This video was made in 2010 with the intent to ‘complete a cycle’, a cycle that indeed has, conceptually, never been closed. The first experiments on this type of work date back to 2006 when, in collaboration with an architect specialized in blasting operations, we caused a microcharge to explode inside a mass of gelatin. The result was the ‘freezing’ of the explosion, like when a single frame is isolated from a video sequence to capture the most expressive moment, but in a sculptural form. From 2006 to 2013 several ‘frozen explosions’ were carried out, always as an isolated performative act lasting a fraction of a second: the explosion and the result, the impossibility to see the ‘during’, too fast for the human eye, and the result somehow was already the strongest expression, frozen in the matter, of the explosive act. It was in 2010 that I decided I wanted to further fragment this ‘during’ by using the film process as a tool, but instead thus of closing a cycle, new ones were opened. The resulting video put in greater evidence the dynamics of the relationship between forces that push and others that resist to an ‘agreement’, a point of equilibrium in which they neutralize themselves and in which a sort of quiet returns. If the frozen explosion in the gelatin, both as a performance act and a sculptural object, while being a representation of an ephemeral stillness, has nevertheless preserved intact its expressive force, (it is, obviously, a physical quietness, a stable equilibrium, but also the expression of a destructive potential retained over time), the dynamics of the relationship between action and resistance as a motor generating meanings has strongly conditioned and oriented the development of my subsequent projects.
As argued by Lawrence Weiner in a commentary to his work Cratering Piece of 1960: «You can’t have an explosion without resistance. An explosion is only an explosion if there’s something pushing against it».
Over the years, the frozen explosions never found a title that really satisfied, up to 2013 when I last performed it live for the opening of the exhibition Exploding Utopia in Laure Genillard Gallery in London. «There was a loud bang followed by lots of applause» it was written. Actually, to me it was more like an impulsive, kind of liberating reaction, to the non-disillusionment of the audience’s expectation. What better title, therefore, than Freezing Utopia?