Will Stuart, Struttare per Parla de piedi (Michelangelo Pistoletto, 1965-66), with emphasis on teddd, 2009
30 × 40 cm
Edition of 50, signed and numbered
The Italian curator Francesco Manacorda once wrote:
‘In the entrance hall of the ICA in London last summer, I came across a framed print edition of the above image accompanied by the following caption:
Will Stuart, ‘Struttare per parla de piedi’ [trans. ‘Structure for talking while standing’] (Michelangelo Pistoletto, 1965 – 66), 2009.
‘Being familiar with Pistoletto’s original work, a sturdy minimalist 2 × 2 meter grey-painted iron frame, I spent some time trying to decode the various intertextual implications stemming from this apparently new work and its title. Mostly I was perplexed by the Italian part – a title within a title – which did not quite correspond to Pistoletto’s original Struttura per parlare in piedi. Being (like the majority of the contemporary art community) hyper-sensitive to all forms of ambiguity, multi-layered meanings, meta-self-reflexivity and so forth, but (unlike the majority) fluent in Italian,
‘I was uncertain whether this was a deliberate mistranslation or simply a couple of unfortunate typos. I could easily imagine that this sort of confusion and indecision on my part was precisely the effect intended.
‘The “new” clause Struttare per parla de piedi could in fact be more accurately translated – with some oscillation of meaning – as, Covering with lard in order to talk about feet.’
Will Stuart confirms that the mistranslation was merely the result of careless fingers typing and retyping the title, and that the 90-degree-rotated axomometric projection – made by one of his dads – intended solely as an homage to Pistoletto’s simultaneously practical and poetic piece of work. They like to imagine the flying frame being purchased in triplicate and arranged like those three ducks that decorated the walls of living rooms in postwar Britain.
Will Stuart is the compound name of Will Holder (1971, Hatfield) and Stuart Bailey (1973, York)
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