“Because she had finally realized that my cousin loved only the Moon, and the only thing she wanted now was to become the Moon, to be assimilated into the object of that extrahuman love.” -Italo Calvino,
The first encounter is between me and a site. Sometimes a place seems familiar to me. Sometimes I feel it invites me to play with it. It comes as a whole; its poetic potential defined by its physical limits. In order to explore these limits, a place can be destroyed, shocked, twisted, or as in this case, certain physical attributes be drawn out, accentuated. Here, the site is the empty pool of a park in Venice. Without water the pool becomes an open space, accessible to anybody. Its particular shape and surface reminded me of the image of a moonscape. This is what drove me to Italo Calvino’s story “The Distance of The Moon.” According to an ancient theory by Sir George H. Darwin, at a previous time the moon and the earth were once very close, but as time went by the tides moved them apart. Calvino imagines a time when human beings could easily jump from one to the other and gather supplies of a special substance called moon-milk. I was particularly fascinated by the relationship between two characters in the story: a woman and a deaf boy. As her love for the boy is not returned, she decides to remain on the moon forever, to become the object of his love. I drew inspiration from this to develop a series of actions taking place in that space. While she is trying to draw the attention of her beloved through the music of a harp, he is deep in his game of sounds made with metallic toys, dancing into the space and interacting with her body in a constant game of seduction and rejection. This dimension of intimacy is betrayed by a sense of incommunicability. Indeed the attempt of communication between the two ends up in a condition of extreme isolation from each other. I used sound as the driving force of their physical actions. By sprinkling the pool’s ground with flour, I brought out the rough aspect of the moon’s surface. The objects I chose were metallic tools, mainly domestic ones, which, according to the story, were the most subjected to the magnetic attraction of the moon: a set of keys, cutlery, pots, trays, iron bars.