Issue #26, 2007

Transferred Space
Chus Martinez

Carlo Molino, an Italian architect, designer, photographer, car driver, sportsman and writer started to rebuilt Villa Avando, today Casa Molino, a mansion on the river Po near Torino. It was to be his last project conceived as a pyramid or “warrior’s house of rest“, a monument to himself. Finally, he could choose very carefully all the objects he wanted to “die with”, he could construct a place where of cult. A true residency for the time to come after “the necessary interval of life“, Casa Molino was his private pyramid, filled with his private collection of artefacts and incredible photographs among others his Polaroid shots of female portraits that he made from the 1960s up to the time of his death.

The Molino did not thought only about a mausoleum, but of the possibility of imagining his own life’s monument. It is of course a megalomaniac dream, but on the other hand it re-establish a connection between the History and the individual. The most important aspect of the project is to imagine the life of the monument, the psychological conditions to which the place can be exposed after during its life as “monument”, as a symbol.

There are many ways to monumentalize one’s space. Demarcation can take the form of a neo-Pharaonic project to announce that the life of a genius is eternal but also can take a much more pious form, like a red line, a hand-made tag in every of the distributed copies of the IDEA magazine. The line is the mark of a transferred space: the space of an artistic project into the page. The intervention indicates that this particular page is for the artists, it is a form of privatization as well as an invitation to obviate the rules, remove the fence and illegally re-enter this abstract territory now in the hands of Little Varsaw. Actually, the project can be also read as a proposition made to every one of us in every of the single printed copies: they interpellate us, it is a proposition made to us even if for now we still do not know what is the exact message of that particular signature. The page, like a shore, is divided in its very outline and we need to carefully study the consequences of anchoring there or collapse the coastline.

The works of Little Varsaw can be understood as an exercise of imagination along these lines. In their practice they question the way politics flirt with the public sphere, the desire to create sustainable condition of historical perception. But every monument is also a response to a deep desire to open a door to “the other side” of reality, to communicate with the death even. Or, if we feel uncomfortable with the occult connotation of this interpretation we can also think of these sites as an emergency exit of the present. Their practice departs from the assumption that given conditions and remaining memories as well as sites of the past are never simply this or that but always a confusing combination of powerful and powerless, meaningful and meaningless, beautiful and ugly.