Damnatio Memoriae, 2016 / 2023
Marble, steel, hydraulic and electric system
Courtesy of the artist and Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Galleria dello Scudo, Verona
In an empty room of the former cantina in Raša, Arcangelo Sassolino (*1967) has rebuilt a work that he already developed in 2016: Damnatio Memoriae. The now updated artwork consists of two parts, a computer-controlled grinding machine and a stone sculpture – originally a marble torso, in Raša a column fragment made of local limestone. Over the course of the exhibition, the machine will systematically turn the stone sculpture into fine dust, which will settle in the exhibition space as a white surface layer. In the end, nothing remains of the form, everything has been transformed into dust. The title of the work refers to a social sanctioning measure in the Roman Empire – the erasure of a person’s memory – but is a modern neologism. In antiquity itself, people still spoke of the “abolitio nominis”.