"If I could stop the moment, what would I do?" Roberto Gervaso wrote in his book Il grillo parlante in 1983. What would we do?
"Ah stay a while! You are so lovely!" Exclaimed Goethe's Faust to indicate that irrepressible, desire to stop the happy moments, those we have been waiting for and dreamed of, those we like, those moments that we would never finish and instead are dragged from the inexorable flow of time that brings them who knows where, leaving us only the memory we have of them. One unidirectional scroll with respect to which we have no power and which reveals all our limitation.
Sant'Agostino did not think so. For him time does not flow because we are always linked to the present and never to the past that we live as a memory and never to the future that we live as a project. It is our mind to measure time. Each of us has our own internal clock. "Our perception of duration does not depend only on the unit of measurement used by the brain to estimate past time. The measure of the attention we lend to a certain event is also decisive. If the conscience takes care of other things at the same time, we underestimate the time spent; if instead we are completely present the second ones dilate" Stefan Klei, Time: A User’s Guide, 2008.
Through the thermoforming process, a packaging technique that subtracting air allows a plastic sheet to adhere perfectly to the object to be wrapped, Gino Sabatini Odoardi stops the moment, "freezes" something (be it a glass, an object of daily life, a gravestone, etc.), letting that determined sheet of white plastic (polystyrene) take possession of the object, assuming its shape perfectly. To see those works we do not know if they are just the cast of the shape of a glass for example or if the object is still there protected by the plastic that has taken it away from the passage of time. We do not know if it is only a "form", an "appearance" or if there is also a "substance".
A dialectic between being and appearing that in the age of the Internet, virtual communities and virtual reality shows all its positive and negative potentials. "There is a silence of the sky before the storm, of the forests before the wind rises, of the calm evening sea, of those who love each other, of our soul, then there is a silence that asks only to be heard" (Romano Battaglia, Un cuore pulito, 2001). Visiting an exhibition by Sabatini Odoardi means moving in a silent, meditative, timeless world. The unique and dominant color is white. A color that homogenizes the differences because it contains all the colors of the light spectrum, so all the differences. In this sense, white is the color of the East where the sun rises, thus symbolizing the beginning of everything. In the same way, white can be understood as the absence of colors. In this sense, white is the color of the West where the sun dies, thus symbolizing the end of everything. White therefore being the beginning and the end is the color of the absolute and therefore symbolizes a process of rebirth and transformation.
If we think about it, the bride's dress is white, just like the dress Christian people uses during the first communion, just to give some examples of our culture that bear witness to change, a new life. All this is not accidental in Sabatini Odoardi's practice where white becomes the color of what the artist has "frozen" thus stopping the passage of time and that at any moment could be re-introduced in the flow of time eliminating that film white that now is the hallmark of the artist. In the packaging world, that film has a protective function of the product that wraps.
Sabatini Odoardi’s practice has in itself therefore a sense of care and protection of that moment that we would never want to end, of those objects from which we would never want to separate. "But time, time, who makes it? Who gives me back those seasons | of glass and sand, who takes me back | anger, gesture, women and songs, | lost friends, books eaten, | the flat joy of appetites, | the healthy thirst of the thirsty, | blind faith in poor myths"? (Francesco Guccini, Lettera, 1996).