In the show 'Making Worlds' - The Arsenale Corderie, Venice, Italy

  • Paulozzi
    Title : Paulozzi

Catalogue: Making Worlds: 53rd International Art Exhibition: La Biennale di Venezia, 2009

Catalogue Text

The mirror has always been an integral part of Michelangelo Pistoletto’s poetics, symbolising the artist’s search for his own identity. With his first Mirror Paintings of 1961, the artist imagined not only a new way of conceiving the self-portrait, but also emphasising the mirror’s universality; its ability to reproduce reality and reflect changes from the recent past, present and future. Pistoletto’s work addresses division and multiplication through mirrors that are shattered and destroyed. Unlimited reflections demonstrate the artist’s constantly developing perspective. Used as a symbol of totality, Pistoletto’s mirror is a physical and intellectual extension of the capacities of eye and mind.

The performance of ‘Twenty-two less two’ (2009) presents an evolving situation in which the artist destroys the large, framed mirrors that ring the exhibition space. Only two mirrors remain whole. According to Pistoletto, their reciprocal reflection represents the infinite generation of light and life. Even the smallest of the broken mirrors, however, retains the same properties of the whole mirrors, multiplying their reflective power. The moment of destruction remains impressed in the mirror picture as the memory of a past event imprinted on the present. Pistoletto’s action symbolises the violence of human existence, reflected in the depths of the broken mirror. (CB)

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