It was during a Medieval Art History class.
The image being discussed was that of Saint Jerome in the desert. As for myself I had always seen Saint Jerome in his study, surrounded by books, in the precise space defined by Antonello da Messina, more a man of the Renaissance than a Saint.
Here instead, the Saint showed himself just like a Saint would, as I had imagined him: alone, penitent, ascetic, far away from the joys and temptations of the social consortium. What I found really striking though, was the desert. The idea of the desert.
The desert was determined by a comparison with the town, painted in the background.
This is the desert, since it is not the city, a clear urban ensemble. If you are not within the walls you are in the desert, which does not mean sand, heat, Paris-Dakar, void, but more likely the negation of the town. And I also remember Saint Jerome in the desert, painted just outside the walls, as someone who’s lost the keys to his house and is waiting outside.
Just out of the city walls.
Not much changed in the end, considered how we escape from the city in the springtime and celebrate the coming of the season with a day trip outside the walls, Italian style, indeed.
Nothing changed since Shakespeare made Romeo saying: “There is no world without Verona walls”.
Well, I was born in Verona, I left it in time, and I can tell you that there is something outside those walls, definitely.
What follows is a selection of 99 episodes that happened there, in the fields, episodes that showed (and keep showing) us those fields… out of the city walls.
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatlandia, London, Seely & Co., 1884.
J. J. Abrams, Lost, 2004–2010.
Bas Jan Ader, In Search of the Miraculous, 1975.
Pawel Althamer, Untitled, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2003.
Pawel Althamer, Path, Skulptur Projekte Münster, Münster, 2007.
Michelangelo Antonioni, Deserto Rosso, 1964.
John Baldessari, The Backs of All the Trucks Passed While Driving from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, California, Sunday, 20 January 1963, 1963.
Giovanni Bellini, San Girolamo leggente nel deserto, 1505.
Mario Bellini, Kar-a-Sutra, 1971.
The Berlin Wall, April 13, 1961 – November 9, 1989.
BBPR, Il labirinto dei ragazzi, X Triennale, Milano 1954.
Alighiero e Boetti, Classificando i mille fiumi più lunghi del mondo, 1977.
Carol Bove with Janine Larivierem, Plants & Mammals, Horticultural Society of New York, 2009.
Josif Brodskij, Fondamenta degli Incurabili, Milano, Adelphi, 1991.
Dino Buzzati, Il deserto dei Tartari, Milano, Mondadori, 1940.
Frank Boezem, Weather drawings, 1969.
Gianni Celati, Verso la foce, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1988.
Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Celebration? Real Life, Gallery House, London, 1972.
Vija Celmins, Untitled (Ocean), 1968.
Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines, Franklin Press, UK, 1986.
John Cheever, The swimmer, 1964.
Cima da Conegliano, San Girolamo nel deserto, 1500 /1505.
Le Corbusier, Edgard Varèse, Iannis Xénakis, Poème électronique, Brussels, 1958.
COSMIC WONDER, Eclipse, 2005.
Joe Dante, Innerspace, 1987.
Frank Darabont, The Mist, 2007.
Walter De Maria, The New York Earth Room, 1977, 141 Wooster Street, New York City.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Blur Building, Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, 2002
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922.
Brian Eno, Ambient 1: Music for Airports, EG, Polydor Virgin, London/Cologne, 1978.
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, Orbit of the Earth, April 12, 1961.
Luigi Ghirri, Vittorio Savi, Luigi Ghirri. Atlante, Charta, Milano, 2000.
J. Wolfgang Goethe, La forma delle nuvole e altri saggi di meteorologia, Archinto, Milano, 2000.
Hans Haacke, Condensation Cube, 1963-65.
Florian Hecker, Dark Energy (22’18″), Galerie Neu, Berlin, 2007.
Werner Herzog, Fata Morgana, 1970.
Eva Hesse, Untitled, 1970.
Hans Hollein, Architecture Pill, Non-Physical environement, 1967.
The Holy Bible, Exodus 14,15-31.
Roni Horn, Bluff Life. (To Place, book I.) New York, Peter Blum, 1990.
Roni Horn, Folds. (To Place, book II.) New York,Mary Boone Gallery, 1991.
