New Karnak. Lithic Vertigo at Marmomacc
- Italy, Verona
Way before the architrave, the vault and other architectural figures related to stone constructions, there is the foundation act of collection. The biblical Tower of Babel appears just as an ambitious collective variation of those piles of stones made by unknown in order to mark a mountain path or a place worthy of memory.
The simple shape of the pyramid continues to fascinate us: from nature, it takes the mountain scale; from man, the esprit de géométrie and mystery of numbers. In its jealously guarded interior, megalithic galleries hang on the brave explorer in search of its secrets, empty spaces in which progressively overlapping boulders jutting toward the top – a technique known as “corbelling” – form a huge pyramid shaped cavern.
Archaic figure par excellence, it curiously reappears in times of crisis and refunding of architecture: in the gigantism of Etienne-Louis Boullée drawings; in “modern” projects such as those of Ivan Leonidov, Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn; in the great urban utopias by Paolo Soleri or Japanese Metabolists. But the dense megastructures depicted by the latter as cure to urban density have soon become the disturbing scenery of films such as Blade Runner.
Our installation for the “Vertigo” section of MARMOMACC is shaped like a slanting wedge, crossed by stone steps that rise towards a narrow cut of light or reflect on a smooth floor. The installation wants to stage the “grade zero” of stone stacking constructions, and evoke at the same time – through the ambiguous artifice of scaled model – the “new pyramids” of contemporary metropolis, projected into the search for a possible future.