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Thomas Rose

Italia – y – 2006. Invito a Vema
1 Marzo 2006
Architettura recente in Alto Adige
1 Marzo 2006
 
 

Arthur C. Danto
 
 

Mysteries of place: 1018 West Scott Street

Questo progetto, 1018 WEST SCOTT STREET, esplora le nostre prime esperienze negli spazi e usa la casa in cui viene vissuta l'infanzia per inquadrare il modo in cui noi percepiamo il mondo attraverso quelle prime esperienze. Il progetto e la casa rispecchiano il mio profondo interesse nella natura misteriosa degli spazi architettonici e nel modo in cui quegli spazi si tramutano nella struttura della nostra identità. Sono tornato su questi primissimi ricordi riguardanti la casa per comprendere meglio il mondo e la mia relazione con esso. Bisogna sottolineare che le immagini con cui descrivo questi luoghi sono ricordi personali, dunque più legati ad una dimensione emotiva che alla ricerca di una ricostruzione precisa ed accurata. Il buio e il fuoco sono un fattore altrettanto importante di qualsiasi altra parte dello spazio fisico e fu proprio questa oscurità a dare presenza agli oggetti e ai luoghi. La casa era costituita da una struttura in legno e stucco, progettata e costruita da mio nonno nel 1906. Esteticamente si inseriva nella corrente Tudor, stile molto popolare all'epoca per le abitazioni di Milwakee, Wisconsin, una città di immigrati tedeschi. Dalla strada la casa si mostrava come una presenza imponente e, dal tempo in cui la frequentavo da bambino per i successivi trentacinque anni, rimase l'architettura più significativa del quartiere, con i suoi timpani e l'ampio portico laterale. La casa era una sorta di enigma: frequentata spesso da molti dei miei amici, ha sempre rappresentato per me uno spazio infinito e magico. La combinazione di edera, intonaco sporcato dalla fuliggine e legno scuro accentuavano l'effetto di questa mitologia soprannaturale. Il mio rapporto personale con gli ambienti di quella casa, un insieme di soggezione, paura e, cosa che ho realizzato solo una volta raggiunta la maturità, predisposizione a sognare ad occhi aperti, ha dato forma alla mia vita artistica.

 
 

La casa di Scott Street si divideva, nella mia visione, in due parti principali: l'attico e la cantina. Naturalmente c'erano molte altre stanze e spazi di cui ho ricordi molto vividi, ma queste due erano le più importanti. La cantina era costituita da una grande e buio groviglio di stanze, ognuna delle quali aveva il suo scopo pratico: il deposito di carbone, la caldaia, il magazzino delle verdure, il laboratorio/camera oscura. C'erano due grandi stanze centrali, una per il servizio di lavanderia, la maggior parte della quale veniva effettuata a mano in due vasche di cemento. C'era un ambiente per l'asciugatura dei vestiti, che consisteva in un armadio metallico alto sei piedi, largo quattro e profondo otto, con tre porte in acciaio che uscivano scorrendo sopra i rulli, ognuno con una serie di barre su cui venivano stesi i panni. Lungo il pavimento di questo ambiente correva una fila di canne del gas, che formavano un bruciatore lungo sette piedi. Fu questo congegno ad arricchire la mia esperienza con il terrore e con il fuoco, avendo più volte mostrato aí miei amici come si apriva il gas per poi farlo incendiare. Non ho ancora capito come quell'armadio abbia resistito alle fiamme e come io abbia fatto a non ustionarmi con quelle fiammate bollenti. C'era anche un piccolo laboratorio e una camera oscura che mio nonno usava per la fotografia, completo di becchi a gas e bruciatori Bunsen, stock di sostanze chimiche in bottiglie marroni con etichette colorate completamente arrugginite, ancora allineate sugli scaffali. Provai un senso di meraviglia nell'entrare la prima volta in questo luogo e tale stupore aumentava ad ogni nuova scoperta. lo e mio fratello stampavamo i negativi su vetro che trovavamo sulla carta fotografica che mio nonno aveva sensibilizzato per poi esporli alla luce del sole: guardavamo le immagini apparire e poi scomparire nell'oscurità dei piccoli quadrati, mentre venivano corrose dalla luce del sole. Sicuramente una delle mie esperienze più forti mai vissuto con il fuoco avvenne in quella stanza ed è, per certi aspetti, più forte e vivida oggi di quanto lo sia mai stata. È l'immagine di una stanza satura di fiamme, fiamme che avvolgono le pareti e il soffitto, muovendosi rapidamente sul pavimento mentre io le osservo, paralizzato dalla sorpresa e dalla paura. In quel momento di emozione sospesa la mia mente è alla disperata ricerca di una soluzione, ben consapevole che non posso né fermare né spegnere quelle fiamme. È quello il momento in cui so di aver preso la decisione sbagliata, il momento in cui verso dell'acqua sul contenitore della paraffina in fiamme. Lo capisco immediatamente, nel momento stesso in cui lo faccio, non appena la paraffina esplode fuori dal contenitore e in un istante il fuoco avvolge tutto ciò che vedo. Non so come mai le fiamme non avvolgono anche me, sebbene io sia al centro della stanza e la fiammata mi abbia sbattuto contro la porta chiusa. Un attimo dopo, all'improvviso così come è esploso, il fuoco scompare. Resto lì, stordito, in silenzio, e non so cos'è successo. Tutto ciò che so è che il fuoco è scomparso.


Thomas Rose

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