Tavola magnetica lineare variabile

Posted in Artworks

Tavola magnetica lineare variabile (Magnetic Linear Variable Table) is a manipulable object, an iron table with moving filaments on magnet. The research around magnetic tables dates between 1959 and 1960. Grazia Varisco presents at Miriorama 6 three Tavole magnetiche (Magnetic Tables): Tavola magnetica a elementi quadrati (Magnetic Table with Square Elements), 1959,  Tavola magnetica lineare variabile (Magnetic Linear Variable Table), 1959, and a no longer existing work with iron chips.

The viewer is invited to move the filaments on the metallic surface: they combine themselves in ever-changing configurations. This triggers the experimentation of an aesthetic perception with a strong playful component.

Varisco remembers a toy from her childhood: «”Paesaggio magnetico” (Magnetic Landscape) is a vague visual memory: a metallic pale grey table with minute shapes in pastel tones. Did I like it? Did I play with it? I remember more the objectiveness of the toy than the suggested image. The table, the feeling of attraction and repulsion of the magnet, its “click”, its potential movement, the availability for play connected with its nature, its being a magnet only in connection with the table, or with another magnet, or what else? To what else my searching could connect? Wood? Marble? Wall? Iron only? Finding it out was nearly a tactile satisfaction – a pluri-sensorial perception… It’s been years that educational toys also employ magnets.

The pleasurably educational part of the toy still consists – in my view – in the action of the magnet. For my Magnetic Tables I used to buy the magnets at “Centro Magneti Permanenti”: a name which is a program. With that little contradiction in the words “permanent” in comparison with the use I proposed for them, which wanted to underline its temporariness».

Grazia Varisco    

Tavola magnetica lineare variabile (Magnetic Linear Variable Table)


Collection of the Artist, Milan        

Miriorama 6