Orecchie D’Asino, Un pezzo d’acqua, stage and details, Milano (IT), 2020
It’s raining. For one hour the rain is not stopping. For 60 minutes and 9 seconds my thoughts haven’t mollifying. The room is dark. I stare at the ceiling, here two beams of light are projected. They vibrate, giving rhythm to drops and thoughts. I’m one of those drops, still anchored at the branch’s end. Not for much longer it will hold the gravity force. The other drops fall on me, and through the impact with my body, acquire weight and it feels like thorns. Their transition and contact combine pleasure and pain in a new way of perceiving. I imagine a remote image of my body as a fluo pink shapeless mass and pierced. Then the distraction is assisted by the slow motion of the beams of light, directed now to me, despite the awareness of not being able to grasp them.
I stand up. It is already dawn. I walk through the city, still empty and covered by a delicate light. It continues to rain but not enough to open the umbrella. The rain, as thin as a fresh shower, touches me. So light and slow that I do not realize that I am already covered by another surface, apparently flat, consisting of many tiny shiny and transparent spheres.
It’s Sunday morning. I walk on a soft, sky-blue road, almost a pillow that at every step allows me to feel the water moving under my weight and to exit from hidden ways out. My ears are focused on continuous music but not harmonized with the outside world. I allow myself some dance steps, I’m alone on a rainy day, maybe some smoke in the corners but nothing more. Inside the shops that should be turned off, I see some clerks with long glossy and pastel dress, they seem to get ready for an usual ritual, maybe a funeral, to which they must attend. I feel their sad expectation, hidden under fear, of not being able to help themselves to be ready to that moment. Luckely, the churches are closed.
Even the few people on the streets seem worried, you can see it form the fast cadence of their steps and the rapid movement of air around their arms. After a short but slow moment of empathy I decide to continue straight. So many bridges are blocking me from following some points along a straight line towards a single direction: east.
I could not get away from those feelings and now the air is warmer and warmer and the drops heavier and heavier, they have taken over my thoughts again. The increasement of the temperature is directly proportional to the size and frequency of rain and anxiety drops. The fresh dew shower blends in a sweat bath.
I pick up the pace. But also the floor seems to sweat. The water has now reached my knees and makes my step harder and harder. I am looking for a way out of these narrow streets where I continue to navigate without a place to reach and a road to follow. All the sales girls have now locked the front doors. I am in the sea of an urban labyrinth, without reason or time, I take the roads not yet flooded or blocked. In one of those dark alleys I see two creatures appearing covered in bay leaves, it seems they are flying in the dark, sea birds children of the earth. I follow them fascinated by the noise of the restless rustle generated by the rhythmic movement of their arms. Then I see them disappear, leaving behind a very strong perfume, memory of distant poets.
A boy stops in front of me and, looking at me with his eyes black as coals and a beard so raw as to make him look wise, opens his hand. He wanted to fight the future and the fear with an energy exchange. His warm hand warms mine (the other was forced to hold the umbrella), creating a bubble ready to explode. He smiles and grabs me by the hand. I have the vague impression of having already seen him. Even his accent, far from these places, seems familiar to me. For a moment I feel at home.
His house is wide but the ceilings are very low. He probably doesn’t live alone. There are many drying cloths full of stuff hanging to dry. He takes me to his room and puts the clean flannel sheets locked in a plastic bag inside a suitcase under the bed. The wall next to the bed is all purple, the imperial color. The paint has not been passed for a long time. The mirrors on the last walls are all lower than the height of his face. Perhaps he is not a reliable type or perhaps he is with more reason. Uncertainty drives me away. It follows me. It holds me tightly to itself, dragging me down from the bridge.
My sheets are a piece of water.
UN PEZZO D'ACQUA UN PEZZO D'ACQUA UN PEZZO D'ACQUA UN PEZZO D'ACQUA UN PEZZO D'ACQUA UN PEZZO D'ACQUA UN PEZZO D'ACQUA UN PEZZO D'ACQUA UN PEZZO D'ACQUA
The totem, sculpture dedicated to preserve the memory of a culture, is chosen as the representative method for a new stage of Un pezzo d’acqua. Playing on the very concept of photography to undermine the relationship between reality and representation, Orecchie D'Asino creates layers of images, objects and videos to dismantle the traditional conception of visual translation. Un pezzo d’acqua - totem won the special mention for photography of the 2021 Francesco Fabbri Prize.
Orecchie D’Asino, Un pezzo d’acqua, totem, Fondazione Francesco Fabbri, 2021
On the occasion of Senso comune, collective show curated by Inhabitat and Adiacenze at Habitat Ottantatre (Verona, IT), Orecchie D'Asino rethinks the project and its installation: the videologue expands in space with a series of references to elements and contexts of the initial dream. Venice's high water, games and drops of sweat are brought to a new representation. Poised between dream and everyday life, Un pezzo d’acqua becomes a rebus.
Orecchie D’Asino, Un pezzo d’acqua, video installation, curated by Adiacenze, Habitat Ottantre, Verona, 2022
Un pezzo d'acqua starts from an improvised dialogue made by the artist where daily anecdotes and dreamy fantasies are blended together. In a subsequent phase the text is revisited and undergoes cuts and additions by various authors such as S. Beckett, G. Bateson, K. Jung.
Following a Dadaist compositional method, Un pezzo d’acqua becomes a dialogue with two voices, one pink and one blue, one the patient and the other the analyst, in which the artists, using different metaphors, try to define the artistic process itself : this is the basis for the creation of a Videologue, a term inspired by Bateson's Metalogues, and coined by the artists to define a video installation, in which two screens interact with each other through images and words.
The site-specific project of Un pezzo d’acqua for Studiottantuno (Mantova, IT) leads Orecchie D'Asino to experiment with the videologue in the different rooms: the two voices become two separated but communicating environments. The two areas of thought, personified by the two voices, find a new representation with a series of objects and sculptures immersed in an increasingly vague and dreamlike space. On the occasion of the exhibition, the artists also act outside the gallery: pink and blue tents change the perception of the place, creating a sense of disorientation and confusion in passers-by.
Orecchie D’Asino, Un pezzo d’acqua, video still,2020
B: but is that noise the rain?
A: no the leaky sink.
B: no it's the rain.
A: and now?
A: don't be afraid.
A: don't be afraid, it's raining but not enough.
B: more and more irritated.
A: god bless you!
B: oh, I know well, there will come a day when before I can say a word I have to make sure you heard the previous one, I know well there will come a day when I have to learn to speak for myself.
A: no no, of course there will always be a rise in temperature.
B: oh I know very well you are not right, just because those two are together just for the sake of it.
A: it's a bubble ready to burst. The situation refers to a shifting dynamic of the patient's feelings toward the analyst, tending to stable between one and the other a kind of false nexus.
B: so the transference is constituted in the sign of hallucinatory formations?
A: yes, now, as if it were a waking dream, made possible by the impact with the alter ego that is, for the patient, the personality of the analyst. A dreamlike trend in the transferential experience, observing the freedom and uncensoredness of the dream, because it is produced by an unconscious that is as if asleep and that, through translation, seems to be close to awakening.
B: in awakening can it express seemingly unchanged experiences, true re-editions of previously experienced emotions or a restructuring of them?
A: there are translations in which the concept differs in nothing from that of the model, if one accepts the substitution of the person.
B: then they are true reissues, unchanged reissues.
A: Yes. Others accomplished with more art, undergo a mitigation of their content, a sublimation, able to become conscious by resting on some real particularity.
B: In this case they are not reprints, but remakes accomplished with "art"?
A: north come here!
B: west, bring it on!
A: east, scroll away!
B: south, overflow!
A: the below is powerful.
B: the above is powerful.
B: double power is in the one.
A: and now you don't feel anything?
B: no. I don't feel it. What am I supposed to hear?
A: some chimes.
B: some chimes? and of what?I don't hear anything.
A: listen better.
B: maybe in the left ear. What could it mean?
B: if the churches are all closed although it's Sunday morning, I want to believe it's luck rather than misfortune.
A: then raise your hands and hold them open to receive what you are entitled to.
B: what, yet another flat surface?
A: apparently flat, but made up of many shiny, transparent spheres.
B: yes. drops of anxiety and sweat forming a single bubble ready to burst through a warm hand warming a hand.
A: a balance of heat.
B: a clothesline full of stuff ready to dry.
A: and a magic wand.
B: what am I supposed to do with magic? magic is a disgrace.
A: irritating to those who possess it. It costs sacrifice.
B: the sacrifice of love and humanity.
B: and which one?
A: the consolation.
B: the one I give or the one I receive?
A: keep your eyes and ears wide open.
B: I shudder and I don't know why.
A: Because you want one thing to become as big as a mountain and the other to go to ruin instead.
B: north get up and go away.
A: west, retreat to your place.
B: east, expand yourself.
A: south, stand still.
A: the below is weak.
B: the above is weak.
A: double has made itself the shape of one.
B: middle poles are separated by middle poles.
A: bridges are long flooded but patient ways.
Orecchie D’Asino, Un pezzo d’acqua, video installation, Studiottantuno, Mantova 2022