The 5 Elements: Books of Stone

25° Simposio Internazionale di Scultura su pietre del Friuli Venezia Giulia

Marmo Rosso Verzegnis, Fior di pesco carnico, Pietra piasentina

Itinerari nel Rojale


All the works created at the Symposium of Stone Sculpture in Friuli Venezia Giulia represent the thoughts, culture, existential and aesthetic choices of an author. Obviously, each sculptor, and only they, can claim its genesis and creation. It is my task instead to tell the story of a work, to say it immediately, borrowing from Pirandello, in search of an author. No one, alone, can claim the work. Genesis is already uncertain; I witnessed it, and I can certify it.

The idea came to Roberto Cossettini, who envisioned stone books. As obvious as it may be (if he doesn't know after 25 years), the plastic realization of the idea was entrusted to a sculptor, Alfredo Pecile. With some limitations/impositions/indications, call them what you will, from the symposium organizer to the sculptor.
I) The stones must be different, just as different are the quarries and mountains of our territories.
II) All sculptors who pass through this 25th Symposium, even if only for one day, must be able to work on them; at the end, everyone should be able to leave their imprint.

A new idea? Not really. It is said that someone inscribed words on stone in the midst of a burning bush on Sinai; we could define it as the first stone book of which we are aware. Perhaps Moses had a hard time carrying it, but we are sure it lasted a long time. In any case, words are stones, as the saying goes, but they primarily reside in objects called books.Books, the most loved and revered objects, modest containers of wisdom, beauty, thought, cherished in libraries. Books, the most feared and hated objects, carriers of the healthy virus called culture, destroyed in the fires of Alexandria and Berlin. Because yes, when one wants to annihilate a culture, when one wants to prevent free thought, books are destroyed first. Immediately after, take note, statues and monuments are destroyed.So, the stone books/sculptures of Vergnacco are explained. And from where else should they come if not from a place where the most diverse cultures, origins, personalities, languages have met, recognized, intertwined, and respected each other, where the word 'friend' has had a thousand different sounds but the same identical meaning, where solidarity has taken concrete and daily form, where no one is left alone, no one is left behind, where culture means sharing, acceptance, respect for oneself and others. In short, a symposium.

Jorge Luis Borges begins his description of a book like this: "it is a prism with six rectangular faces." Obviously, Borges continues in his own way, but he already gives us the idea. Our stones are prisms with six faces, but well recognizable. Like books, they have a spine, and you can see the pages. They offer themselves to reading with the use of symbolism; otherwise, it would be impractical to leaf through them. It will be Fior di Pesco, a stone with a light and poetic name, to bring symbols for water and air, and Rosso Verzegnis, a name of a much more evocative nature, will offer symbols for fire and earth. The reading is broad; we can understand all the grace and beauty that these four elements bring with them. Without them, there is no life, but also the terror they evoke when they become death and destruction to show us that we are not the masters of the world. On Piasentina, the first stone used in this Symposium, the DNA chain, or life, has been impressed. Of every life, of every species, without distinction, human, animal, vegetable, mineral. Life, and that's it, nothing else; this is the Fifth Element.On these symbols, on these concepts, starting from one's own culture, beliefs, life experience, and why not, even from the books on which everyone has been formed, all the sculptors who have succeeded here for 25 years have based their work. They were the first tools with which they faced and tamed the stone. And the stone books tell the story of all of them, bearing the imprint of their hands, and those of who organized, collaborated, documented, nurtured, hosted; the books tell all 25 years of this symposium. It is a choral narration that turns into collective work, which leads us to discover that yes, in the end, the work has found its author, has a name, small and giant, modest and powerful; it simply is called US.

Bianca Minigutti

Gli artisti

They collaborated on this project conceived to commemorate the 25 years of the symposium, the artists:

VALERIA VITULLI (Italia, Molise)
SILVIA MAFFIOLI (Italia, Lombardia)
FRANCESCO CADEDDU (Italia, Sardegna)