Aberrazione (Aberrations)

1992/93 - Rome, Piazza San Pantaleo

Materials: cobblestones, sand, red paint, white marble.

Dimensions: diameter m 4 x h 0,6.

Planned originally for the show Progetto marmo e pietra (Project Marble and Stone) (Rome, Scuderie di Palazzo Ruspoli, January, 1993) the work was refused by the organizing committee, which held that the use of the swastika was ambiguous despite the work’s title which clearly calls it an Aberrazione (Aberration). Submitted afterwards to the city of Rome for a manifestation against racism, the pile of cobblestones with the red painted swastika - that voluntarily resembles the top of a skinhead - was created in Piazza San Pantaleo, in the heart of the historic center of the city, on the 23rd of March, the day before the anniversary of the Nazi massacre of Italians at the Fosse Ardeatine. The sculpture, however, didn’t remain intact for more than five minutes: even here, not withstanding the fact that the inscription of the title of the work was clearly evident. The reaction against these symbols of Nazi horrors was too strong; and, as the newspapers reported, in a few minutes the stones that were painted red were overturned by people passing by, creating an ever cruder effect if that is possible, with the shape of the swastika left as they had been incised, even if the image is less clear, in the pile that rose up from the asphalt.

Laura Iamurri