Roni Horn, Lava. (To Place, book III.) New York, Roni Horn, 1992.
Roni Horn, Pooling waters. (To Place, book IV.) Cologne, Walther König, 1993.
Roni Horn, Inner geography. (To Place, supplement.) Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Museum of Art, 1994.
Roni Horn, Verne’s journey. (To Place, book V.) Cologne, Walther König, 1995.
Roni Horn, Haraldsdóttir. (To Place, book VI.) Denver, CO, Ginny Williams, 1996
Roni Horn, Arctic circles. (To Place, book VII.) Denver, CO: Ginny Williams, 1998.
Roni Horn, Becoming a landscape. (To Place, book VIII.) Denver, CO: Ginny Williams, 2001.
Roni Horn, Doubt box. (To Place, book IX.) Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2006.
Duglas Huebler, Location Piece # 13, 1969.
Alexander von Humboldt, September 14, 1769 – May 6, 1859.
Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception, London, Chatto & Windus, 1954.
Peter Hyams, Capricorn One, 1978.
Derek Jarman, Derek Jarman’s Garden, London, Thames & Hudson, 1995.
Joe Johnston, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, 1989.
Friedrich Kiesler, Raumstadt, Paris, 1925.
Arata Isozaki, Electric Labyrinth, Milano, 1968.
Sol LeWitt, Autobiography. New York and Boston: Multiple and Lois and Michael K. Torf, 1980.
Lars Laumann, The Berlin Wall, 2008.
David Lynch, Dune, 1984.
Giorgio Manganelli, Dall’inferno, Milano, Adelphi, 1998.
Giorgio Manganelli, L’isola pianeta, Milano, Adelphi, 1996.
Maurizio Mercuri, Theme, 1997-2000.
Robert Morris, Steam Cloud, 1966.
Piero Manzoni, Socle du monde, 1961.
Mark Manders, Two Connected House, Amsterdam, Roma Publications, 2010.
Enzo Mari, Modulo 856, VI Biennale d’arte di San Marino, 1967.
Eva Marisaldi, Plasmoniana, Bologna, Galleria Neon,1993.
Steve McQueen, Barrage, Koln, Walther König Verlag, 2000.
Marco Navarra, Parco lineare tra Caltagirone e Piazza Armerina, Caltagirone-S.Michele di Ganzaria (CT), 1998-2000.
Isamu Noguchi, Moerenuma Park, 1988-2005.
Giancarlo Norese, Barbonato, 1996.
Pink Floyd, Live In Venice, July 14, 1989.
Frank Perry, The swimmer, 1968.
Jean Prouvé, La maison tropicale, 1951.
Ed Ruscha, Hollywood is a Verb, 1983.
Principality of Sealand, since 1967.
Carlo Scarpa, Tomba Brion, San Vito d’ Altivole (TV), 1969-1978.
Markus Schinwald, Skies, 2009.
W. Somerset Maugham, On a Chinese Screen, George H. Doran, 1922.
Lo Spazio dell’immagine, Palazzo Trinici, Foligno, July 2, October 1, 1967.
Charles Sprawson, Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero, Pantheon Books, New York, 1992.
Gus Van Sant, Gerry, 2002.
Ettore Sottsass, Il pianeta come festival, Casabella n.365, pp. 41/47, Milan, Casabella, 1972.
Südgelände Nature Park, Berlin, 2000.
Superstudio, Supersuperficie, 1971.
Danis Tanović, No Man’s Land, 2001.
Andrej Tarkovskij, Stalker, 1979
Bernard Tschumi, Fireworks, London, 1974.
Ron Underwood, Tremors, 1990.
Franco Vaccari, 700 Km di esposizione Modena Graz, 1972.
Vangelis, Antarctica, Polydor, 1983.
Jules Verne, Voyage au centre de la Terre, Paris, Pierre-Jules Hetzel, 1864.
Jules Verne, Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours, Paris, Pierre-Jules Hetzel, 1873
Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle, New Tork, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963.
Wim Wenders, Notebook On Cities And Clothes, 1989.
Wim Wenders, Tokyo Ga, 1985.
Frank Lloyd Wright, The Japanese Print: An Interpretation, Chicago, Ralph Fletcher Seymour, Co., 1912.
Piero Zanini, Significati del confine,