Today #2 (Oggi #2)

Luca Bertolo, Oggi #2 (Today #2), verde Alpi mable, 20x47x3 cm, 2019. Foto by Camilla M. Santini. Courtesy SPazioA, Pistoia.

Artist: Luca Bertolo

Title: Oggi #2 

Year: 2019

Material: verde Alpi marble

Dimension: 20x47x3 cm

Technique: hand chiselled engraving (made by the artist)

Collocation: artist‘s collection

Luca Bertolo studied computer science at the Università Statale of Milan and then painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of Milan. His works have been shown in public institutions, including MART, Rovereto; GAM, Torino; GNAM, Roma; Centro Luigi Pecci, Prato; 176 / Zabludowicz Collection, London; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; and in private galleries, including SpazioA, Pistoia; Arcade, London/Bruxelles; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Galerie Perrotin, Paris; The Goma, Madrid; Pierogi gallery, New York. He has contributed several articles to Italian art magazines. A collection of his texts on art has recently been published in Italy: I baffi del bambino. Scritti sull’arte e sugli artisti, Quodlibet, 2018. Since 2010, he has been teaching painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Bologna and Florence.

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Cite this blog post
Luca Bertolo (2021, December 21). Today #2 (Oggi #2). Geschichtstheorie am Werk. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from

2 Responses

  1. English below

    Quanto m’intriga quest’oggi a cui Luca Bertolo ha dedicato un monumento!
    È come se l’artista tentasse di risolvere (senza riuscirci) il paradosso che caratterizza ogni monumento. O vuole forse più semplicemente portarlo in superficie? Oppure cerca di immortalare questo paradosso monumentalizzandolo? Può un monumento ambire all’eternità se il suo significato è “oggi”?
    Il paradosso risiede a mio giudizio nel fatto che ogni monumento si ripromette di tramandare al futuro una determinata offerta di senso e di memoria, illudendosi che questa offerta di senso rimanga inalterata. Questa volontà testamentaria comincia ad essere disattesa nel momento stesso in cui il monumento è svelato ed è oggetto di ricezione, sincronica e diacronica. Ogni monumento – eretto nella pretesa di eternizzare un certo passato – comincia ad invecchiare non appena offerto alla ricezione del pubblico…
    Ma allora può un monumento dedicato all’oggi, cioè ad un significato che non muta nel tempo e che rimane ad ogni istante identico a stesso, sfuggire alla ruota del tempo?
    È forse questo il solo monumento immaginabile che sia capace di soddisfare la pretesa di trasmettere un messaggio inalterato nel tempo?
    Oppure quest’“Oggi” è una “metaopera” che richiama l’attenzione sul fatto che ogni monumento non parla mai del passato, ma sempre del presente in atto di rappresentare il passato…
    Anche l’“Oggi” di Luca Bertolo porta il segno del tempo. La scritta è in lingua italiana, una lingua che nasce dal Fiorentino letterario in uso nel Trecento; i caratteri sono in corsivo o in stampatello minuscolo, una forma grafica che ha soppiantato le maiuscole dell’alfabeto latino… C’è tanta storia in quest’opera, il significato è apparentemente atemporale, la forma e i grafemi testimoniano il trascorrere del tempo e la trasformazione della cultura.
    Forse quest’opera ci vuole invitare a pensare che non appena tracciato, qualsiasi segno, porta – nolens volens – l’impronta del tempo, o di un presente subito passato.
    O forse ci sta ponendo di fronte all’illusione in cui si culla segretamente ogni artista, ossia di produrre qualcosa che abbia una validità atemporale perché eterna?
    Perché non intitolare l’opera “vanitas”?

    I am intrigued by this today to which Luca Bertolo has dedicated a monument!
    It is as though the artist were trying to resolve (without success) the paradox that characterizes every monument. Perhaps he simply wants to bring this paradox to the surface. Or is he trying to immortalize it by making it a monument? Can a monument aspire to eternity if its meaning is “today”?
    In my opinion, the paradox lies in the fact that every monument promises to pass on to the future a specific offer of meaning and of memory, deluding itself in the process that this offer of meaning will remain unaltered. The very moment the monument is unveiled and becomes the object of both synchronic and diachronic reception, this testamentary will is gradually ignored. Every monument – erected with the expectation of eternalizing a certain past – begins to age as soon as it is presented to the public…
    But then, can a monument dedicated to today, to a meaning that does not change with time and remains identical every second, escape the wheel of time?
    Is this perhaps the only conceivable monument capable of satisfying the claim of transmitting a message that remains unchanged over time?
    Or is this “Today” a sort of “meta-work” that draws attention to the fact that monuments speak only of the present in the act of representing the past…
    Luca Bertolo’s “Today” also bears the sign of time. The writing is in Italian, a language that originated from the literary Florentine language in use in the fourteenth century; the characters are in italics or lower case block letters, a graphic form that supplanted the capital letters of the Latin alphabet… There is so much history in this work, the meaning is apparently timeless, the form and graphemes bear witness to the passage of time and cultural transformation.
    Perhaps this work wants to invite us to think that as soon as it is traced, any sign bears – nolens volens – the imprint of time or a present that has passed in an instant.
    Or could it be confronting us with the illusion that all artists secretly cradle, that is, of producing something of timeless validity, something eternal?
    Why not call the work “vanitas”?

    • Marcus Wystub says:

      “Every monument […] begins to age as soon as it is presented to the public…”. Das Monument altert in seiner Bedeutung, schreibt Lisa Regazzoni. Gleichzeitig ist es aber darauf angelegt, eine ewige, nicht zerfallende Botschaft zu transportieren. Diesen Gedanken finde ich spannend, auf der Ebene der Materialität des Objekts weiterzuführen. Was passiert, wenn die Halterung beginnt zu rosten? Wird das Monument fallen und kaputt gehen? Könnte das Objekt wieder zusammengesetzt werden? Und was passiert, wenn nichts damit passiert? Welche Dauer ist also im Erwartungshorizont des Künstlers bzw. in das Marmor eingraviert? Unabhängig davon, ob etwas passiert, das Heute (oggi) bleibt nicht das Heute. Das Objekt altert nicht nur in der Rezeption dessen, es zerfällt regelrecht – zumindest in einer von mir angenommenen langen Dauer. Dementsprechend zeigt sich das Paradox, von dem Lisa Regazzoni schreibt, auch in der materiellen Ebene des Objekts.
      Das Monument ist in Hinsicht auf eine lange Dauer gestaltet worden. Nicht ohne Grund wird sich der Künstler dazu entschieden haben, die Buchstaben handgemeißelt einzugravieren (Spuren, die für die Ewigkeit im Marmor erhalten bleiben sollen). “In my opinion, the paradox lies in the fact that every monument promises to pass on to the future a specific offer of meaning and of memory, deluding itself in the process that this offer of meaning will remain unaltered.” Die Andersheit wird eingetroffen sein. Das Material verändert sich. Ob durch die Einwirkung von außen oder vom Zerfallsprozess des Materials selbst. So sehr Metall (Halterung) und Marmor die Zeit überdauern sollen, so sehr steht fest, dass das Material dem Zerfall ausgesetzt ist. Die Dauer ist unklar. Dass es (heute) anders sein wird, das ist das Paradox, von dem Lisa Regazzoni spricht, das das Werk in sich trägt. Dem Rad der Zeit wird es also nicht entkommen können – zumindest in seiner Materialität nicht.

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