I Saw It in Bologna

Juan Muñoz

Madrid, Spain, 1953 - Santa Eulària des Riu, Ibiza, Spain, 2001
  • Date: 
  • Material: 
    Bronze and iron
  • Technique: 
    Casting and welding
  • Dimensions: 
    Overall: 320 x 722 x 123 cm / Figure: height 126 cm / Column: 305 x 47 x 47 cm
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I Saw It in Bologna has all the aspects that define the concept of the figure and of space in the Juan Muñoz’s works. It is a sculptural installation done the same year that he created the first Conversation Pieces, in which a number of figures without legs, similar to the one that dominates this piece, shared a space in such a way that they seem to be ignoring each other and, like the hooded figure in I Saw It in Bologna, were presented as absolutely separate from the potential viewer. The work is also the physical expression of a vision of outside spaces, which alludes to the concept of the city as a place of transition, and to the idea of the Baroque as a space of illusion and dislocation, which is where the reference to the porticoes throughout the historical part of Bologna comes from. The piece has eight Solomonic-style columns and, like other Muñoz works, features a strange figure, ill-adapted to its surroundings, the dwarf-like figure who, transformed into a generic tumbler-toy, can neither walk nor move, always returning to his initial position. Muñoz, an admirer of the enigmatic, anonymous sculptures of Alberto Giacometti and the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico, saw this work as a materialisation of the eternity of the moment in memory, as well as the use of architecture as a theatrical framework to which the viewer has only limited access.

Carmen Fernández Aparicio