Mechanisms of Power – Arcangelo Sassolino
Purgatory, 2016

Oil piston, steel, wood, hydraulic system
Courtesy Galleria Continua and Galerie Rolando Anselmi

Held only by one steel rope, the 800 kg heavy sculpture is suspended above the ground. Two other steel ropes fix the long logs of larch wood. A hydraulic piston applies alternating pressure onto the wood. Through the almost invisible but constant application of force the wood bends up to the limits of its maximum capacity. The title “Purgatory”, a religious term for being in limbo after death, points towards an indefinite state of being in-between. Over a long period of time, the only signs of material fatigue are sounds of snapping and splintering. However, the long and steady process can lead to an eventual bursting of the wood and a collapse of this material. Arcangelo Sassolino has produced this work especially for the exhibition at the Frankfurter Kunstverein.