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When Place Becomes Sculpture: A Conversation with Mauro Staccioli
by Laura Tansini


Mauro Staccioli first received critical attention at the beginning of the 1970s with a group of “signs,” as he calls his works. For him, the location of these signs is of utmost importance—place becomes sculpture (in Francesca Pola’s phrase). Staccioli’s first works were hostile objects installed in urban contexts, symbolic forms that bore witness to the social and political difficulties of the time. In the ’80s, as his work matured, the political side became less important. Meaning in these works came from their relationship to their context (whether urban or natural). As Staccioli gave up using sculptures as obstacles, his forms became more abstract and less symbolically significant. Still, they communicated a precarious instability, as arcs, circles, and rings shifted away from their center of gravity.

Primi Passi, 2009.
Cor-ten steel, 805 x 1,300 x 40 cm.

Photo: Bob Tyson

 


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