GIUSEPPE PENONE SPAZIO DI LUCE
MAY 2 – JUNE 6, 2015
…There is a place on the border between France and Italy, the Valley of Miracles (Valle delle Meraviglie), where there are circa 30,000 rock carvings around Mount Bego, a sacred mountain.
The miracle is not the carvings, but the beauty of the site with its valleys, its mountains, its larches, and the presence of the sea evoked by the smell of the grass.
It is a beauty that suggests a sense of sacredness.
It is a protected area, a natural park in which the vegetation and the territory are periodically maintained. I know woodsmen who work in the park under the supervision of forest rangers, and I go to them when I need larches. The altitude tapers the form of these larches. Large at the base, their trunk narrows rapidly, accentuating its conical shape. I used one of these trees for Space of light. I coated the trunk and the branches with a layer of wax, as if it were a year’s growth in the tree’s life cycle. When it came into contact with the trunk, the wax was imprinted with the pattern of the bark and the signs of the hands that applied it.
I cast it in bronze in eight sections of circa 170 centimeters, obtaining a covering with handprints on the external surface and the negative trace of the tree bark on the inside.
The surface on the inside was covered in gold. The eight sections of the sculpture are lined up horizontally one after another at a distance of about 50 centimeters.
Looking at the interior, one’s gaze follows the absent core of the tree and the light reflected off the gold emphasizes the space, a space of light that testifies to the absence of the tree, a being whose form and existence are defined by the search and the exposure to the light.
Space of light extends for twenty meters towards the line of the horizon, imprisons the light and the gaze in its interior, directing them towards the central focal point of the vista.
The gaze is closed into the interior of the bronze, a year of bronze…Continue Reading..