Among the artists in the Sixties who endorsed the supremacy of the idea as the creation of an art object,
Lawrence Weiner investigates the system whereby the visitor perceives and interprets the artist ’s ideas. In fact for Weiner, the proposition is much more important than its realization, and for this reason words, as meaning, are more relevant than the object in and of itself, and the words ’ interpretation as a work of art is entrusted to the viewer.
One of the works in the collection, A REMOVAL OF THE CORNER OF A RUG IN USE,1969, lends itself to multiple levels of interpretation. According to the artist ’s intentions, the work consists of the proposition and the materials to which it refers. The fact that the phrase is written in vinyl on one of the walls of the Museum is only one possible interpretation, since one might also physically remove a corner of a rug that is being used. Weiner ’s works are not based simply on language, but rather utilize language as a material. His art might be defined as dialectical, in that it is based on the oppositional relationships between different forms of thought —that of the artist and that of the viewer —in consistent and continuous dialogue.…IN AS MUCH AS /IN AS MUCH AS …,1972,makes itself evident as writing on the wall.
Once again the existence of the work is strongly tied to the meaning produced by the viewer ’s interpretation. It is only a “work of art ” because it is exhibited in a museum, but above all in relation to the significance attributed to it by the observer. Weiner ’s works are thus always open to multiple interpretations and manifest their presence through the communicative power intrinsically expressed in their being signified.
MADE TO PRODUCE A SPARK ,2006 ,was created by the artist specifically for the stairwell space that links the various floors of Castello di Rivoli. The result of the artist ’s reflection on the experience of the visitor to an exhibition, the work was conceived in opposition, so that as visitors ascend the staircase, they first read the phrase that concludes the work and recurs in the title. It is only by continuing to ascend that the visitor can read the work in its entirety, thus extracting its significance, which is barely suggested by the entire phrase that reads: “a light rain (captured) induced to run wrapped around itself reduced to mist made to produce a spark. ”.Here too, there are many possible interpretations: the idea of climbing tied to an ascending path that wraps around itself, a captured raindrop that becomes art, the experience of vision as a spark. If for Weiner, the creation of the work can also remain hidden in the artist ’s intentions, then this is only one possible suggestion, and visitors are left free to interpret it as they like best.