“An anthropological approach”
Fonderia Artistica Battaglia
Simone Desirò – Marmi artificiali di Rima
The archaeological site of Palmyra was destroyed by ISIS in August 2015, with the aim of erasing the historical-cultural identity of the Syrian region. This great archaeological site dating back to the Roman Era was turned into debris.
This devastating action also struck public opinion for the the deeper meaning: the breakdown of the link between man and time. Ruins allow man to perceive the distance between past and present, contextualizing his presence within the history.
The anthropologist Marc Augè wrote in Le temps en ruines, 2003:
“Their incompleteness contains a promise. The feeling of passing time […] a sense of time that is even more stimulating and exciting because it is irreducible to history, awareness of lack, expression of absence, pure desire”.
There are numerous examples in art’s history of artists seduced by the charm of ruins: from the frescoes of the “Sala dei Giganti” at Palazzo Te in Mantua – painted by Giulio Romano in the 16th century – to an entire generation of 18th century romantic painters who represented the remains of classical architecture, painting the experience of “pure time”.
Roberto Sironi’s project RUINS starts from the consideration of these historical and artistic aspects with the ambition of conveying – through a series of works – not only the sense of “lost time” but also that of “present time” through the re-signification of architectural fragments belonging to different historical periods.
The project relates some constructive elements of the classical era as bases of columns, capitals, sections of an Amphitheatre with rudiments of the industrial era, such as the double-T beams and the reticular structural elements.
The result is a series of works conceived as “Contemporary ruins”, freely deconstructed and reconstructed, imaginary simulacra, programmed artifices where the materials and techniques of execution do not correspond to the original but rather become functional to the post-archaeological message conveyed.
According to this concept, the parts belonging to industrial archaeology are transposed into bronze sculptures through the technique of lost wax casting and then mirror-polished to communicate an “Indefinite time” that becomes hypothetical, evanescent, suspended.
The elements that refers to the classical era are made in “Marmo Artificiale di Rima”, a material created in Piedmont (Italy) at the end of the 19th century as a simulation of natural marble, used to decorate the interiors of Court’s Palaces in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, and then widespread throughout Europe. This is a timeless material , due to its structure, a non-geological marble.
Roberto Sironi’s project re-elaborates the archaeological concept of ruins according to a new perspective: taking note of the architectural remains that time and history turned over, the work shows how the different fragments can be overlaid and re-signified.
RUINS becomes an experience where elements are used as free tools in the construction of the project, resetting the geographical and temporal distances, modelling the forms according to ideal aesthetic representations, reflecting the utopias and dystopias of our time.
ph_Amir Farzad, Federico Villa, Nicola Cordì