One of the most precious and rare works by Prini in the collection, whose image is reproduced in the early publication curated by Germano Celant on Arte Povera (1969). It is a photographic work, as mysterious as it is intriguing, that I would never have imagined being able to acquire. The titles and texts that accompany this rare photo in the book mentioned above do not help their interpretation, in fact they complicate it: Introduzione alle statue (Introduction to Statues), Fermacarte (Paperweights), Con un peso (il mio corpo sul in piombo) (With a weight [my body on the/in lead]).
In actual fact, this photo of mine is connected to the original work presented at Galleria "La Bertesca" in Genoa, in Prini's first one-man show. The installation consisted of large format photographs by Prini and other people who were carrying out "azioni tipo" (typical actions) such as walking, jumping, climbing the stairs, etc, placed on the floor. On top of these large photos, lead weights of various shapes had been arranged, acting as paperweights for the photos themselves (and partly covering the images on them). The lead represented Prini's body weight, the photos symbolised the effect of gravity on the body. In the "final" photos that document the work, the lead represents the weight that remains on the ground, while Prini seems to fly off, jump, climb the stairs. The original black and white photos, like the one presented here, show the discrepancy between the fleeting image of Prini, or the other people in action, and their weight concentrated in the gravitational points. The lead weights, arranged in various ways, and spread out rather than concentrated in groups along the sides of the steps, as though structuring geometric forms, seem to merge into the photographic print by the fleeting figure who performs the action. The lead thus contributes to tracing a world of black and white images both mysterious and unreal. Another confirmation of the frequent tendency by Prini to realise his works/projects in order for them to be transformed in photograph: which fixes the object/image, the time, the experience.
Prini's is a strange, upside down world, in which it is easier to walk with your head down and your feet in the air. An artist who leads you into a sort of perceptive abyss, where you think you have found traces, elements to grasp some fragment of his work, and then you discover that if you don't read up on it (and it's not always easy), you cannot intuit the direction of his expressive universe. That's Prini: maybe his concept of making art is simpler that I can imagine. Most probably it is the negation of making art in "traditional" terms. I don't know. What is certain is that inexplicably, for years, I have pursued with an incredible thrill every piece of his that I managed to find. Perhaps what I am searching for is in fact Prini's mystery: I always need to "see", to try with fresh intuition. It is a challenge I can't give up on, while Prini continues to write now and then on the back of his cards, his simple/complex truth, seemingly untranslatable like his work itself.
I follow him for this something that is unattainable, mysterious, that becomes mine for a few moments. The
emotion of this second of "recompense" remains in my mind, and provides a fresh impulse to continuing my quest.