Sometimes Very Close to Nothing At All

FRAGMENTA invited Aidan Celeste and Stefan Nestoroski to elaborate an intervention in a private town-house in Birzebuggia, in a state of abandonment. The town-house in Birzebuggia, situated at 24 Pretty Bay, just next to the Water Polo Pitch, has become permeable for the FRAGMENTA intervention ‘Sometimes Very Close to Nothing at All’, which presented a passage of adaptation towards the imminent demolition of the building.

Visitors were invited to enter the house and to roam around on ground level and first floor.

Two opposite viewpoints crossed the house lengthwise – the building yielded, it dilated, conceded its walls. In short: the whole house has turned into a massive camera obscura. In total, 3 rooms have been transformed into camera obscuras, simultaneously containing image and sculptural interventions.

Ground Floor Camera Obscura

In Stefan Nestoroski’s words: “I have always believed that light has some alchemist quality. When it is projected, it is never just a matter of an image pasted on an object – instead, light exerts a force which transforms the object, as if every object was photo-sensitive. There always results a collision, polarization, exposure.

By making camera obscuras in opposite rooms of the house, the outside images penetrate the structure, erasing it, as it were. Or at least start to erase the house scheduled for real, physical demolition. I followed this idea of light on smaller scale too. The paper minutiae (which I found on the floor, in drawers, in envelops) are subjected to light as well. Prostrated on a wall opposite the window, the meaningless and intimate scraps of paper have the neighbors’ façade stamped on them. The camera obscura light coming from the street has them crossed by cars and anonymous passersby, profaning their privacy.

And then even on a smaller scale, in the bathroom upstairs. An empty shot-glass, shot-through with blue light. The blue water of the bay is projected on the glass, “filling” it up.

DSC01514But, more than light, in the bathroom it is water that trespasses, partly with the help of the camera obscura. It is a little homage to water, this room, an incomplete encyclopedia of its appearances. There is the water of the sea, projected on the wall; there is the water of the polo pitch (which contains the same water as the sea but enclosed in a container) projected also on the wall; there is real sea water filling the tub and every other vessel I could find in the house. In front of the bathroom, there is a framed cut-out of a geographical map, with nothing but the conventional azure shade of the sea.

Giving in to light and water, the house slowly concedes its integrity and impermeability – just before bulldozers finally make the building collapse, opening the space for every kind of flow.”

Pretty Bay upside down

… the memory of the house will remain, just like the floating images.