Riccardo Giacconi

Chi ha lottato con l'angelo resta fosforescente
[Who has struggled with the angel remains phosphorescent]
mixed media installation, 2012-2013



Nessun sentiero inganna,
nessun presagio mente.
Chi ha lottato con l'angelo
resta fosforescente


[No path deceives,
no presage lies.
Who has struggled with the angel
remains phosphorescent.]

– Maria Luisa Spaziani





In 1990 poet Maria Luisa Spaziani (Turin, 1922 - Rome, 2014) published one of her more experimental works, the poem in heroic verse "Giovanna d’Arco" (Joan of Arc). One of the distinctive elements of the book is the invention of a language: Joan speaks with an angel, who addresses her in a non-existent language.

The angel who embodies such voice is, for Spaziani, poetry itself, that is, that force that constantly presses the boundaries of language and the speakable, deforming such boundaries, revealing glimmers of unexplored areas of pure voice.

The film features images of sea landscapes and a series of audio recordings of fire, two elements that constantly recur in the path Spaziani traces along the trajectory of her enunciation.









Stills from film


Full Film (Italian, English subtitles)




The installation features a series of 7 writings on paper, recounting a brief episode featured in the film:

"I was at a party in the garden of my house on the Alpes.
My friends were all around me, eating meat and playing cards sitting at wooden tables.
The sun was shining high in the sky.
Suddenly, everyone turned, pointing at me, and burst out laughing.
I was standing before them, and could not understand what they were laughing about.
Then a blast of shame rose to my head when, looking at myself, I realized that I was on fire."




Installation view, MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art, Roma









Photos: Linda Acunto




Exhibited at: BJCEM Mediterranea 18 Young Artists Biennale,Tirana, Albania (2017); BIEFF Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival; Assab One, Milano; Euganea Film Festival, Padova, Italy (2014); Rome International Film Festival; MACRO - Museo d’arte contemporanea di Roma, Italy (2013).