Through a visual construction of love poems by the great 20th-century poet Alfonso Gatto, copper-engraving becomes "an architecture that sweats thought", the artist claims.
Caccavale’s work has been prepared specially for the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica e Calcografia (National Institute of Graphics and Chalcography) in Rome with the aim of allowing poetry to enter the gallery and, what’s more, become an integral part of it. Caccavale has gone back to using ancient artistic techniques and has mastered their procedures and disciplines, in order to achieve the essence of gesture. He has not transferred the verses iconographically, he has physically constructed them by removing material from the ceiling, without adding anything. This operation requires one of the techniques used for painting frescoes, using scalpels normally used for graffiti. First the words are traced onto the surface using a template and charcoal, tapped with an iron spike and then gouged out with a scalpel. Although the two poems have been applied directly onto the ceiling of the hall known as the Sala delle Adunanze, a route on the ground provides an ideal way of exploring the artist’s work. The work includes a board with six poems, incised using the dry-point technique, on display in the institute’s historic printing-room. In addition to some notes written by the artist, the book presents dense and inspiring articles by Laura Cherubini, Erri De Luca, Maria Antonella Fusco and Antonella Renzitti describing Caccavale’s project, documented by photos taken while the work was in progress, during the chalcography and while the exhibition was being mounted. “He copies onto the base of a ceiling the distance that comes within a hair’s breadth of the boundary…He is the last scribe” Erri De Luca.