The Twentieth century invented time. It is with this statement that Valerio Dehò starts the reflection about the exhibition he himself curated, which features works by Irma Blank, Hanne Darboven, Paolo Icaro, Joachim Schmid, Franco Vaccari. We could discuss the project with the curator really a little, thus we chose to base the exhibition on what was the meaning of the initial statement to us, which sounded like an axiom to our ears.
In particular, we were struck by the singular inversion of point of view: according to us, the Twentieth century had more importantly questioned the idea of time, its measurability – taken for granted until then – and its absoluteness. Having a look to the works, though, it was gradually clearer what the curator meant with that statement: each artist seemed to have their own concept of time, totally independent from the others’. Some works seemed nostalgic, others seemed to be visionary, to anticipate epochs.
The organization of the works according to a temporal criterion, even though it resulted as quite a didactic solution considering the title, was thus a stratagem in order to highlight the sequence and the character traits.
During the creation of the catalogue, the curator had asked every artist to write a textual contribution – in order to present their own idea of time – so as it could be a counterpoint to the works exhibited. The heterogeneity, also formal, of the texts, which were given just before the finishing of the book, proves the variety of point of views of each artist, so as to perfectly fit into our project.