“Common Places” (Venice Biennale)

 2017

 Plaster, Wood, Skirting boards

Dimensions Variables

To imagine going down into the water or wandering in the desert
 is to change space; and to change space is to change being. 

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

 

Space demands from us to take position, we succumb to its borders and limits. Our experiences are inextricably linked to the architecture that contains them. Taking this as a standpoint, Common Places presents a territory in which the common is precisely its ambiguous element. The title suggests different perspectives from where to look at the installation: firstly, as a location that can be recognised; secondly, as a language quirk exhausted by its use that somehow has lost its meaning, and finally, as a place accessible for everyone.

 

Common places, commonplace, common places.

The work evidences the inner contradiction of the dynamism of our lives and the rigid constructions that contain it. The installation, metaphor of an architectonical place given only by a small hint — the skirting board —  when confronted with the spheres as moving bodies, creates a tension between transitions amidst its structures. The installation simultaneously places us outside of it as well as within it. Outside it, because it could be only contemplated, within it because it is not a space designed just to be walked-through, but to think of us as part of its limits. However when inhabited, Common Places offers another possibility: that of one being space. The spectator turns into wall, limit and border when occupying the installation; a movable entity that has the opportunity to redefine, blur or re-draw the space. This way, the border, whether physical or symbolical, acts as something that concurrently separates and connects, contains and restricts, limits and articulates through the use of space. It is an encounter, an incompleteness and yet a zone of negotiation. The common thus, becomes the unexpected.

 

Common Places twists the concept of the common to think of the space we inhabit otherwise, to think it differently. Art then works as a place — a common place — in which the ordinary is exhausted to understand its meaning and reflect on architecture as something that shapes and conditions our existence: redefining borders through use, turning space into a body with the ability of transforming space infinitely…