Giovanna Papafava Dolcetti
Alderwoman in Charge, Department of Culture, Impruneta

"An exhibition and a convention on peace at Impruneta"
March 16th - April. 8th, 1985.
1945-1985. Forty years after the last World War we felt was the right moment to meditate together on the past because reflecting carefully may help us understand what our role could be in a future that appears full of dangers. We only suggest (beyond our capacity and possibility of intervention) that we concentrate our thoughts on a theme which we often ignore, perhaps to avoid being overwhelmed by the weight and the terror that it provokes. For this reason we invited artists and scientists to speak about the problem of war and we have listened to Norberto Bobbio, who is concerned and pessimistic but by no means resigned, and to a stimulating propositional presentation by Johan Galtung who illustrated alternatives to nuclear defence systems.
With the exhibition of Bruno Martinazzi, who presents his project for a "Monument against war", and the conference that will follow, our intention is to continue to exchange our thoughts on the theme of war and violence... We accept Bobbio's exhortation to "leave no stone unturned", to understand and grow in order to prevent war and violence as is written in our Constitution.

Francesco De Bartolomeis, 1984 "Certezza/Utopia"
Contro le Guerre, Progetto di monumento di Bruno Martinazzi, Catalogo, Museo Diocesano, Venezia, Oct./Nov. 1984

In Martinazzi's most recent work we observe his ever-present preoccupation: not man as a kind of Titan but man relativized with respect to all else, his presence in the work of art made to be felt through symbols rather than descriptions. Therefore, after the measurements, beyond a figurative continuity, the dominant motif remains incommensurability in space, in time, in values. And it is not a renunciation 'a priori' because there prevails a persistence, at once real and poetic and magical, in measuring oneself against...
Thus incommensurability does not block or thwart but is the operation by means of which man participates in the important event which is still to come: as for example the end of all wars.
In 1982, the research which was to produce the scale model of the monument Against War' (in pink Portuguese marble, scale approx. 1:12) begins. A distant forerunner, the 'peace marches' of '67.
The scale model has only one figurative element (a woman's head) with an extension which finishes on the left with no definite form. On the back of the actual monument it has been planned that 500/900 names will be engraved, representing a sample of humanity. Observed from above the work has an arrow-shaped orientation, like something which points and penetrates deeply. It is not a modelled object in traditional full relief but cuts which produce vital geometrical shapes as if to give the impression that the pieces which the cuts have taken away still belong to the sculpture. Three large carbon drawings accompany the project, one of which in actual size, and some technical drawings. A singular monument because it is non-celebrative. Or rather it celebrates something which has not yet happened. The compression of all wars in a past to which there is no return, thereby giving definitive creative absoluteness to peace: thus the confrontation of man, all men, with a thing as essential as it is immense, almost beyond the limits of controllability.
The exhibition also bears witness to the transitory phases which set Martinazzi's research in motion again: four Cycladic heads, then the enigmatic emergence of a face from a block that is not shapeless but has smooth, geometrical antagonistic forms (three works). Finally the model: the identification of a woman, a paradoxically simple and direct symbol, nothing else but the certitude/utopia of living peace as creativity and adventure.






<< One idea permeates this work: no social form is good or bad in itself but only in reference to what it does to people. Society is to serve human needs and self-realization, not social goals abstracted away from man himself, such as "national interest" (i.e., national elite interest),
"economic growth", "democracy", "socialism". Such concepts are, at best, means to that end. But if human self-realization is the ultimate goal,
then three simple circumstances, rarely heralded by utopian authors,
must receive consideration: Human beings are not similar. Human beings are not constant. Human beings are not consistent.
1 << There is a crisis in the world today, now felt even by those of us
who enjoy the power and privileges at the top of the world.
There is a crisis of violence and threat of violence, which ranges
from the U.S. nuclear capability said to equal 615,000 Hiroshima bombs (which killed around 200,000 human beings) to the ever-increasing acts
of small-scale terrorism. The whole range from macro to micro violence seems ready, at times, to be unleashed on mankind.
There is a crisis of misery, and threat of poverty, in poor countries -where much of the population is still underfed and underclad, lacks adequate shelter, suffers ill health, and has scant or no education-and in rich countries-where major unemployment may soon be manifest by an economy increasingly showing its cracks.
There is a crisis of repression, and threat of repression, of all human
rights relating to freedom and the opportunity to take part in politics-to participate in governing oneself - not only in the numerous authoritarian and totalitarian countries found in the world but also in the democracies, where repression may any time follow in the wake of the twin crises of violence and misery.
There is a crisis in the environment, and a threat of local breakdown of
the ecological balance in some places, because of the depletion of nonrenewable resources, the pollution of man and nature alike, and the pressure of an expanding population on a finite environment.
The goals that constitute the nucleus of the present book-an "absence of violence", "economic welfare", "social justice", "human rights",
"ecological balance and partnership with nature"-seem rather far from their realization. If they are seriously threatened, then human beings everywhere are seriously threatened. For what are the needs of man
if not to stay alive and not be destroyed through violence; to have his fundamental needs satisfied (food, clothes, shelter, health, education),
in order to further human growth; to develop in freedom and active
social participation; and to live in partnership with the nature of which man is a part, in solidarity with future generations? 2 >>

1 Johan Galtung The True Worlds, A transnational perspective.
The Free Press, N. Y. 1980, pag. XXIII, XXIV

2. Johan Galtung, Ibidem, pag. 1

April 1984

"This magnificent sculpture inspire in me exactly the two, maybe three feelings I think one can have today, confronted with not only the horrors, but also the likelihood of a major nuclear war: - the unspeakable fear,
the Angst unspeakable -because it is too horrible really to contemplate fully however much it may be backed up by the pessimism of a brain informed by the nature of the current arm race, and how such arms
races tend to end; - the almost naive, childlike expression -is this what
the world is like? is this what I have been brought into? - the Prinzip Hoffnung, the principle of hope - the hidden optimism of the heart, nevertheless there must be some way out, somewhere, it cannot be that hopeless.I share all these sentiments. And I dare hope that there must be some elements of humanity left in those who take the major decisions about war and peace. It is in their minds so much of the problem is located, prisoners as they are of their own primitive logic. So, I would like to see that terrified human being in the sculpture change, I would like to see a smile spread over the face, the eyes filled with glittering optimism, the heart proved right, the brain wrong. For,
to the present madness".
Johan Galtung, April, 1984 Catalogue Contro le Guerre