Giuseppe Arezzi | PROTOPLAST | 2015
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What to do when everything else has been done? Our era is an unfinished poem desperately trying to rewrite itself. In this fast-paced but floating world, time starts to become circular again, its wheel spinning back and forth through millenniums. Abstract forms and structures return to the time when the simplicity of the circle was worshipped, when men modelled earth and wood with their hands only. The simplest shapes possible evoke our first rise from the primordial dust, the sophisticated engineering of our skeleton is a reminder of both mortality and geometric exactness. Wheels, bowls and bones. These primitive objects embody, with their archetypical structure, all the nuances of human experience, its motion through time and space, its cradles and its coffins, the strength hid in its mortality.
Humanity dwells on transformation. Forms and projects may be transitory, but raw materials rarely change. Our hands and eyes organize intricate systems that the brain, calmly, elaborates. There was a time when crafts were sacred, when the secrets of manufacturing were passed from father to child, defying the course of age, at once evolving and staying the same, both malleable and immutable. The spinning wheel never stops to preserve what gets caught in its run, everything gets crushed, except what can never mutate. All the essential shapes, the running ones, the fixed ones, are one, summarized by the precise roundness of a perfect circle.
The human body and its complicated assemblage. Does the perfect functionality of our heads and legs mirror the shadowy profiles of our minds? Where, in the infinite movements of a leg running, is explained our eternal chase for freedom? What engineer or doll-maker has first imagined and designed those basic shapes, our bones, and the sudden bursts of fire like lightning in our minds?
Wood and ash. One contains the other, one anticipates the other. Inside the newborn baby lays hidden the old man of the days to come. From the moment we start dreaming in the bowl of our mother’s womb to the moment we descend in the earth’s womb, our existence is a single pasture of death and life, of wood and ash, always renovating and decaying.
From dust we come, to dust we return. During our whole time in the sun we never retain shape, like grain, ever growing, ever becoming. But we recognize some shapes that are with us from before we were even conceived, shapes inscribed in our very cells, the legacy of our ancestors.
«Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay to mold me man?» Even without science, the first men knew everything. The chaos and symmetry of life were no mystery to them, they accepted it as a unrepeatable, total experience. In nature there are not perfectly smooth surfaces, space must open up to chaos, shapes must be unpredictable and unique, always surprising and undiscovered.
For the entirety of our existences, we never stop looking for our anterior life, the golden era, the seminal state of being, where everything was fluid and essential. Centuries of refinement brought us to a point where thousands of structures germinate and wither before our eyes, before we can even notice. To fight the tedium of abundance and predictability we must worship again the shapes that never die or decay. The roundness of the wheel, like the vault of the sky, emerges unblemished from the flow of time. A simpler shape means a simpler understanding. Modern and primordial go on hand in hand towards an age where intuitions will be so simple that they’ll look like they’ve been there forever. One day, maybe, the wheel will stop spinning, time will lose meaning and past and future will coexist in eternal immanence.