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The State of Things
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Robert Pettena participated in a project Beyond the Line, Shameless, Private Flat #7, curated by Alessandro Gallicchio, Alessandra Acocella e Elena Magini, Firenze.
December 2011




A limiting line, like a transitory barrier: a metaphor that evoked all kinds of behaviour, including guilt and shame, that transported one into a state of immobility with precarious, uncertain edges. Every attempt at going beyond this “inhibitory strategy” therefore required an act of courage on the part of the individual, whether they clashed with “outside”, or whether they chose to follow a path of personal transformation. The artists who were asked to reflect on the theme Beyond the Line faced up to the conflict between individual conscience and the relativity of external impositions, declining according to various possible perspectives: temporal, cultural, ethical and psychological.

Robert Pettena’s contribution The State of Things, was a reflection on ‘removal’ or ‘shift’, the fleeting interval suspended between eliminating the past and the tension or stress of looking towards the future. This nullified time was investigated on the one hand through two photos and a video that retraced objects and furnishings that were in an apartment, up until just before the exhibition opened, and which seemed to bring unsettling presences to the surface. On the other hand it was investigated through a sculptural expanse half hidden under a floor tile, which alluded to a dimension other than the one we live. 


© Robert Pettena 2018