All the things that I can consider complete have had a moment of incompleteness: a project starts, I start with an idea, I write something down and then it stagnates, it remains unfinished for a long time, then maybe I pick it up and bring it to a conclusion, sometimes rather quickly.
Even from a psychological point of view, the unfinished seems to me the sea in which I swim, sometimes something is accomplished, the unfinished is life.
If I say “unfinished” what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Many things. All the things that I can consider complete have had a moment of incompleteness: a project starts, I start with an idea, I write something down and then it stagnates, it remains unfinished for a long time, and then maybe I pick it up and bring it to a conclusion, sometimes rather quickly. For example, I wrote a novel called “Spring”. I had a project of which this was a quarter, of course, and I collected the material, studied, then wrote the first 15 pages and I got stuck. After a long time, the ending came to mind and shortly thereafter I finished 90% of the writing in a short time. Maybe I need to make a start that remains unfinished which then ferments and blooms at some point.
This “Spring” is part of a project that contemplates the four seasons. The reason is linked to my love for Vivaldi: I wanted to honour someone who made me think with art that I don’t frequent, unfortunately, music, with the thing we all experience, the changing of the seasons. I thought that I am grateful to the fate of being born in a temperate climate. I thought about writing four lyrics, each imbued with what I feel, think and imagine about the season. I have already written “Spring” (ed, published by Feltrinelli) and “Autumn”. “Autumn” was rejected by the editor of reference, so I published it on my own. I had Carlo Fruttero read it, who in the meantime had become my friend, and he had told me that he actually understood the publisher, he made a nice comparison: “I read your book, the publisher did not want it, in my opinion, he is right and I’ll explain why: because you have a “dribble ability”, a technique, in writing that is the equivalent of Platini for football.” There I was already beside myself, but then he rightly added that Platini for two years in a row won the top-scoring ranking because he tried, he kicked the ball and scored, which I never do. So that self-published book, which I am very fond of, can also be useful in this context because it is like the unfinished: the dribble as an end in itself without the kick to score.
I do not trust the publisher, but Fruttero very much, and he centred the situation regarding that text there, after which I turn it around in my head like this: the DNA of autumn is like this, it is not finished until all winter passes and starts again with summer.
I have another project that has nothing yet, except an image and a title.
“West end Garage”. Paradoxically it is one of the oldest open files in my head.
There is nothing inside but this photo I took in Ireland, in a street where there was a “west end garage” sign and an old woman passing by. I would like to do something with this title, without thinking about the structure, just putting a lot of things inside.
Unfinished what colour/shape is it?
Colour: black and white, waiting for it to take different colours. Subject: a drawer, full of stuff.
What is your relationship with unfinished things?
Even from a psychological point of view, the unfinished seems to me the sea in which I swim, now and then something is accomplished, the unfinished is life, it is luck (because the completed life means “end of transmission”), and now and then from there you take a piece and finish it, but the unfinished is endless compared to the finished, it seems to me to swim in it, I can make you a list of 3-5 completed things and everything else is not.
Then there is a psychology approach called Gestalt, which we could roughly translate as “finished form”. The idea of closing a Gestalt is close to what we are saying, closing suspended things, right? For example, I came into contact with a butcher who had been my dad’s boy and I hadn’t seen him for fifty years, I didn’t even remember who he was. And he told me things that were a conclusion to something I didn’t even know was open, inconclusive: what my dad thought of me. He told me, and I am grateful, I did nothing to reach this conclusion, but I realized that while he was telling me, I felt liberated … because it is as if a part of me kept wondering: but what did your dad think of you? Now a butcher I see fifty years later tells me the answer and it’s nice that this thing is over.
What is fertilizer for you? What does it mean to fertilize?
Life, living. I wish I had been able to paint and compose and play, but I haven’t been able to do either. My technique, my art, is writing and there I try to make up for this desire to play and paint, things I don’t know how to do. So as a fertilizer for my art I take a lot from music and painting.
3 words you would match with unfinished
Beauty (of the thing yet to be done), pain, History.