Cecilia Canziani, Inscriptions, Bulletin #24, Droste Effect, March 2020 (EN/IT) download >>> Claudio Musso, Against the Grain, Bulletin #23, Droste Effect, Feb.2020 (EN/IT) download >>> Elisa Del Prete, Semiotic Circuit, Bulletin 22, Droste Effect, Jan 2020 (EN/IT) download >>> Ivana Spinelli, Spazio (abstract), Casa dell'Architettura, Roma, 2017 download >>> Silvana Borutti, La traduzione e l'artista, Minimum, 2017 >>>
Cecilia Canziani, Inscriptions, Bulletin #24, Droste Effect, March 2020 (EN/IT)
A year ago, I visited Ivana Spinelli in her studio. As we had been planning for a while, we went through her body of work, looked at finished, unfinished, almost finished pieces, and discussed her latest exhibition. Then we talked about books, and I think that was the moment when she grabbed a folder from a shelf that was filled with exercises – writing exercises.
– Cecilia Canziani
When I was in elementary school, a particular exercise used to be performed with poor conviction, but still remains in my memory: alphabet worksheets. A page filled with «f»s, one with «c»s, one with «d»s. Lower case, upper case, block letters, cursive.
In a book in many ways revolutionary, Marija Gimbutas finds in the etchings performed onto terracotta objects and sculptures during the Neolithic era a form of script – a script that precedes cuneiform writing, and that was developed by a non-migratory, matricentric civilization based on agriculture, probably peaceful and devoted to the cult of the goddess, which got wiped out by the coming of Indo-European civilizations.
The remaining signs, which other archeologists interpreted as ornamental motifs, are angular shapes that look like the letters V, M, and W – or zigzags. They were etched onto terracotta surfaces, such as vases and plates, and sometimes overwrote the bodies of votive statuettes dedicated to goddesses and female ancestors. These weren’t symbols, but signs: in fact, each time the graphemes formed linear structures in a different way.
Ivana Spinelli thought that this script – that got lost, as everything else from Ancient Europe’s pre-Indo-European culture – needed to be learned again. Of course we don’t know what those signs meant exactly, but mostly they were associated to goddesses, animal shapes and cosmic formations – to the feminine that brought life and regeneration, which was powerful and sometimes terrible, and stood at the