Fotografie e testi Ugo Mulas
Giulio Einaudi Editore
Surroundings, man and friendship have affected my work often in a decisive way . Calder has been a protagonist of it. For him I wanted to do something very special, I wanted some photographs that were revealing of his attitude -of his work's playful nature- and furthermore I wanted kind pictures with his wife, his daughters and nephews, in the American house at Roxbury, in that one on the Indre at Sachè; in short I wanted a family album pictures. These pictures should have not revealed any other intention than that of declaring my love for his work and the joy his friendship gave me. A total homage trying also to catch his physical look like a patriarch, a little ironic and a little prankster.
I liked the fact that he devoted himself to anything with the same intensity, that he was able to build carving forks or ladles for the kitchen not less beautiful than his sculptures. Moreover I liked those funny chandeliers built superimposing in circle two series of forms for pudding and the brass wire supports -that are at the same time springy support, protection and handle- made for some china's coffee-cups, maybe because they were particularly dear to Louise or maybe just because they had lost their handle.
I like the diligence and the ability with whom he moves to realize heads or figures with only one wire, never cutting it, as drawing on a paper without taking off the pencil. Or his gouaches, made without brushes, playing on the movement and the inclination of the paper on which previously he had put together stains of colour: it comes out something of casual and controlled, that is not surrealists' automatism but his own typical way of playing with fortune and with the fate.
I decided to photograph him as much as possible and to photograph also his works passing from one exhibition to the other, going in museums, in his houses in those of his sons and in collectors' houses both in America and in Europe. Despite all this running around I think I photographed only a very small part of what he produced: for example I am sorry not to have photographed the big auditorium of Caracas University. But the saddest thing is that after such a work it came out a book... a wrong book. I wanted it to be beautiful, I have done it all over again four or five times, at the beginnings with some graphs, then alone, trying to cancel the page layout thus trying to have only one picture for every page, and often one picture in two pages. It has not always been easy to find two pictures that went well one next to the other. Today I would not work in this way anymore, I feel that pictures should have their own margin, so that it should be recognizable where do they start and where do they end, and so that is not the page to constrain the picture in its size but every image have its own measure independently from that of the pages. In short I wanted to do a book that Calder liked, in the same way he had done things for me and Nini, and now I have a great doubt: that he did not like the book as I did not like it.