ORIZZONTE IN ITALIA
I spent more than two months alone on a bicycle, travelling along the perimeter of the Italian peninsula, and then two weeks cycling around Sardinia. I put together hundreds of images of horizons which, day after day, came to form a chromatic stave of seas and skies. Finally, from the confines of my studio, image after image, I pieced back together a fair part of the Italian skyline. (A.R)
Orizzonte in Italia, installation of 148 c.prints on alluminium 43x32 cm each framed, six engraved brass sheets, wood, 35x130 cm (Liste #01/#02), 1 news paper 60x40 cm, total dimension variable, ed: 3+1 AP, 2013
1. Strips of orange peel, bunched together on a surface, usually a searing hot stove top, drying them out and twisting them into different shapes; blots of various kinds on sheets of paper, whether written on or not; since time immemorial such sights have led me into countless archipelagos of the imagination. The blots, in particular: I trace their outlines with a pen, yet I have never been interested in meddling with what lies inside or what lies outside. The outline, which I trace out with great accuracy, separates the land from the sea. The full was created by the blot or by the rugged surface of that orange peel; the void by the boundless sprawl of the writing space. The full is the island, with its own relief, water courses, urban areas; the void is the sea in all its infinite vastness. A world, or a portion of a world, is thus outlined: one of imagination and entirely flat.
I say to myself sometimes that it has always been up to me to mark out, or perhaps simply to underline, those borders laid down by chance.
2. Once I dreamt of the sea. I must have been four or five years old, and up until then I had never even seen the sea. It was exactly how I was to discover it to be, shortly afterwards except that, in my dream, a towering, elegant fence separated it from the mainland, running along the coast as far as the eye could see. When I later saw it for real, it was like déjà-vu, and I was neither surprised nor let down: I merely acknowledged the absence of that long fence.
[We are reaching Bangkok: the light through the thin mist blurs the contours of this hot and humid end-of-April afternoon.]
Pier Luigi Tazzi, Sea(e)scape, in Orizzonte in Italia - Antonio Rovaldi, Humboldt Books, 2015
MI È SCESA UNA NUVOLA (ORIZZONTE IN ITALIA)
Mi è scesa una nuvola (Orizzonte in Italia), global view of the installation, nineteen c.prints on alluminium 45x35 cm each (ed: 3+1 AP), one inject print on alluminium 60x90 cm framed (Liste #03, ed: 3+1 AP), sound installation (13', loop), 2015
Lorenzo Giusti: After a stop-off in Palau, your tour came to an end in Olbia, where you had set out from. You knew you were on an island, but perhaps it was only then it really came home to you; when you find the same road, the same quay, the same ferry waiting there for you. You also find the same horizon, the one you photographed every day throughout your journey around Italy; the same line that you can see yet which isn’t there, unlike the island, for which the opposite holds true.
Antonio Rovaldi: When you travel by bicycle, it’s as if the landscape rolling past in front of you were a really long film roll, and all the images that mark a distance ultimately made up one huge single photograph. I couldn’t tell you quite where a journey starts and ends, also because at a certain point, I broke my Pentax 67 again, and for a moment I stopped taking pictures of the horizon. Without my camera, I really lost my bearings. But that’s always the way: you start off with the idea of taking some photographs and then, at the end, when the camera breaks, you actually discover you can do just fine without it. And then you get home and back in your studio you look through the photographs that you’ve taken again and the trip around the island starts all over. The photographs establish certain distances, and going back to look at them all helps you to focus on a direction. It’s that portion of time that passes between the shot of a photograph while travelling and the moment in which we see it once again at home that I’m interested in. Over that lapse of time, the distance travelled settles, and from a physical space it becomes a mental one, thus taking on new significance.
Excpert from the conversation with Lorenzo Giusti in Orizzonte in Italia, Humboldt Books, 2015
Orizzonte in Italia. Micol Sarfatti. L'Huffington Post. October 2015
Orizzonte in Italia. Sveglio mare liscio due barche gialle più fumo. Museo MAN / Casa Lai. July 2015
all images © Antonio Rovaldi