Touchstones, 2017 – ongoing

“Men have collected stones since the beginning of time and have apparently assumed that certain ones were the containers of the spirit of the life force with all its mystery”, stating C. G. Jung in “Man and his Symbols”, 1964.

Rocks and boulders are a traditional motif of landscape representation in painting “Dolmen in autumn”, circa 1820 by C. D. Friedrich, in photography, “Franchard”, 1865, by E. Cuvelier, and are obviously the raw material or the primary subject matter of sculpture, as in the work of Japanese artist Isamu Noguchi.

Looking at erratic boulders, I’ve often found myself thinking about the meanings of these beautiful objects. Obviously, I couldn’t pick up a rock of several tons, so taking pictures resembles a sort of collecting act, an equivalent of the Japanese Suiseki art or of the more instinctive act of picking up a nice pebble while walking by the sea.

To my eyes, these “foundling” boulders have a contradictory nature: they are huge blocks of stone, which is the symbol of persistence, of something eternal, without emotions, perfectly calm and serene, but at the same time they are erratic, displaced, moved far away by gigantic glaciers and now foreigners within the surrounding landscape. 

In a way, these rocks are like primeval sculptures that allow me to reconnect with the basic fascination for shapes and forms, with the innate need to recognize aesthetic values and symbolic meanings in the world. 

Standing motionless and austere in front of us, they are touchstones of our consciousness of the ephemeral, question marks about time and ourselves. 

Caspar David Friedrich, 1774-1840, Hünengrab im Herbst, Dolmen in Autumn, vers 1820. Dresde, Gemälde Galerie Neue Meister, Albertinum.

Eugène Cuvelier, Gorges de Franchard – Forêt de Fontainebleau (Franchard Gorges – Fontainebleau Forest), October 20, 1863, National Gallery of Art.

David Finn, Isamu Noguchi at the Noguchi Garden Museum, c.1985, ©David Finn Archive, Department of Image Collections, National Gallery of Art Library, Washington, DC.

24.11.17 – 08:40 - Photograph by Giorgio Agazzi
24.11.17 – 11:24 - Photograph by Giorgio Agazzi
12.04.23 - 07:05 - Photograph by Giorgio Agazzi
12.04.23 - 07:25 - Photograph by Giorgio Agazzi
12.04.23 - 11:32 - Photograph by Giorgio Agazzi
11.04.23 - 09:43 - Photograph by Giorgio Agazzi
11.04.23 - 11:37 - Photograph by Giorgio Agazzi
11.04.23 - 12:18 - Photograph by Giorgio Agazzi