Ugo La Pietra

Colpo di vento, 1970

Designed from 1967 onward as part of the "Destabilizing System", the “immersions” are presented like micro-spaces, momentarily cutting the individual off from the outside world by refocusing him on himself. These systems take the form of an ordeal, emphasizing the phenomenon of isolation and creating violent, sensitive phenomena. The Colpo di Vento (Immersione “Una Boccata d’ossigena”) / Gust of Wind (Immersion “A Breath of Fresh Air”) thus confronts the individual with the gaping nature of the black hole. Plunging his head into a dark metal tube, the way you plunge into a tunnel, the individual activates a pistol connected to a bottle of oxygen, and immediately receives a blast of fresh air in the face, amid a deafening noise. This paradoxical movement, inflicted by a “blast of oxygen” weapon, represents for La Pietra a “beneficial conflict”: the artist exaggerates and duplicates the feeling of confinement which, according to him, defines the individual’s relationship to the world, and arouses a leap of awareness.

Aurélien Vernant

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