Riccardo Calduracaldura

"within reach"

The concept of Land Art as presented in these projects needs to be clarified. The meaning of Land Art here does not coincide with that in current artistic usage, particularly in the American sense which, from the end of the 60s to the middle of the 70s pushed the possibility of public participation to the limits. The places where Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer or Walter De Maria did their work were not at all easy to reach. The concept of "Sublime Nature" came through as a sort of attack on those artists who saw in the city and mass culture the true subjects for artistic attention.
Events such as "Ciamps" in Pordenone show an approach which is totally different from the American concept and equally divorced from the nature/city debate. In contrast, the works made in Friuli were situated in urban parks or in easily accessible areas. Works done in easily reachable natural environments can shed new light on the areas in unexpected ways and does not preclude their ability to momentarily defy the expectations of observers.
But the way they are conceived and executed makes them noticeable, enjoyable and "consumable" from the point of view of both the observer and of nature itself which rigorously and exclusively provides the raw materials for these works. The urban definition of consumption, so modern and urban, meets the natural idea of perishing and of natural decay by the passage of time and weathering.
Works of this kind aim to get close to nature rather than surpass it and so their ephemeral nature introduces a different concept of "consumption" related to natural cycles. Those who work in this way show an ability to get close to nature, almost to be part of it leaving one difference, and the ability of the observer to recognise this difference, which is the distinction between two ways of transforming things, of modifying what already exists in the here and now.
One way is that of Nature in which change or lack of change is how Nature works. Man on the other hand observes what exists and recognises the possibilities and implications (for good or evil) of changing his surroundings. Technology is Man's extraordinary instrument not merely of transformation but also transformation to his own requirements. Today, when technology has reached an advanced stage of development, many people from many disciplines are questioning whether this imperative of change is the only way that Man should behave towards Nature.
Are there not other ways of transforming things, to modify the existing: ways which are more measured, watchful and less invasive and somehow sensitively aware of the values and virtue of human transformation? What in the end is the objective of exploring that gesture which understands what the environment offers and which understands how to transform the materials found without presumption?
Perhaps nothing else but the surprise and astonishment created by an art which has not forgotten its sense of wonder.

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