Claudio Parmiggiani
Untitled, 2017
Smoke and soot on board, 14 parts, 240х1596х3 cm
Courtesy of the artist
This work develops the main line in Parmigiani's oeuvre, the key notion of which is delocazione - a neologism that unites many of the artist's artworks created at different stages of his career. Wandering around in a museum building Parmiggiani came across a deserted room. When he cleared the room of the junk which had accumulated there over the years he discovered that the removed objects left traces on the walls during their long storage. This effect became the subject of his work. By "delocalizing" objects, that is, simply taking them out of the room, the artist, as he claims, "not only demonstrated the traces of them but mainly made visible their absence in the form of presence and their presence in the form of absence."

In the future the effect of delocazione gave birth to a very sophisticated technique. Parmiggiani now burns objects (he prefers books) in his hermetically sealed studio with inflammable walls so that the smoke and soot leave traces on the walls. This way death and destruction give birth to something new that carries memories of the past and the sorrow of the loss while at the same time presents its visible image without ceasing to be an entity in its own right.

Despite the fact that now the artist does not search for his delocalized objects but creates them it is still important to him to avoid turning his works into merely display items – he wants them to be part of the general environment. In his words, "the space surrounding the art work forms a physical part of it: it is not simply its environment inside which it is located but its constituent part." Therefore, the present work was designed and created with a view to be displayed in a concrete room at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation.

In his brilliant essay Claudio Parmiggiani: House with Ghosts the French thinker Georges Didi-Huberman writes about the Delocazione series noting the connection of its spectral images with the exhibition space and the substances that created them: smoke, draft, and breath. "In the act of love two living breaths are intertwined. At the moment of a loss our breath remains alone and cannot give a sign to anyone any more. At the time of mourning and delusion our breath is barred by an air current: the breath of absence and of the place itself. The ghost."
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