Delphine Valli
Cosmic Attraction, 2021
ottone, argento, acido, fuoco, pioggia / brass, silver, acid, fire, rain 
299 x 35 x 35 cm

The Shape of Gold. 7/12 – Delphine Valli

03.07.2021 – 30.07.2021

Cosmic Attraction


brass, silver, acid, fire, rain

299 x 35 x 35 cm

BUILDINGBOX presents, from July 3rd, 2021 to July 30th, 2021, a work by Delphine Valli (Champigny-sur-Marne, Francia, 1972), seventh artist of The Shape of Gold, the annual exhibition project curated by Melania Rossi, which investigates the use of gold in contemporary artistic research through the works of twelve artists invited to compete with the chosen theme. The installations are visible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the window in via Monte di Pietà 23 in Milan.

In this site specific project, the sculpture triggers a subtle game between what is immediately visible and what is absent, between the material and the immaterial, short-circuiting the automatic mechanism that we use to interpret objects in space.

Delphine Valli’s artistic practice has always sought out tensions, boundaries and unexpected relationships between artwork and setting, forging a dialogue between architectural elements, sculptural parts, painted geometries and emptiness as a poetic dimension of observation. The artist creates ambiguous, unstable forms which, despite their clean, minimal aesthetic, aim to put the observer in the “uncomfortable” position of looking for different points of view, establishing an unprecedented relationship with reality as we know it. The concept of “undefined” is central to Valli’s works: the innate potential of open forms favors multiple readings and meanings that the artist seeks, without ever provoking or forcing, but rather, by gently undermining the solidity of things

The installations are often accompanied by texts written by the artist, which invite us to leave pre-established interpretations behind.

In the case of Cosmic Attraction, the sculptural geometry suspended in space has various missing parts that the observer’s eye tends to complete automatically. In noting this mechanism of vision, we move from attention to detail to the overall vision and back again, formulating strategies of perception to achieve a new balance. The gold color stands out from the oxidized brass, an effect achieved by the artist using acids, fire and rainwater; the way the metal reacts can only be partially controlled and it is this guided randomness that underpins the poetics and aesthetic of the work.

Gold itself, which manages to reach the surface of the earth from the planet’s deepest layers, is thought  to have originated from a cosmic clash that has not yet been fully explained. When we explore its alchemical nature, we are inevitably led to wonder where we ourselves come from, and where we are going. The text Dark Matter – which accompanies the artwork and can be accessed using the QR code printed on the window – describes us walking through everyday reality and at the same time invites us to shift our gaze upwards, from the street to the stars.

In Delphine Valli’s work, gold is never “real”; whether spray paint, brass or bronze, it is used by the artist to evoke the mystery of the cosmos and existence.