The work was created for the project “Punctum. Working Papers”, and involved ten young artists for an intervention on some pictures that belonged to the historical Compagnia di San Paolo archive.
Punctum is a format created by the agency Promemoria aimed for promoting archives as active organisations and not just simple containers of the past.
“The care of the materials and the scrap recovery are some of the most frequent topics of Silvia Margaria’s research. In the first place she pondered on what was the value that was carrying something to have the dignity of a piece of archive. Among the pictures, she selected one that shows the reception room of a pawn shop, and she focused on the gestures of the employees who were collecting items. These items are, for those who are leaving them, “small parts of their lives” as Elena Loewenthal wrote in A day at a pawn shop: “objects are silent, we are the ones who delude ourselves to listen to them. How do you leave things when you discharge them? Is it better to be indifferent or to leave a piece of your heart behind?”. The huge value we gave to the items left in the pawn shops gives the employees a very important job. On their hands is focused the artists attention, who compared their manual skills to the ones of a surgeon who is performing an open heart procedure. On the detail from the original picture were super imposed to slideshows showing the heart of a donor, ready for the transplant. The film, due to the poor condition, was turned into red adding to the scene some drama further accentuated by the back lighting. This will put immediately into prominence the emotional implication of a seemingly trivial and repetitive action like the exchange of objects between user and employee.”
( Viola Invernizzi, curator of the exhibition “Punctum. Working Papers”)
2 light box
58,5 x 58,5 cm.