Curated by: Elena Volpato
The GAM of Turin is happy to present the exhibition dedicated to Alighiero Boetti (1940 - 1994), the third appointment of the exhibition cycle born from the collaboration between the Historical Archives of the Venice Biennale and the Video Library.
Among the first attempts at interpreting video as an artistic language, the parallels between monitor and mirror were successful. After the Doppelgänger of nineteenth-century literature and the oneiric anxieties of Surrealism, the closed-circuit image reintroduced the theme of the double in the artist's studio, letting the time of the work split between the present and its instant reproduction. In front of the camera lens the artist acted and saw acting, rediscovering himself as a spectator of himself and half of a couple.
When Gerry Schum in the late 1960s invited Alighiero Boetti to produce a video, the artist had already made the photographic work Gemelli, 1968, and the theme of the double, central to his work from then on, was sealed in a sixteenth letter , added between name and surname, in the artist's signature: Alighiero and Boetti. That addition sanctioned a squared identity but also a surprising departure from the aseptic conceptual tautology scheme. The phrase "I am I" also contained, in its syntactic symmetry, the meaning of "I am another". It was only a small shift, almost a linguistic game, yet in the inevitable doubling of identity every time it affirms itself, there is in a nutshell all the spirit and intelligence of Boetti's work.
In the first video presented in the exhibition, Untitled from 1970, part of Gerry Schum's Identifications collection, Boetti decides to turn his back on the camera. In doing so, he transforms his body into a vertical black mark against a white wall, perfectly placed in the center of the frame. His hands begin to write simultaneously, to the right and to the left, the sequence of the days of the week, starting from Thursday as far as the length of the open arms allows him to arrive. In this gesture, the artist becomes the axis of a space that opens up over time, in the succession of letters, in the sequence of days and, at the same time, in the passing of the seconds of the video. In a single action Boetti intertwines time and double, the two fundamental aspects of video language and at the same time of his work.