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I feel mysterious today consists of a shelving made of medium density, divided into 88 shelves each containing 88 backs covered with different fabrics and materials – velvet, leather – reminiscent of bound volumes of different colors. Under 80 of the 88 backs there are engraved phrases, such as “Going into a room let the objects look at you” or “Blue Tapestry on synthetic line of Dadaism”. Some of the engravings on the shelves bring a performance that actually the artist has put in place, others are deliberately impossible.
This is an installation which contains the necessary information for other 80 hypothetical artworks. The title evokes a kind of paradox: to make the public understand the value of the work, Vetrugno has decided to build a library with a range of volumes consulted.
The backs are 88 because the 8 for the Chinese is an auspicious number, and Vetrugno chose to double it in achieving the total number of spines.
Excerpts from the technical interview with Maurizio Vetrugno:
“In general I have to say that the beginning of my artistic career is dotted with radical changes of structure, consisting of technical and often different material choices, so at some point I felt to not have any iconographic reference, while when they ask me directly then I am able to answer and explain each choice and motivation about my work. “
“This artwork was exhibited in May 1994, but I had not been commissioned nor I designed it especially for that exhibition, I remember that it took me about a year to project and complete it.”
“Regarding the backs in I feel mysterious today, I liked the idea that those in skin and scalp evoke the image of great libraries and important volumes, while the coloured ones move this perception, creating confusion and expectation.”
“I’ve always thought properly about the durability and also the transport of my works, for example, I chose not to work with pewter, heavier and more difficult to roll and then be packaged. I’ve never worked on paper because I consider it a problematic material, which gives big issue to the collector after thirty years, such as sputtering. I choose solid materials. “
The interview was carried out within the project Interview with art, by Benedetta Bodo Albaretto in collaboration with the Center of Conservation and Restoration of Venaria Reale and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin.