With Simple confession – a work specifically created for this exhibition – Christian Fogarolli conducts his personal investigation into fundamental themes such as the relationship between man and nature and man and science. Simultaneously, he continues exploring the features and the role of knowledge and research, meant as the motors of human existence.
Simple confession is an installation that originates from a specific earthquake neutralizer (“valvola antisismica” in Italian), a device conceived and created by a visionary researcher whose theories hinged on scientific as well as philosophical basis: Pier Luigi Ighina (1908-2004). During his life, Ighina elaborated numerous theories in physics and created different machines aimed at confronting problems linked with human survival on earth, such as atmospheric calamities and earthquakes. The “valvola antisismica”, as it can be easily deduced from its name that can be literally translated as “anti-seismic valve”, was invented to prevent seismic tremors: as it is said, the town of Imola – where Ighina worked – was spared from an earthquake in 1985 thanks to one of these machines.
In his installation, Christian Fogarolli recreates the double tetrahedron structure of this “valvola sismica”: in Ighina’s original design, part of the machine is stuck into the ground, while Fogarolli chooses to show the whole solid in its entirety and in its formal purity, which almost resembles an abstract sculpture. Moreover, the artist completes the installation by adding a track that can be listened to from a pair of earplugs coming out from one of the solid’s sides. This parascientific work thus includes a violin execution of a track by Francis Thomé (1850-1909), whose title Simple Aveu (“simple confession” in English) has been borrowed by Fogarolli for this work. Music is present under two forms: auditory and visual. The first one has already been described above, while the second one consists of a pierced paper roll, approximately 10 metres long: a piano roll – a storage medium used in the beginning of the twentieth century to operate automatic pianos (pneumatic player pianos). This roll also looks like an abstract vision and, moreover, its appearance is more similar to a seismograph record rather than a sheet music.
Christian Fogarolli presents us with a mysterious object that, following the best tradition of the artistic sublime, combines aesthetic beauty (music, “sculpture”, the piano roll) with the fear for one’s personal safety (the destruction caused by a quake and the very human attempt to prevent natural calamities).