Paolo Scirpa: towards a new hygiene of vision

Curated by Pierre Restany

24 September 1986

With Pierre Restany, Milano, 1981

Paolo Scirpa features in a highly unusual adventure: the combination of a light-emitting structure that was designed and built to be a mental construction, while also becoming part of the natural and monumental environment, a frame for our everyday life. Scirpa's language is the language of geometrical design projected onto light, neon light, a phenomenon based on linearity of structure and of the effect of the corresponding perspective […] At the famous location of Archimedes' tomb in Sicily, Scirpa presents a highly succinct design proposal: sights for a target set into the rock, creating a sort of heart, lung, a transcendental vision of objective reality. The square-shaped perspective construction (layers of tubes, lines, holes and spaces) is set into the stone under the pediment of the monument, like a relief cut out of the rock and becoming part of it. […]. The beauty of this operation on a natural location, that had already been modified by man many centuries ago, lies in the continuity of the structural approach. The geometrical discipline of Scirpa's project becomes part of the Ancient Greek monument with perfect continuity, and likewise it shares the approach of his forefathers from Magna Grecia […]. Scirpa, a calligrapher of electric light, […] shows us beauty in even greater beauty, and he does so with all the energy of his personality, his sensitivity and culture […].

Milan, 1986