VIRGINIA ARIU (IT, 1992)
Residency period: July 2023
The research I initiated at La Becque employs caustic design in the creation of sculptural-photographic hybrids, drawing parallels to one of Italo Calvino’s books, ‘Six Memos for the Next Millennium’ (1988). In the book, the writer considers the virtues of lightness, in his view one of literature’s most significant qualities, and envisions how to project them into the future. The work I presented at the Open Studios elaborates a visual transposition of Calvino’s literary understanding of lightness, encompassing both aspects of the term: luminescence and weight subtraction.
In the first memo, ‘Lightness’, Calvino imagines an era in which “weightless bits” travel along circuits as electronic impulses in an information flow. Following this principle, the project employs the technology developed by Rayform, a spin-off of the EPFL, which created a computer algorithm able to generate light shaping surfaces. Like a fantasy of dematerialisation rebooted for a cyberspatial era, the work is itself a note, or preliminary draft, for the creation of a modern analogy of the ‘Allegory of the Cave’ in an age of computer-generated images. The project presents an oneiric dimension where the cave becomes a fictional universe that discards continuity to re-shape its characters, plot-lines and backstory from zero. Where images, similarly to refractions, dissipate in rippled patterns as if they were adjacent to water. — Virginia Ariu
Virginia Ariu’s practice encompasses various mediums, including sculpture, photography, collages, and readymades, which converge into installation displays. Her work explores human relationships, examining how intimacy, reciprocity, and social affiliations manifest in human-made systems such as architecture, infrastructure, and technology. She employs different type of materials for their economic properties, reusing and rearranging pre-existing images and leftover materials to create narratives that address accessibility, vulnerability, and transition. Through variation, alteration, and rearrangement, Ariu imbues established signs and symbols with new meanings, engaging viewers in a process that challenges internal and external realms while maintaining a subjective dimension.
1-3: Virginia Ariu, La Becque, photos Matthieu Croizier
4-10: Virginia Ariu, La Becque Open Studios, photos Aurélien Haslebacher and Virginia Ariu