(1) How long have you been making installations?
I created my first installations in 1983, but even as early as 1970 I had composed a work, which was in fact a walk-in environment, with the title "A Delicate Balance", where the forms and structures interacted with the visitors, who were able to enter and move around the room along clearly defined paths.
There came a moment in my artistic career when I felt the need to reconstruct something of the emotions and atmosphere of the natural spaces where I had made the observations which formed the basis of my drawings of the flight of birds. For me these were moments of intense involvement. The large size and the three-dimensional character of the installation enabled me to recreate the memory of the place, the event and the felt emotion.
I think I have on occasions succeeded - by bringing together signs and materials - in sending a forceful message urging the refocusing of man's attention on nature.
It is difficult to comment on the differences between one's own work and that of another artist. An artist's energy is directed at penetrating as deeply as possible into his/her own field of research and it consequently becomes difficult to be sufficiently open towards other poetic directions, especially those that depart radically from one's own.
I believe that installations are more effective ways of rendering the material and the tangible; what comes across is a more powerful message not only for the mind but also for the body. The attention of even the most distracted spectator will be drawn by an installation whether in an exhibition space or in an open space (where I have staged installations on several occasions). The large size and the fact that the visitor is able not only to observe but also physically enter the space where the artist has woven his/her magic, may perhaps explain why an installation proves different from a two-dimensional work hanging on a wall (artwork), which calls for a greater capacity for abstraction if it is to be fully understood.
For reasons already given I think that installations should be of a certain size (at least as big as the human body) and the the most diverse materials can prove interesting in this type of work.
I see installations
more as an ephemeral creative gesture than a work which is fixed in time. The
materials used in an installation always interact with the surronding space
and the work achieves completion by constantly transforming that space. In all
my work in the field of installations (which are incidentally almost impossible
to put to commercial use - a factor of no little importance), whenever I staged
works in closed spaces such as art galleries or museums I always had to dismantle
the work at the end of the exhibition. I had, as it were, to obliterate it,
entrusting the memory of the gesture to the photographic record alone. When
I staged installations in open spaces, especially during periods of isolation
in nature together with other artists, and in particular when I worked exclusively
with natural materials gathered on the spot, I thought it right that the works
should remain there awaiting transformation in time so that they too could enter
the changing cycle of nature.
Luisella CARRETTA (I)