Spazio elastico

Posted in Artworks

The first example of Spazio elastico (Elastic Space) was realised in 1967 for the event Trigon 67 in Graz. It is the prototype of a series that Colombo produced, with minor variations, in the following years: at Venice Biennale in 1968, at Documenta in Kassel, as well as at several other events. The cubic space of Spazio elastico is completely dark inside: as a result the six planes that define it are completely suppressed. Elastic cords cross this space from ceiling to floor and from one wall to the other, creating a cubic grid. The elastic cords are dyed in a fluorescent color and lit by UV light. They take a minimal part of the space in comparison with the empty space.

This orthogonal grid of luminous rays in an otherwise completely dark space prevents the perception of all the other elements in the room. The whole structure moves through the electromechanical action of motors installed outside the environment: they create slow-moving tensions in several points of the grid, with different time cycles. These tensions continuously deform the cubes drawn in space by the cords.

The viewer can play with this cobweb by slaloming: one feels the sensation of passing through these alveoli, these cubic cells, freely deciding one’s own path. Yet this weft is a trap, and the viewer is immersed in an ever-changing space, in a gear that holds on the body and the behaviour, provoking disorientation and instability.

Gianni Colombo

Spazio elastico


Archivio Gianni Colombo, Milan

Trigon 67 (Graz, 1967)

Fluorescent elastic cords, electrical motors, Wood’s lamp, 400×400×400 cm