Knock them down with a feather
"Knock them down with a feather" is made for the exhibition MINDCRAFT 18 and the monastery San Simpliciano in Milan. A ‘helmet’ and a ‘sleeve’, constructed in layers and stabilized with clamps in a time-consuming but fairly simple technique. Small bits of wire are added to the exterior of the helmet to produce a bristling appearance.
The objects have contrasting references to birds and medieval chain-mail armour. The expression is deliberately ambiguous, simultaneously soft/inviting and hard/aggressive. The exterior has a metallic and prickly look, although the delicate wire is in fact soft to the touch with a light and feathery feel.
Drawing on some of the formal characteristics of the site, the circle and the repetition echo the cloister’s pavement and the arcade. On a narrative level, the work is inspired by the legend of the three martyrs Sisino, Martirio and Alessandro, whose remains are interred in the church. According to legend, the martyrs rose from their graves in the form of doves to help the Lombardic League defeat forces of Emperor Barbarossa at the Battle of Legnano in 1176. The doves flew from San Simpliciano to the battlefield, where they perched on a cross on the chariot throughout the battle. The story provides a narrative framework for the sculpture’s contrast between hard and soft ... war and doves ... armour and feathers ...