Marco Di Piazza’s speech

Marco Di Piazza: Speech delivered at the inauguration of the fountain and the company’s site. Brussels, October 24, 1996

«To the Minister
To the Ambassadors
To the Congress Men
To the General Director
To the Guests Assembled

When we are confronted with a work of art every word which tries to explain it reduces it’s meaning. What a work of art expresses belongs to the work itself, it’s material, it’s light…

What I can do this morning is to tell you something about its history, about the time, place and people involved, together with some of my thoughts.

The fountain was produced from three blocks of travertine stone with a final weight of 12 tons, the uncarved blocks weighing 100 tons.

The vertical element is composed of two parts each carved out and juxtaposed to the other. The basin is instead made out of a single block.

While the fountain was initially carved, this luminous building (where we are now) was also taking shape and was reinforced in the area where the fountain was to be allocated.

The fountain was created in an ancient workshop in Carrara (studio Nicoli) with the help of many assistants. I gave my full and direct participation during the second and final phase.

In Carrara the stone was cut and chiseled in a period that lasted seven months. But it’s story (which finishes today) was born from an encounter two years ago in San Gimignano, the town where I live and work.

Soon after this encounter, in Bonn (where I had gone for a very happy event with my spirit full of joy) I gave shape to a first model of the size of 20cm in height.

Then I worked in Florence for months on a large clay model. I reproduced it in concrete with the imprint technique and transported it to Carrara.

I acquired the three enormous blocks of travertine stone near Rome, in the city of Tivoli.

An event for which may people collaborated and who have been very close to me; a composition in stone as a consequence of a collective effort, recalled with precision in my mind by the image of the placing of the basin, here in Rixensart, when a major number of dancing heads and arms (in respect to these figures) was looking for an exact position, defining a second human circle moving in united tension.

What matters to me are human relations: the vital contact between two distinct realities.

Two years ago Mr. Pierre Grooy, who most of us here know, came into my studio in San Gimignano and stopped by chance in front of a fountain made by me five years before. In this fountain, water already an element of union between two clearly distinct human groups. We spoke together, and he explained to me your company and the research of a scientific community which operates to save human lives. Now I can tell you that this work took shape through a very special understanding between the artist and it’s purchaser.

What matter most to me are human relations, with water a symbol of becoming, trying the Past with the Present.

A passage, or verily the history of mankind.

The title of the work is in fact ‘passage’, the passage that through the generations realizes itself in the giving and receiving: the collectivity of man as the history and result of infinite passages.

And isn’t it true that in this century we have witnessed, instead, a bonding crisis? The interruption of the knowledge and experience that the parent passes to the child? The very rupture of the equilibrium between Man and Nature?

Order. Disorder. Raising again the dialogue between the generations.

Water as the fountain of Life.