DIREZIONE (DIRECTION), GIOVANNI ANSELMO, 1967

When you look at this artwork, what you see is a raw block of stone with the shape of a triangle, but if you look closely enough you will see a little compass at the base of it. The compass points towards the north, and this is the direction in which the artwork should be installed. In a way, it’s the artwork itself that chooses how to be installed.

The artist, Giovanni Anselmo, was one of the members of the Arte Povera movement – literally “Poor Art” – which means that he used to work with mostly natural elements. The idea of the Arte Povera was in fact to use only natural materials to go back to the organic beings (in opposition to the cold Minimal Art) and to fight the art market: selling artworks with vegetables, for example, is not easy.

In this work, both the stone and the compass are natural elements, and they are left raw, without notable modifications.

Anselmo made another work that is worthy to be mentioned here, with the same purposes: Untitled (eating structure). We talked about it here.

#funfact: Now the work is shown at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, but it’s installed in the wrong way! They did not took into consideration the compass pointing to the north, and installed it following the direction of the corridor.

 

Bibliography and further readings:

ANSELMO Giovanni, Giovanni Anselmo: Where the Stars Are Coming, Hopeful Monster, 2007

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