The “Memory theater” project (2012) arises both from my experience as a Street artist and from my passion for ancient books.
I painted on wood plates distorted images that the viewer can see precisely reflected on cylindrical mirrors. Then I provided them with electric machinery so when the disks rotate the images change, follow one another.
The goal was try to renew “anamorphosis” art not only as its historical concept but considering it also as a mind structure, a memory living process. The characters had to be alive, come and disappear as sections of a cyclical time. You can see 3 scenes for each cylinder. The faces/sets turn and change fast clockwise or counterclockwise, it depends on the meaning of the story the memory theatre would highlight.
These works were thought as a connection of the Renaissance memory treatises and the ancient essays dedicated to the catoptrical experiments and their magical suggestions, since Jean-François Niceron to Garpar Schott, since Giambattista Della Porta to Athanasius Kircher. The objects remind furthermore to the first cinematography machines and their forefathers used by the storytellers. These fascinating machines suggested me yet in previous artistic installations (the magic boxes of my Theatrum mentis).
However the feelings are always contemporary. I consider my machines as a “Restless elegy of the time”.
My “memory objects” were already exhibited in a big Italian Library – the Biblioteca Queriniana in Brescia – combined with the real ancient editions of the treatises, for example the Magia Universalis by Gaspar Schott (1657), the Theatro by Giulio Camillo, the Thaumaturgus opticus by Niceron (1646) and the Ars magna lucis et umbrae by Kircher (1646 and 1671).
In the video you can see some of my machines moving.