Fabrizio Dusi, Survival
Installation curated by Sharon Hecker
CBM & Partners, 4 June 2019
Let’s start where Fabrizio Dusi started, with the isothermal blanket, or the so-called “survival blanket”, known to all of us for emergencies, and imprinted in our mind by images of Alpine relief, of immigrants who emerge soaked and starving from the sea, from traffic accidents, after marathons, etc.
It is a material formed by two layers, one silvery and one golden: the golden surface allows the sun’s rays to penetrate easily, while the silvery one tends to reflect the same rays. It is a very special blanket. It is impervious to wind and water and is very light. It is also used for the exterior of space ships (in fact it was invented by NASA in 1964), and it also functions as a distress signal for those looking for lost people.
It is therefore a protective material. Protects against trauma, burns, hypothermia. With its very light thickness, similar to aluminum foil, it is easy to spread on people and does not create ripples. In this installation, Dusi created bricks with a thermal blanket, a wall that is not a thin and fragile wall. Being this year 30 years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, playing with the idea of a wall so apparently solid that it is also precarious, thin, and moves with the wind.
The material also has a greater meaning for Dusi: it serves to protect and allow a person to survive, to give warmth (which for Dusi is the first thing – more than air and food).
So Dusi links the idea of survival to the idea of protection and the need to give warmth. Finally, for Dusi, surviving is not only a primary and primitive need, this is also survival compared to everything else: politics, social status, the metropolis, a psychological survival, the planet … is something that is very current in our consciousness. The movement of the blanket from the wind gives more precariousness, it seems unstable, fragile. How precarious our survival is also that of us who feel relatively safe.
It also reflects the light ….
Dusi has a long-standing interest in survival: the gold and black colors come from his previous work on light and the shadow he created for another exhibition curated by me and Chiara Gatti on the yellow Jewish star of the Holocaust with a black background. In that work, darkness and light coexist in a work that touches on the question of the survival of Jews in the face of a force greater than themselves. Both works remind us that survival is always questionable.
Warmth, love, and above all for Dusi protection are necessary elements to give hope … and protection, after all, is something about which lawyers know a great deal.