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As a matter of fact Oberti does nothing but shape time, handling it as if it were mere material — thus seeing that not only dust is floating in the air, but its opposite also, humidity — but also turning it into the very maker of what is visible, showing how it operates.
Time operates though accumulation, stratification, it is memory, sedimentation of affection, it is an un-veiling process. Oberti shows this stratification, makes it work, gives it a meaning and makes it his own, through acting in the same way and highlighting the meaning of what, among things surrounding him, seems to correspond to himself, to his inner thoughts and feelings. He is collecting what he wants to be a part of his world: objects, images, phenomena and covering them with a veil, sometimes a real one, that could be made of dust, graphite, gold or paint or maybe by the only air between us and what we are allowed to see; some other times by a more immaterial veil, but perceptible all the same and made by a slight intervention on a object which is found and endowed with a meaning which makes it his own.
But time is also a circle, a peculiar one, as we mentioned before, in the shape of an 8, twisted on its centre. Stratification, as a matter of fact, often turns the object into its appearing and meaning rather than into material substance. While the very act of spreading around conveys to the object its own autonomous sense and makes it revert back to the sender, modified by the eye of the beholder. So even the observer, standing at the opposite site in the process of production, has dropped his dust, his dampness, his veil on the object. Finally the work of time, a work on time, gets a mysteriously timeless air.
Milan, September 2010
Translation from Italian by Marta Pianeti