“Altre voci: Altre stanze”, curated by C. Piccoli, Magazzino d’Arte Moderna, Rome, 2004

Dedicated to the inhabitants of Via dei Prefetti 17

The work consists in the reactivation of the old fountain in the courtyard of the building at Via dei Prefetti 17, home of the Magazzino d’Arte Moderna, through the reconstruction of the building’s plumbing system.

The artist has interpreted the pipes as a circulatory system extending from the basements to the terraces and through the individual apartments, bringing nourishment to the large organism of the building. The edifice itself is the protagonist of the project, together with its historical background (legend has it that the Capitoline Wolf drank here), its architecture, and the people who live inside it.

The work springs from the artist’s vocation to be “at the service” of the community with which he comes into contact. The project was developed in the exhibition spaces of the gallery through drawings and installations, but it implied a parallel public intervention, the renovation of the fountain, seen as a gift of the artist to the inhabitants: the public work “entered” a space that is often extraneous to them, that of the gallery. “To explore the reality of life, to adhere to it – the artist says – is the starting point of every one of my works; while the outcome of the work, on the other hand, is the multiplication of reality. Precisely for this reason, my projects take place in multiple contexts, at the same time, in everyday life and in the art system… My works are used and experienced, they are modified and consumed, and they are always connected to the present” [Stefano Boeri, Alberto Garutti, Hans Ulrich Obrist, in Tre tentativi per un catalogo ragionato dell’opera di Alberto Garutti, Kaleidoscope Press, Milan, 2010, p. 14].

Water, a simple everyday element, but one that is full of unique vitality, becomes a means through which to narrate a system of human relations. The fountain, as the most visible feature of that tangle that is the plumbing system of the building, is the work’s pivot and emblem.