Riccardo Giacconi

L'altra faccia della spirale
[The Other Side of the Spiral]
film and mixed media installation, 2010-2011


Italian translations of Isaac Asimov’s science fiction trilogy “Foundation Series” came 
out in 1963 and 1964. In the same years, Italian literature entered an important phase for the Resistance Novel, a genre whose narrative takes place in the partisan groups during Second World War’s Italian Resistance – for example, Beppe Fenoglio’s Una questione privata, defined by Italo Calvino as “the novel of Italian Resistance”. Una questione privata was published in 1963, exactly the same year when Italian translations of Asimov’s Foundation Series started to come out.

The project L’altra faccia della spirale comprises a film, a series of writings on paper and an essay.








The film features six Italian partisans from the Second World War reading excerpts from Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation Series”.
In each of the external locations portrayed in the film, an episode connected to central Italy’s Resistance took place.

The soundtrack of the film comprises extracts from 1966 film Fantastic Voyage, of which Isaac Asimov was subsequently asked to write a literary version.


Full Film










Four Italian partisans from the Second World War were asked to choose a sentence from Asimov’s “Foundation Series”, and to write them on a sheet of paper.

Paper Plates




The installation also comprises an essay on the relationships between the literary genres of science fiction and the Resistance Novel.





Exhibited at: Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, Italy (2013); FID Marseille International Film Festival; Palazzo Reale, Milano (2011); Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venezia (2010).