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The Following Day, No One Died, 2009
Porcelain, print on vinyl
M 10.5x8.5 - 34.44x27.88 feet
Installation view at Fondazione Merz, Torino

Courtesy Galleria Giorgio Persano, Torino (Italy)


BM In The Following Day, No one died, the lines on the porcelain interact with a giant picture of the electrocardiogram of your father. The main character, unlike many of your other works, is no longer here, but a person very dear to you. What brought you to this choice and what were you looking for? Tell me about the evolutionary process of this work.

LR In this work I started from a personal experience to analyze a moment that belongs to the life of every human being: the moment of loss of someone we love. It is a work that speaks of acceptance, processing, and finishes in an image that I hope encapsulates life, even though born form the pain caused by a loss.
My contribution in this work interacts with the lines of my father’s heartbeat, recorded in an electrocardiogram two years before of his death. My mother had written ”everything ok” on the medical records. When I held that paper in my hands I wanted to be able to extend that moment to the present. After all, if you think every day about something, if you interact every day whit that thing, somehow it is still present and if present, continues to live.
The arteries/trees that interact with my father’s electrocardiogram are of porcelain, drawn with a pen for enamel.
Porcelain leads itself to a dialogue with time: both because it allows me to carry out large-scale projects that involve me for a long time, and for the quality of the material itself. I usually pour it over a large surface of plaster as if it were painting and drawing the shape of that which I want to depict. When it starts to dry, the porcelain will crack naturally like earth in the sun, thus initiating its own relationship with the outside world and with the passage of time.
At this point of the work, I wish I could record the seconds that pass and make them the protagonists of the finished image, so I try to do so by drawing the surfaces line by line. Each line determines the shape of the next, and all together, spontaneously, take possession of the area.


In my vision, The Following Day, No One Died does not end with its 8.50 meters width, but continues outside the large windows that stretch along the wall of the Fondazione. I saw the sky, life and light from outside entering in the same manner in which the heartbeat in the electrocardiogram came out, becoming one with the sky and the time.
The electrocardiogram shows us how the heart draws, beat after beat, its own existence, if it has access to pen and paper. Inside the Fondazione, the pulse appears for a moment, only to disappear just outside.

From the conversation between Beatrice Merz and Luisa Rabbia, published in Luisa Rabbia. Traveling Under the Same Sky, Hopefulmonster, Torino, June 2010, (Italian/English) pp. 137-38.