ATPdiary invited some curators to point out three international artworks that summarize – or are meaningful of – three historical periods. 

1 from the past, even very distant.

1 from the present, focusing on the contemporary moment.

1 from the future, with a strong perspective, in a nutshell, towards what’s next. 

Chiara Vecchiarelli

Past —

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Il Ratto di Proserpina (1621-22), detail

Pluto’s hold of Proserpina’s body. Those hands, her hip and thigh. Gian Lorenzo Bernini was only twenty-three year old at the completion of the sculptural group commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. As one moves around the sculpture in Villa Borghese a detail stands out: those fingers, their fondling grasp on matter. The myth goes that Proserpina, the daughter of Ceres, was taken by Pluto to his kingdom, the Underworld. Every year, along with Spring, Proserpina resurfaced on Earth welcomed with a carpet of flowers.

Her enamorment with the surface of earth, Pluto’s with that of his lover, Bernini’s with the feel of his marbles, they all take us by way of attraction to that place beyond language where dwells she who was referred to as the ‘unspeakable girl’. Here, somewhere on the surface, resides that which matters in matter.

Footnote to the past —

The surface tension of Milkstone by Wolfgang Laib (1983).

Gian Lorenzo Bernini,   Il Ratto di Proserpina (1621-22),   detail

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Il Ratto di Proserpina (1621-22), detail

Milkstone by Wolfgang Laib (1983)

Milkstone by Wolfgang Laib (1983)

Present —

 Pierre Huyghe, Untitled (2012), detail

Untitled marks the appearance of an arranged yet unconstrained opening onto the potentially ontogenetic dimension of unscripted relationships. In this detail: A woman with no name, no gaze, a crawling head colonised by bees, their trajectories partaking in her being. Emmanuel Lévinas’ ‘beyond the face’ unfolds in the conditions of a plurality existing contingently, its transcendency consisting in its appearance.

parce qu’il la transmue en apparence, il rend cette “réalité” transparente à ce qui s’annonce au-delà d’elle et c’est pourquoi il n’attache aucune valeur à la donnée matérielle pour autant qu’elle ne serait pas apparence, c’est à dire apparition. Et c’est en ce sens que l’Imagination accomplit à chaque fois une “création nouvelle”… (Henry Corbin)

Pierre Huyghe Untitled,   2012 - Courtesy the artist,   Marian Goodman Gallery,   New York,   Paris,   Esther Schipper,   Berlin

Pierre Huyghe Untitled, 2012 – Courtesy the artist, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris, Esther Schipper, Berlin

Future —

Gino de Dominicis, Palla di gomma (caduta da 2 metri) nell’attimo immediatamente precedente il rimbalzo [Rubber ball (fallen from 2 meters high) the moment immediately prior to its bouncing] (1969)

The title says it all. To the idea of the universe’s big bounce (perhaps). To all the bounces to come. To a life that is always about to bounce.

So we have now, a movement lively enough to be a thing in itself moving, it does not have to move against anything to know that it is moving. (Gertrude Stein)

Footnote to the future —

The vitality entailed in Pierre Huyghe’s Cambrian Explosion (2014).

Gino de Dominicis,   Palla di gomma (caduta da 2 metri) nell'attimo immediatamente precedente il rimbalzo - Rubber ball (fallen from 2 meters high) the moment immediately prior to its bouncing,   1969

Gino de Dominicis, Palla di gomma (caduta da 2 metri) nell’attimo immediatamente precedente il rimbalzo – Rubber ball (fallen from 2 meters high) the moment immediately prior to its bouncing, 1969

Pierre Huyghe’s Cambrian Explosion (2014)

Pierre Huyghe’s Cambrian Explosion (2014)