An ex elementary school project

Villa Dalegno, Temù BS

The scene is as follows. During an exploratory walk around Villa Dalegno, Alberto Scodro comes across a building undergoing reconstruction. It is a disused school ready to be transformed into a reception and transit centre for the tourism. Currently the last stages are underway: the brick- layers have finished redoing the plasterwork, the flooring, and the wiring. Pending the arrival of new funds, the final touches have still to be done: door frames, doors, and the last smoothing with a trowel. Inside there are still some traces of building work: some holes have been covered with wooden planks, part of the tubing is sheathed in waterproof rubber, and planks, iron rods, and electric welding plates are scattered around the rooms. Grass has grown up among the site’s leftovers and a farm worker has profited from this temporary abandonment to unload some bales of hay. While the project waits for some economic news, someone, perhaps curious or impatient or bored, has thrown stones at the windows.
When Alberto took the keys and entered the rooms, stones, witnesses to this dialogue, lay among the remains of the broken windows inside the building. The scene was perfect: sufficiently unfin- ished to be reorganized but sufficiently in order to need the cognitive violation that keeps objects, artist, and the public on an even footing. Alberto Scodro’s work began with one of the stones that had broken the window and that lay in the large first-floor room. As on other occasions, Alberto worked instinctively. Following his personal taste, he interwove the inside and the outside, re- measured the space, cleaned the areas of interest, cut the grass, and used what was available in order to compose his sculptural machine. Once the intervention was “completed”, the installation became a kind of musical score of the experience of his visit.
In the entrance hall we are greeted by a globe at the top of the stairs. It marks the centre of the itinerary and is also a spatial and acoustic reference point (drips fall from it and fall some six me- tres below at regular intervals) to help us walk around it. The works left behind by the builders become abstract pictures. Impactful, like pieces by Uncini or Burri though rather more Pop be- cause they use new materials: blue insulators, coloured plastic bags etcetera. The rods have been bent to draw space, as though they were a canoe by Zorio or a tension-piece by Fabro. Wormwood plants brought in from outside have been suspended from ropes. The ropes are pulled tight by stones tied to their extremities and \which hang in the air outside. Up in the air in another room, the electric welding network acts as host to other remnants of plants. A web of ropes opens out from the stone that originally broke the division between what was outside and what was inside and, besides highlighting the perspectival vision, creates a barrier that has to be crossed. The de- sign of the new equilibrium is precarious and is well defined by blocks of ice attached to the wall. Until they melt they contain a sample of the stones from the area, stones which have been cut and polished-up for the occasion. When the ice melts the stones fall to the floor and the viewers’ visual pleasure is subverted by their attempts to keep their feet dry.
This is how it goes with Alberto Scodro. His sculptural machines answer the experience and se- curity of the viewers with a complex series of planes, evocations, and sensations that muddle together stage and audience, artist and builder, adepts and public.