Irene Lupi



12 tiles of crude, unfired clay, 70×90 cm

Clay is a flexible material with the ability to assume many shapes and, therefore, to preserve the impression of an induced memory. My research is based on collective, historical, and individual memory. During a residency at the Tenuta di Sticciano estate, I involved the citizens of Certaldo and Fiano, asking them to tell old stories from which I then extracted objects that would be most accessible to memory.

Objects serve to visually help memory. e symbolic value of clay as a material is primordial, and is therefore free of the superstructures that might place it in a specific time-frame. In some ways, it was like forcing a memory into clay as a kind of synecdoche. At the end of the experience, I decided not to re the tablets so as to reinforce the concept of “mnemonic responsibility” which must be cultivated, continually double-checked, to maintain the details that otherwise would get lost. I wanted to underline the extreme precariousness of memory through the use of enormous, formidable blocks which, if le exposed to the elements, are in danger of being manipulated and resituated.

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