Gilberto Zorio: Giorgio Persano

By Pasini, Francesca | Artforum International, April 2006 | Go to article overview

Gilberto Zorio: Giorgio Persano


Pasini, Francesca, Artforum International


The five-pointed star has been a recurring image in Gilberto Zorio's work since the early '70s, and recently it has taken the form of a tower with a star-shaped plan. This show featured (and took its name from) La tolda silenziosa (Silent Deck; all works 2005), a pair of such towers made from white cement blocks, which completely modified the viewer's perception of the space, suggesting an imaginary universe where celestial bodies become "habitable buildings." One tower had a staircase leading to the roof, from which one could admire the spectacle that unfolded below. And it was a true spectacle. Two sculptures were installed between the towers. One, Stella X/Y (Star X/Y), made from tubular iron sections, periodically emitted hissing sounds (another recurring feature of Zorio's work); in the other, Stella che gira (Turning Star), aluminum segments rotated with the help of a motor. Looking down from one of the towers as if from a spaceship traveling through the cosmos, one could see the entire space and the other tower's interior, covered in phosphorescent colors. The room was illuminated principally by strobe lights; when they were dark, the sculptures became silent--the architectural outline of the second tower disappeared and the luminous design of the star emerged, created by the phosphorescent colors painted on its interior "heart." At that moment, while a projection of a pentagram appeared on the back wall, the tune of the "Internationale" invaded the room.

Among its many connotations, the five-pointed star is a symbol of the October Revolution, to which the music also alludes. …

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