Interpretations of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities
1-15 December 2018, Antilia Gallery, Bitonto (BA)
Model/artwork by: commonsense.studio
Edited by: Elton Koritari
Looking at Raissa, at the eye level
“…Then Marco Polo spoke: “Your chessboard, sire, is inlaid with two woods: ebony and maple. The square on which your enlightened gaze is fixed was cut from the ring of a trunk that grew in a year of drought: you see how its fibers are arranged? Here a barely hinted knot can be made out: a bud tried to burgeon on a premature spring day, but the night’s frost forced it to desist.”
Until then the Great Khan had not realized that the foreigner knew how to express himself fluently in his language, but it was not this fluency that amazed him.
“Here is a thicker pore: perhaps it was a larvum’s nest; not a woodworm, because, once born, it would have begun to dig, but a caterpillar that gnawed the leaves and was the cause of the tree’s being chosen for chopping down . . . This edge was scored by the wood carver with his gouge so that it would adhere to the next square, more protruding . . . ” – Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities.
Looking at Raissa from the top, the city appears dull and dissociated from itself. It is an alienated urban conditioned. Looking at it, at eye level, Raissa reveals a harmonious and participatory environment created by an intensive horizontal interaction. It manifests an enthusiastic urban condition reflected by individuals being active parts of a whole unity.
The city made of urban scenes, is the result of an art of organization, composed by – a lot of – little hands, where the inputs of each craftsman constitute a continuous performing stage of the city.
Raissa is sensed as a scene performed around individuals, to be lived in and not to be analysed from a distance. It is a creative process that creates a cosmos which is the result of an initial chaotic spontaneous evolution.
Because precisely, Raissa is not crafted from the top.