Che fare?, 2009
Antenna, megaphones, electric circuit, aluminium, steel, wires
1100 x 600 x 600 cm
Site specific dimensions

In 1968, Mario Merz put the neon sign che fare? (“What is to be done?”) in a pan filled with melting wax. The phrase is a reference to the title of a book by Lenin and to an earlier novel by the author and revolutionary Nikolaj Černyševskij. In 2009, a shortwave radio emits the words Che fare? in Morse code through an eleven meters high antenna. Connected to it, several megaphones amplify the sound of the Morse code message sent by a radiotelegraphic operator based in Civitavecchia to the Fondazione Merz, in Turin. The old Che fare? question transforms itself into a signal thrown into the air, a question infinitely repeated albeit confined to the obsolescence of an outdated code, no longer intelligible.

Courtesy the artist and Magazzino, Rome

Installation view, Meteorite in giardino, Fondazione Merz, Turin, Italy, 2009