CONTAINERS BIGGER THAN
"If you have some friends
and a plastic basin over it
and a linen cloth as a sail
and also a fair wind astern
and much fortune –
it is easy " To swim across the Atlantic ".
Five days, from 14 to 19 August 1982, this
was the time occurred to cross the ocean from England to New York on
the liner QE2, to swim in the swimming pool four hours in the morning
and four hours in the afternoon. The time occurred to consider the
swimming pool as a space where to work, just like an office and from
this '"office" to give the passengers, swimming with me, a certificate
proving that they did cross a portion of the Atlantic Ocean. To go in
and out of the two customs, handing my passport, dipped in a basin with
small wheels, pushed by the customs officers.
The swimmer metaphor as a concept determining one's life, one's
physiognomy, one's body and one's behaviour.
Neither water nor swimming are important.
To cross as a verb, a thought, a determination; to run a risk and to
undergo the world and media in a self-trap... In the Seventies lie was
the word I used. It was a mise-en-scËne, a design.
A title like a neon sign, to understand if it may go.
Three years of preparation, 12 exhibitions and performances from Milan
to New York. Two years before the true travel, I realized a theatre
opera. On the Pierlombardo theatre stage, a 10 meter long swimming pool
where I told the story of my future travel.
The message I intended to give was that a particular title might have a
quite "irresistible" force costing almost nothing. It was like
detecting in advance that communication might manipulate practically
It comes to my mind that the so-called communication age could be
called also the manipulation age, which has always existed.
What is the reason of swimming in a container, in a swimming pool and
in a boat, whilst containers have been enlarged, promoted, multiplied,
inter-changed better and better all over the world? And in the meantime
this is just what happened: contents have become tenuous and shyer.
The temple of Olympia hardly contained the statue of Zeus by Fidia,
which is perhaps an anomaly in the history but in the inverse sense.
Despite this, such formulation which is a sort of communication too,
lasted a thousand years. For a long-lasting communication an adequate
relation was necessary between content and its cover. In the arts it
happened often that contents, thoughts, projects transferred to art and
to life were welcomed.
It is normal to be enthusiastic if you can plan with an excess of
margin. And to expect a future development in the use of spaces and of
any type of enterprise. All this optimism, almost obligatory, has not
brought us to some periphery loneliness?
Who knows where analysis will carry us if we do not take into account
the sublime value anymore?
Long time ago, when I was a student at the Academy of Sofia, I felt
much surprised to discover that Greek sculptors did not study anatomy.
They used to observe bodies, life and shapes very carefully. As we see,
It was more than sufficient.