The matter could not be

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La materia poteva non esserci (The matter could not be) is an installation by Sicilian artist Pietro Consagra. Created in 1986 at the request of Antonio Presti, it was the first work to be inaugurated at the Fiumara d’Arte. Originally created as a memorial to the death of Presti’s father, the installation soon grew into something larger, effectively giving birth to the Fiumara project.

The matter could not be: description and meaning

The matter could not be was the first Fiumara d’Arte installation and the one that launched the project itself. In 1982, Antonio Presti, the founder of Fiumara, asked the artist Pietro Consagra to create a monument in memory of his father. The result is a large sculpture composed of two parallel forms facing each other. The two elements, one white and the other black, are 18 meters high and made of reinforced concrete. The artist chose to place his installation in a very specific context: the bed of the now dry Tusa River. The installation thus emphasizes the relationship between man and the environment, and the contrast between them. This is reflected both in the forms, which are in a delicate balance between empty and full spaces, and in the choice of color. The space between the two parallel forms can be crossed, almost like a “door leading to another era, to an archaic past”.

About the artist: Pietro Consagra

Pietro Consagra was born in Mazara del Vallo in 1920. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo, he moved to Rome in 1944. In 1947, together with eight other artists, including Carla Accardi, Ugo Attardi and Piero d’Orazio, he was one of the founders of the magazine “Forma 1”. Here a way of making art was theorized that was a mediation between the languages of abstractionism and realism. Throughout his career, he worked in all aspects of artistic creation, from painting to sculpture, from jewelry to urban architecture. The same approach of exploration, Consagra had it also in his use of materials. In fact, he has used wood, marble and enameled metals to express his restlessness of soul and intellect, applied to the search for two-dimensional volumes. In the eighties he was one of the protagonists of the reconstruction of Gibellina after the Belìce earthquake, where he created the steel installation “Stella” as a gateway to the city. Today his works are exhibited in important museums all over the world.

Where to find and how to visit The matter could not be

The installation La materia poteva non esserci is located in the territory of Tusa, just 6 minutes by car from the Museum-Hotel Atelier sul Mare. Consagra’s installation is the ideal starting point for an itinerary to discover all the works of the Fiumara d’Arte. It is located along provincial road 174, which leads to the towns of Pettineo and Motta d’Affermo, where the works Energia Mediterranea and 38° Parallelo – Piramide are located. Continuing along the provincial road 176 you can reach the other works of Fiumara d’Arte. To visit the works, park your car at the side of the road and walk along a dirt road. The walk is short, but it is advisable to wear closed, comfortable shoes.

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