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Form in progress

installation, clay, wood, drawing on pape

The work Form in progress started from the so-called ‘Molyneux’s question’. Molyneux was an Irish physicist who, in 1693, wrote a letter to Locke posing a question which later acquired world-wide notoriety: ‘Can a man born blind who has learnt to feel the differences between shapes such as spheres and cubes distinguish those objects by sight if given the ability to see?’ Pugno’s answer to this problem starts from the observation that ‘a shape’ is traditionally meant to be visual. By challenging this received notion, her sculptures attempt to investigate a tactile shape, namely a shape that disregards sight altogether. Her sculptures are made of clay and are modelled following a purely tactile relationship with the two objects, a sphere and a cube, while attempting to bracket off all possible visual memories related to them. In these works Pugno sought to forget her knowledge of the visual shape of the two objects. She tried to touch them as if for the first time, trying to reconstruct a pure tactile condition. It is this condition that makes any new tactile experience of the same object something unique: an infinite wealth as opposed to the relative fixedness of visual shapes.

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