Mr. Iommi Goes to Paris

Detail, Godofredo Iommi: Morincoux, September 1962. Printed in Ailleurs 1 (1963), 18. Ailleurs 1 (1963), 18.

Detail, Godofredo Iommi: Morincoux, September 1962. Printed in Ailleurs 1 (1963), 18.

The past 24 hours have been a frenzy of amazing discoveries about Godofredo Iommi’s time in Europe. Until I fell down this rabbit hole I frankly doubted its existence. Godo’s time in Europe—ca. 1959 to ca. 1964—is not well-documented; hence my estimates regarding his departure and return. But using the tidbits I did know (friendship with Carmelo Arden Quin, long stay in Paris, prolific writing tendencies) I was confident I would find something.  Continue reading

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Before the Mall

 

Claudio Girola, "Monumento Athenea" (1987), reinforced concrete and steel. Santiago, Chile.

Claudio Girola, “Monumento Athenea” (1987), reinforced concrete and steel. Santiago, Chile.

Claudio Girola, "Monumento Athenea" (1987), reinforced concrete and steel. Santiago, Chile.

Claudio Girola, “Monumento Athenea” (1987), reinforced concrete and steel. Santiago, Chile.

In December 1987 the School of Valparaíso completed Monumento Atheneaan urban travesía in Santiago, by installing several sculptures by Claudio Girola. The ensemble consisted of delicate arcs of steel surrounding a lone sculpture made of reinforced concrete and inscribed with a poem by Godofredo Iommi. The works sat on the banks of the Mapocho River. As in the case of most travesía works, this group had a short life. Which is a shame considering how they may have fared better just across the river in the dedicated sculpture park. I visited the site a few years ago, hoping to see at least some evidence of this project but instead I dodged construction vehicles building the Costenera Center complex, which includes the mall du jour and the tallest building in South America. Little did I know the works endured much damage before meeting a watery end. Though it’s little consolation, the travesía was documented extensively as Flickr photos and these snapshots from the catalog demonstrate.

Sketches of Monumento Athenea. Escuela de Arquitectura Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Amereida Travesías 1984 a 1988. Viña del Mar: Taller de Investigaciones Gráficas, Escuela de Arquitectura UCV, 1991.

Sketches of Monumento Athenea. Escuela de Arquitectura Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Amereida Travesías 1984 a 1988. Viña del Mar: Taller de Investigaciones Gráficas, Escuela de Arquitectura UCV, 1991.

Gaga about Godo

My dissertation has a new leading man. I had been sensing this shift for the past few weeks as I drifted farther away from Godofredo Iommi’s poetry and into the waiting arms of Alberto Cruz’s maps. Of course, I have always been about the maps. It’s just that Iommi has a consuming way about him; from his stint on television, to his captivating poetry, to his Homeric presence in photographs he is difficult to ignore. And today, after finding the most charming edition of his poems, I know I’ll never fully break away from him. Continue reading

First Edition of Amereida

Cruz, Alberto, Fabio Cruz, Godofredo Iommi, Edison Simons, Michel Deguy, Jonathan Boulting, Henri Tronquoy, Claudio Girola, François Fedier, and Jorge Pérez Román. Amereida. Santiago: Editorial Cooperative Lambda, 1967.

Alberto Cruz, Fabio Cruz, Godofredo Iommi, Edison Simons, Michel Deguy, Jonathan Boulting, Henri Tronquoy, Claudio Girola, François Fedier, and Jorge Pérez Román. Amereida. Santiago: Editorial Cooperative Lambda, 1967.

I was winding down a four-hour library session yesterday when I accidentally found the first edition of Amereida I. Or to put it in the terms of the School of Valparaíso,  the book irrupted into my presence. Curiosity led me to look at the shelf of other editions of Amereida I. Just as I was standing to leave I saw a book tucked into the gap between stacks. The cover was unlike anything I have ever seen from the School and it took me a while to make out the lettering. But once all the shapes came together, there it was: Amereida. Continue reading