Have you heard the one about the artist who sold an invisible sculpture for $18,000? It certainly sounds like the set-up to a joke about the absurdities of certain circles of modern art, but maddeningly it isn’t a joke at all! While the rest of us get mad at the fact a bag of crisps seems to be 60% air, someone has actually coughed the equivalent of a reasonable reposit for a house on nothing but ‘air and spirit’.
Salvatore Garau has managed to immortalise his sculpting name as the benefactor of the most ludicrous purchase since Yoko Ono bought a blade of grass from Salvador Dalí.
The purchase was, essentially, of a certificate of authenticity that signed off the nothingness afore them as a genuine work of art. The expansive void is known as The Io Sono which translates as ‘I Am’ in English, albeit ‘I Am Not’ would perhaps be more fitting.
Garau has established himself in Italy as a well-known presence in the art community renowned for his abstract works. Far from a charlatan, although he has since brought that into question, many of his works have previously been displayed in museums throughout Europe and even at the grand Venice Biennale.
He told HypeBeast, that he essentially has done what Isaac Newton failed to do, by alchemically crafting, in a purely spiritual sense, something from nothing. “The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy,” he declared, “Even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that ‘nothing’ has a weight.”
He then went on to conclude: “Therefore, it has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.”
He then goes on to liken it to all sorts of metaphysical reflections of the human condition that are simply too pretentious to broadcast for fear of upsetting those of a stable disposition.
The five foot by five foot square of nought requires no specific transport, lighting or climate controls but he has advised it would be best displayed in a “private space free from obstructions”.
As Edward Hopper once said, “If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” You can make up your own minds about what Garau’s sculpture says.