Mariela Scafati: 19 cm closer
28.04. – 19.06.2021
Mariela Scafati in conversation with Guille Mongan
I lost all sense of the distance between indanthrene cobalt blue, indanthrene cobalt, thallus, ultramarine, cobalt. Further still, thallus. Thallus with a tiny bit of white. Cobalt and ultramarine. Ultramarine and cobalt. Indanthrene, ultramarine. Ultramarine, indanthrene. Indanthrene, thallus. Indanthrene and talo but with the tiniest bit of white. Indanthrene, ultramarine. Indanthrene, thallus. Indanthrene.
I closed my eyes and picked at whim a number and a unit of measure. A manageable quantity, although perhaps only for a day, to ask who else had lost the sense of distance and to tell the tale that in a world where all identities are possible, there is someone who says: I am a painting.
I am the one who says it and I smile at my license to invent. I measured, fabricated and dressed, as if art had the power to multiply existence.
I grasped and held up the knots of ropey bodies because, oh vulnerable life. Who knows what the word is, the command, the coldness, the being-forgotten that can explode us into a thousand infinite parts.
I fabricated, I dressed. I wrapped a painting in a hoodie and the hands of the girl that I love with mine, because remember: I had lost all sense of distance. And for this reason, I did other things too: I hammered, I printed, I painted. I tied, I sewed, I drew, I imposed order.I disassembled, screwed things together, I wrote out poems longhand in notebooks. I walked out,
I came back, I embraced. I kissed, I danced, I fell asleep. I lived in a state of infatuation. I told stories. I studied passionately. I stole signage from the city streets and built a house. I painted flags. Of these I prefer the flown ones to the dragged or draped ones. The best thing about them is their height: if you get lost in a crowd, you can get back to your people. I served the paintings to scaffold between things and in turn to build invisible scaffolds between people. I talked about myself to talk about others, I talked about others just to talk. And with their help, I dragged the table out onto the sidewalk and we bathed it with food. We toasted and we drank, greeting the neighbors as night fell, because the night always goes down despite joy. Finally, I cried.
I chose a number at random and a unit of measure, easily recognizable with a tool anyone could use, to mark the scale of the possible. At least what’s possible for the time being, for these words I use to kill time, struggling to convey that I lost the sense of distance. That’s why if, today, someone looks up at the indanthrene, cobalt, aquamarine, thallus with a tiny bit of white and asks me: Is that supposed to be the bottom of the ocean? I confirm: it is the bottom of the ocean. And if they ask, might that be the backdrop of the night sky? It is the backdrop of the night sky. But if you ask: Are they precious stones? They will be.
I want you to know that I always smile, even when I’m serious.
Text: Marie Gouiric
Versión Español (original)
on Mariela Scafati