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SELF-PORTRAIT WITH MEMORIES
“The room was at the end of the passage in a big apartment. An old drawing room, everything inside red, with golden patterns on the walls and on the curtains... red everywhere. Only the pavement, a wooden floor, had a dark brown colour. The room was always closed, I don't remember it being used, not even one time. Sometimes I managed to sneak in. On the walls there were religious figures and there was this unmistakable smell of wallpaper, dust, wax, wood, old books... the smell of 'closed'. I don't know why I wanted to go there, I was scared, but the room released an intensity on which I fed.
During summer it was unbearably hot, no fresh air. The windows were closed and always darkened to prevent the sunlight of damaging the wallpaper. I had to turn on the light and the red was even more intense, obsessive and the smell sharp and warm.
No summer scenes in the windows. I don't remember the windows. I always stayed close to the door and I looked meticulously at every corner waiting for something to happen.
The noises of the family far away, in the other part of the house.
In winter the room was black and white – ice cold – without odours, and with frost flowers on the windows. The glass was handmade and contorted the outside images – they fluctuated.
The snow seemed water and the water seemed snow. In the evening the headlights of the passing cars projected the moving silhouettes of the windows on the walls. The glass granted strange reflections to the light, like waves in the water, and illuminated the religious figures. They seemed alive and threatening, but at the same time ethical inside their own world that came to life every evening... I sometimes sat down on the armchair and tried to understand.
For many years I haven't seen the room. Only little time ago I had the opportunity. The room hadn't changed. I decided to use it again and fill it with memories, so I could look at it from another dimension, with the touch of time extended and superimposed, always staying close to the door.”
Using unique techniques developed autonomously, Franco Maurina tells a tormenting travel through his memories. Everything happens in one room, where the spectator can observe the centre of a scenery that has neither stage nor curtains. Music and lights materialize in space and complete each other with objects carefully placed by the author. It is a 'non'-place that can be transferred to any house or any city. What matters is the representation of the memory, which is already assimilated in the show and which has no limits, not in space and not in time. No machine at present on the market is capable of recreating this atmosphere.
The research of the proper technology has been a work of 15 years and it is still evolving, always aiming at the artistic, and not at the technological achievement.
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