2# Alighiero Boetti

This visual file is a fragment of an interview given by Alighiero Boetti to Radio Televisione Italiana.

The document is recovered in relation to the interview with Mario García Torres.

This material is available until May 31, 2017.

Courtesy: RAI

Edition: Josué Turnez

We would like to thank Matteo Guidi for his cooperation.


Everything, I think everything can be used to make art. I think I make pieces that anyone could make, but strangely no one has done so, only me. And that’s exactly what I like about it. And perhaps diversity exists due to the fact that nobody pays attention to these things or makes the links, the connections, or doesn’t transfer an element from one space to another.

I’m a creator of rules. These rules, tricks and mechanisms enable me to play around, and play with others.

Stamps normally get stuck to envelopes, which are then sent to their destination. These splotches of colour are situated based on mathematical perceptions, permutations, colour combinations, etc. This is a piece of work that I began outside of Afghanistan, but it was while I was there that I sent a large number of letters. I asked an Afghan boy to write 720 stories, stories that I put inside the envelopes.

A pen is something very humble, very common, which is normally only used to write; however I wanted to use it to create paintings.

A fascination with maps affects all of us. Later, I used flags, another very popular aesthetic element, and united these two elements.

I tried to create a practical solution with this kind of embroidery in Afghanistan, where I also added an aesthetic beauty which is typical of this material, of the handcrafted embroidery thread, stitches which connect our age with the past.

My latest pieces need a great deal of time to be created, and that is why they are normally done by other people If I didn’t do it this way, it would block all my cerebral activity.

Time is an element where, if the concept is right, time transforms it into something even more lovely. And the more time passes, the lovelier it gets.

We are the ones who bestow intelligence, who bestow beauty. I think that nature is a blind force, obtuse, which moves only for this fundamental principle that is existence, life.

I don’t think there’s any natural phenomenon that has given me the same emotions that poetry, music or paintings have given me.

We’re accustomed to a classified culture. That’s why I wanted to create a classification of the longest rivers in the world; I chose rivers because they are liquid, they’re water, it’s a feminine element, an element which moves. Time exists in the river – around it grew all the cities and civilisations. The river, strangely enough, has two senses: if you follow the river against the current you find yourself at a moment where you must choose: where it meets another river and forms a bifurcation. And then you find a tributary and you have to choose which is the main and which is the tributary, whether to go right or left. On the other hand, if you keep following the current down to the sea you don’t have to choose. Funnily enough, these are two different attitudes using the same thing.

It took us five years to embroider it. There are one thousand names on this tapestry. One thousand names that contain one thousand possibilities of dreams, of thoughts, of memories.