Felice Varini

Galerie Martina Detterer

In the early ’20s, Marcel Duchamp developed his rotation machines to call attention to the dependence of artistic meaning on fixed vantage points. Based on phenomena of visual physiology, these objects assign the observer a precise “viewpoint.” Similarly, Felice Varini designates a specific vantage point for viewing. In his recent installation entitled Six Carrés Libres Noirs (Six free black squares, 1990)—a series of perspectively distorted squares applied to the walls and the ceiling—it is only by approaching a mirror leaning against a column in the center of the exhibition space that the spectator assumes the requisite position for perceiving the black linear compositions as squares. The slightest change in vantage point and the image is no longer square, just as the mirror relinquishes its status as a conveyor of the image, and, once again, becomes a stationary object.

In Varini’s

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