Façades (2011)

Keywords: scale, human-nature, anthropocentric sublime, the exform

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to ‘glorify God and enjoy him forever.’

Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fable tells us that we were long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes; it is error upon error, and clout upon clout, and our best virtue has for its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretchedness. Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!”

Excerpt from Walden, Henry David Thoreau. 1854

Façades has been a journey with many points of departure, that at times came so close to touch and even intersect one another. It has been, as well, a work conducted at one robot arm, four hands, two sensibilities. It started in a quarry in Carrara, when, confronted with the vertigo of the mountain, natural entity, sliced relentlessly by the human intervention, we wondered if that same sublime could be captured in a scale so intimately close to (and affecting of) the body - such as jewellery’s. The same diaphanous sharpness of the cut-up mountains embodied in pieces to bear on the flesh. In this sense, Façades is a work that challenges the idea of scale both its very concept and by means of the techniques employed.