‘Stranded Assets – Modulo 2: Protezione Ambientale’ is a modified reproduction of a regulations and emissions handbook retrieved from the recently decommissioned coal-fired Giuseppe Volpi power station in Porto Marghera, Venice. Lewitt retrieved this handbook in the course of research for his work ‘Stranded Assets’ at the 57th Biennale d’Arte Venezia.
The general set of operational standards presented and explained in this handbook are paired against fragments and images taken from the Volpi plant, inserting particular fragments from this defunct energy infrastructure against the legislative context that prescribed its operation. Most conspicuously, transparency pages depicting four lamps featured in the central stairwell of the power station are evenly dispersed throughout the book. The lamps’ form resembles an open book whose ‘pages’ are populated with vertical rows of glass rods, through which light is refracted into the building’s stairwell. The ‘streamlined’ layer-cake shapes of deco situate their design. ‘Stranded Assets’ links this historically obsolete idea of ‘streamlined’ design to the streamlined circulation of standardized products and operations through the energy economy. The form of the book illuminating the space of appearance thereby lends itself to circumscription. The idea of ‘the book’ is after all the locus classicus of the circulation of enlightenment. It suggests the lamps’ status as an unintentional allegory of literacy’s continual conversion: from mass enlightenment to mass illumination, from spatial and environmental visibility to the invisible flow of legal decree and the functional capacity of the building that the lamps are sedimented in. In this book, photographs of the lamps in context overlay the schematic presentation of legal regulations. Lewitt’s contribution to the Biennale consists in temporarily displacing these lamps into the Venetian Arsenale – the former site of the turbines that powered Venice, which was taken over by the Volpi plant. In his installation in the Arsenale, the original lamps illuminate his designated exhibition area. As an updated facsimile of an ENEL technical manual detailing emissions standards, the book pursues the gap that persists between the experience of a well-lit space of representation, and control of the energy commodity that lights it. — From the publisher
Paris: Onestar Press, 2017.
First edition, limited to 250 copies. This one is numbered 160 4to (29.7 × 21 cm) Softcover Unpaginated [144 pp] Texts in English and Italian Yellow paper wrappers with black fabric glued to spine. Glue bound. 136 pp printed in black on pulp paper, 4 pp printed in colour on glossy paper and 5 pp printed in colour on transparent acetate.
New. Item ID: 1375.