Rome, Turin, Milan

Alighiero e Boetti

Galeria Pieroni, Galleria Persano, Galleria Paludeno and Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea

A constant factor in these three exhibitions of work by Alighiero e Boetti is the investigation of order within apparently disordered spaces. In Mille Fiumi più lunghi (entitled in English Classifying the Thousand Longest Rivers of the World), 1977–82, Boetti imposes the Western rationality of the encyclopedia on the rivers’ chance geographic locations. A tapestry, sewn by artisans in Afghanistan, shows a listing of the rivers’ names in order of their lengths, which are also embroidered in. This transformation of natural data—the varying extents of the rivers’ courses—into objective, serial data shows a need for control that is not seen in the work’s manual execution, for Boetti delegated this task to others, the anonymous artisans who sewed the project. Rather, his control lies in his need to eliminate all emotionality from the perception of reality. To enumerate, codify, serialize—these

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