View of “William Cobbing,” 2010.

William Cobbing

Viafarini DOCVA

View of “William Cobbing,” 2010.

Since Viafarini moved to its new space in 2008, this nonprofit art organization has often presented shows that mine the expressive potential of the building, a former tram depot. The first thing that caught the viewer’s eye in the English artist William Cobbing’s exhibition “Man in the Planet” was an extremely long orange pipe made of PVC; it ran across the space, seemingly passing through both the building’s supporting columns and the head of a life-size cement cast of the artist’s body—an untitled work originally made for a group show in Rome in 2006. As the curator of the Viafarini exhibition, Rita Selvaggio, states in the catalogue text, “The cast of the artist’s body, squeezed into these gaps, seems to emerge from the architecture, as if it had been generated by it, or looks as if it had just been buried in it for disinterment sometime in the next millennium.” The pipe

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