- BUGLI Enrico, The Search for the Ideal, 1972-73.
« Object to be acted upon: 54 wooden boards shaped by hand, tied with a 3 mm nylon cord, of unfinish fir, 20 x 220 x 1.8 cm; the length of the mounted object is 12 m, composed of two sections of 6 m each.
Use of object: two people undress themselves and place the object in various positions interacting with it, as the camera repeats the images of the performance on a 150 x 120 cm screen, placed 230 cm from the ground, to underline the tautology and the changes in their behavior, provoked and caused by the object.
The object es a pretext for stimulating behaviors which are completely different from what may be predicted from the spectator, who is an indispensable element in this true poetic monument to the useless. In this, although we can expect a natural pendular motion between cynicism and sincerity, we cannot exclude a point of transition where, as a matter of fact, the individual can try to force his own audience to judge him according to the fixed image of his so-called wickedness, which the object corroborates by constantly insinuating that the effectiveness of the interpretation proposed (see: tautology) is somehow illusory.
Besides, there is the old question of deception, which here becomes a suspicion of violent negation of the roles. The (physical) coercion is such, that one involved in the action, one becomes an actor, of necessity, offered to the sadism of the author. ‘Professions, for which the audience has a solid respect, often allow trespassing into cynicism, sometimes not to deceive their own audience (their statements can never be taken as valid ones), but because they can use this cynicism as a means to isolate the most intimate part of themselves from contact with the spectators.’ The latter are, in any case, misled by the double image, which comes as a commentary aside, but which ends up by being the only representative element – that is, a sadistic one.
The performance The Search for the Ideal lasts twenty minutes and is projected on a screen two meters high; in the dark behind the screen, two nude figures repeat the action of the film; the soundtrack by Caruso and me is obtained with two tape recorders which are placed in two corners at one hand of the room and run simultaneously. »