Domenico Billari

Light in Spatial Views: Figures of the Void

Im Eigangsbereich der Villa befindet sich die Arbeit Light in Spatial Views: Figures of the Void des Künstlers Domenico Billari. Die Spiegelfolie, welche in die Wand eingepasst ist, wird durch einen dahinter liegenden kleinen Ventilator unmerklich in Schwingung gehalten.

When Walking into the Void

It is here, where you enter the villa. You observe and soak in the information that you are suddenly facing the reflection of yourself. The oblique image in the fibrillating mirror is rocking gently and continuously. Maybe it is you again, in flux, not stable, unable to keep still. Always a bit distorted, like golden confetti someone threw in the air and then forgot somewhere; it made you happy for a fleeting moment in a promise of thousands of dazzling images you could touch and even own. Just the thought of all these multiple existences at the tip of the fingers would make anyone quiver. Projecting yourself softly onto the smooth surface of shiny things, who would not like that? But mir - roring the reality will not last for good; inevitably you will need to really look at the only one of you left behind. What do you think of, when you see your own reflection? Love? Hatred? Indifference? Random thoughts? Are you according to the Design? Devoid of thoughts, lost for voice? How much have you changed? I become passive-obsessive; I don’t care, but I want to see how other people could see me in this moment, and as a whole. As human beings, we are haunted by the elusive nature of our own image. Give us a reflection of ourselves and we become captivated, here and now, just us. Light in Spatial Views: Figures of the Void is a sitespecific work created for the entrance foyer on the ground floor of the chemicalmoonBaby exhibition space. The large seemingly never-ending aluminum mirror sheet has captivated you from the first instance, the ceiling imperceptibly holding it in vibration—suspiciously lightweight in spite of its heavy burden of having to reflect the reality. The white marble floor without carpet also wants to reflect something, maybe the imperfection of the stained whiteness of the plaster facade. White colour is somewhat fitting for reflection of both, image and of thought. With ease, we can cocoon ourselves in the cool white light, to reflect, and to listen. If you listen now, with me—yes— —you should be able to hear the ever so subtle hum of the fan, hiding somewhere behind the mirror, caressing it lovingly. The soundwaves are so low you have to bend in half and press your ear to the ground; only you are not going to do that—others are watching. What we see when hearing, what we hear when seeing makes a big difference to the whispers of our egos. Try it, look at yourself in the mirror for a minute or two to the melody of a Bach sonata (Arioso, Adagio in G from Cantata BWV 156), to a Gershwin composition, to a muted back - ground conversation, to the sound of your neigh - bours fucking. Is it the same you? I wonder. When writing this text, I was listening to an in - terview recording that we made with Domenico during my stay in Basel. It is curious, listening to someone’s voice completely detached from their material body, taken into a context so far away from the original situation, and attempting to cap - ture in few lines a person that has already changed by the time the sound has reached your ear. There is a nearly perverse pleasure in that kind of eaves - dropping, or a certain sort of irony that you can do whatever you please with the voice entrusted to you. A kind of involuntary intimacy is created. This applies also to the image; the secret stare cast onto the other; a fractured reflection embedded upside down deep within the eye socket, in the soft curve at the very back, where all the nerves meet the tiny veins filled with pulsating blood. Void is not a vacuum, whatever the dictionary says. Void is a thousand of voids, each dyed in different shade as reflected by white. Here, in the Light in Spatial Views: Figures of the Void, the image of you is a feverish one, under the large staircase oscillating in the imaginary heat, it lingers for moments after. If there was sand, you could as well be in a desert, but there is no sand, just you.


Alice Maselnikova Basel/Stockholm, 2017

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