanghero’s research focuses on this exact relationship, the connection between sound and sculpture, and in particular, the perception of sound in space.

For the project Equorea (of seas, ice, clouds and other waters) presented within BUILDINGBOX, Spanghero is setting up Stream II, a sound sculpture composed of two curved industrial tubes joined by bolted flanges. Loudspeakers inside the sculptures reproduce an audio recording of a flowing liquid – crude oil within an extraction pipeline system – which visitors may listen to through an audio file accessible online via a QR code. The extremely sophisticated paint job on the pipes lends the elements that are commonly used for industrial purposes a refined and creates an aesthetic estrangement. In turn, the curved pipes, which hint at an completed circular shape, refer to the circularity inherent in the element of water, but also to the economic closure of the oil-based financial system.

 

The exhibition is the eighth appointment of Equorea (of seas, ice, clouds and other waters), a project curated by Giulia Bortoluzzi, which involves, from January 7h, 2023 to January 9th, 2024, twelve Italian contemporary artists invited to explore the topic of water in twelve monthly solo shows, scheduled in a sequence that follows the lunar calendar.

The title references Eugenio Montale’s poem Falsetto (1923), published in the collection Ossi di Seppia (1925). The poem revolves around a girl called Esterina, described as an ocean creature (“equorea creatura”), and frames the sea as a metaphor for life and the wonder of living without worrying about the future: “The power that tempers you is water, in water you find and renew yourself.” Montale’s work picks up on the way we habitually associate water with life, a notion echoed by Mircea Eliade in A History of Religious Ideas (1949), which describes it as the total of all “virtualities”, the matrix for all potential life, the foundation of the whole world. Water is at the origin of all cosmic manifestation, symbolizing the primordial substance from which all forms arise, and to which they return, by regression or cataclysm. Water lies at the beginning and end of every historical or cosmic cycle. It will always exist, and never be alone, because it is germinative, encompassing the virtualities of all forms in its own undivided unity. In cosmogony, mythology, ritual, and iconography, water performs the same function: it precedes all forms and sustains all of creation. A symbol of life, it gives universal becoming a cyclical structure.

 

Following the cyclical pattern of the astronomical tides (which occur when the Moon, Earth and Sun are in alignment), at each full moon in the year 2023, BUILDINGBOX will play host to the work of twelve Italian contemporary artists, who have been asked to explore the theme of water: Ludovico Bomben (Pordenone, 1982), Jaya Cozzani (Mumbai/Kanchipuram, 1982),  Barbara De Ponti (Milano, 1975), Gaspare (Terlizzi, 1983), Michele Guido (Aradeo, 1976), Silvia Mariotti (Fano, 1980), Fabio Marullo (Catania, 1973), Elena Mazzi (Reggio Emilia, 1984), Ignazio Mortellaro (Palermo, 1978), Fabio Roncato (Rimini, 1982), Michele Spanghero (Gorizia, 1979), Virginia Zanetti (Fiesole, 1981).

 

The works presented in Equorea (of seas, ice, clouds and other waters) are site-specific (some are being exhibited for the first time, others are reworkings of previous pieces) and conceive of water as an emblem of all natural elements, and more generally as a form of life and creative potential. As a topic, water not only intrigues and inspires, but also elicits specific reflections on the future of our planet. Indeed, the life of all organisms on Earth depends on the presence of water and is shaped by its mutations: when it deteriorates, life becomes unsustainable.

There is as yet no proven scientific explanation of the origin of water on our planet. Whether generated by comets or meteorites crashing to earth, or volcanic eruptions in distant millennia, in the collective imagination it is associated with the mythological moment of creation, which contains the potential existence of all forms of life.

 

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