My approach to barriers was for an aesthetic factor, an attraction to its different forms and its presence, often not taken into consideration. After finding a barrier in the street I took it home and, after observing it for many days, I decided to take it to the studio where I started disassembling it. I took one of the two swivel doors that are attached to the central body and I decided to cut the shape into two parts following the joining line of the mould trying to make sure it could be closed again later.
First I wanted to see what it looked like on the inside and then because I wanted to break it down even though it was one piece.
Once opened in two I decided to close the form to be able to pour inside the plaster to recreate the empty internal space that we do not see.
So I started to cut it in the line of conjunction.
At first I started with a knife that gave me the opportunity to go deep into the thicker parts and, to proceed faster, I hit the back of the knife with a piece of wood to use it as a chisel.
Later I also used a saw because the cut was more regular and the speed in cutting also.
The problem with the saw, however, is that there was no way to get to some points for the size of the blade so I had to alternate the two ways.
The final part was to cut the internal parts to be able to separate the two halves. I had to ask for help from a colleague who kept the outer edges open so I could get in with the saw.
Once cut in two parts the barrier I smoothed the cut edges, so as to remove the imperfections created during the cut and have two smooth edges to join again.
I cleaned the outside and the inside of the two halves with a damp cloth, I dried and admired the two halves clean and ready to be closed again.
The next day I recreated the initial shape by joining the two halves with a very strong cloth tape. At first I had thought of doing it using terracotta but, thinking of the timing and the efforts it would have to withstand, I was afraid that it would break.
Closing the form was complicated and it took me a couple of full hours to make sure there were no holes and that the ribbon was stretched properly. Once I was done I made a pose by introducing water into the barrier to see if there were any holes to plug.
Good first one, no outside drops.
The same evening I decided that it was time to pour the plaster. Before doing so, however, I had to decide where to pour the plaster and, after careful analysis, I decided to cut the four circles on one side of the barrier for three reasons:
1- not to modify the lines of the object with new cuts.
2- since there are various levels in the conformation of the object I needed the highest part where to cut so that by pouring you can fill in all its height
3- the joints that attach to the central body of the barrier are at a different level (depends on how high the barrier rests). Choosing to cut the side of the four circles the pins are at a lower level than the rest of the object and so the plaster is able to get there thanks to the force of gravity. The object, in order to be cast, was then positioned with the pins out of the table so that they were at the lower level. (as you can see in the picture)
After cutting the four circles I decided to start preparing the plaster in a big yellow bucket that I had bought specially.
Put the water I started pouring the plaster and, after some problems with the proportions, or had the desired consistency and I started pouring the plaster into the mold.
I had some friends help me because the initial weight was considerable.
Once I finished pouring (the plaster was just enough) I went back home to open it the next day.
The next morning I couldn’t wait to see the result.
I made this video that shows the moment when I open it.
Once I opened the mould I was impressed by the quality of the result.
But the two sides have a huge difference. The side that is “high” compared to how it was poured has bubbles in the hardest to reach parts of the mold that can be eliminated by making small holes to let air out.
The bottom side is perfect, its texture is very smooth and you want to touch it. A perfect surface without any defects. The color of the plaster is a light cream, I did not give it much importance but many people have expressed their appreciation for the color itself.
The only imperfection was at the point where the mould had the thickest plastic, probably the point where the most plastic was deposited during the rotational mould. At this point there was a small fracture of the plaster as there was an undercut from which it could not get out (photo).
Here instead a photo taken in the studio between the cork planes in a set created especially with Esmond and Kien to photograph things done before Christmas.
The soul of the barrier is the name I decided to give for several reasons.
1- it is the hidden part of the barrier, the one that is inside and would have no shape or weight and instead now has the same shape as the empty space inside and also has a considerable weight.
2- it is the inverse of the object itself from which it was created. It is fragile, heavy and not functional but its shape remains unchanged from that of its object.
3- I have always thought of the soul as something transparent or at most white. So this white cream reminds me a little bit of ghosts and this is the fantasma of the dead barrier.