Somaini’s sculpture – sculpture of the fragment – not the fragment of anything specific but fragment in the absolute sense. A reconstruction of the original from which the fragment was rent would show us not an object but space; to locate this space one would have to delve into time past since, for Somaini, space is not universal hypothesis but the world of yesterday. In the plastic masses one can still clearly make out the horizontal, vertical, oblique, croocked and criss-cross thrusts of some time space that no longer has existence. These are masses without existence that have a spacial origin. The space, with its distinct structure, had occupied the place where now there is nothing but a formless lump of overwrought, barely quenched matter; the passages through which blew the vital currents of space can still be seen like huge veins laid bare and dissected. The process of aggregation in this plastic matter is not centrifugal but centripetal: the matter does not expand, it extracts or deducts itself from space; it does not dilate, it deposits. Space, therefore, is done with, it ceases to exist; it has left, however, a solid residue which is our only source of knowledge concerning its original nature. Thus we discover that this space was not, was never, a geometrical construction; it was reality itself, heavy with things and happenings, widespread, without confine, and quivering with life.

(From: Somaini, Italian Cultural Institute, New York, 1960; XXX Venice Biennale, 1960) 


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