Enciclopedia visiva delle diverse metodologie di sistemazione di insiemi di oggetti – LIBRO

Photo exhibition by the artist Michael Trutta. Curated by Beatrice Puddu and Michael Trutta.
Opening: Monday 20 May at 18:00 at the RUFA Space – Pastificio Cerere, via degli Ausoni 7.

The exhibition was realised as part of RUFAlumni, a project that gives RUFA alumni the opportunity to present their work to the public using the Academy’s spaces.


Critical text by artist Michael Trutta – Enciclopedia visiva delle diverse metodologie di sistemazione di insiemi di oggetti

The premise of the project stems from an investigation of the northern Italian city where I was born and raised, Vicenza: it is among the most polluted in the country because, in addition to the polluting factories, the geographical factor is decisive: mountains, hills, and the Alps are arranged around the city, creating a sort of natural basin that blocks the bad air and the smog above it, a grey hood, a noxious accumulation.

Hence the questions: Are accumulations per se harmful experiences? How can they possibly be managed? What sense does it make to catalogue? Does it make sense to use categorical criteria? Is there a better way than another?

Analysed here are 12 places in the city with a different nature: an abandoned building, a nursery, the municipal office for found objects…, all of which share the fact that they have a large number of objects to manage. I therefore present the different cataloguing and management methods that are used.

Each chapter contains a set of main objects that characterise the place on which the arrangement methodology is based (e.g. plants for the Nursery), and secondary objects that serve as accompaniments to the main object, often stacked without a criterion (e.g. pots for the Nursery). I realised still lifes of the main objects by interpreting the specific cataloguing implemented in each place. The secondary objects were reproduced in front of a white backdrop, standardising the language for each place and type of object; the resulting images are ordered according to a new personal criterion.

The captions of the pictures indicate the technical details of the objects for proper cataloguing, while also concealing narrative backgrounds.
The chapters are ordered according to a narrative sequence, but further possible sequences obtained through semi-objective parameters are indicated, such as alphabetical order, order by quantity of objects covered, order by beauty. The project is therefore not meant to be cold or boring but playful, indulging in the many possibilities and letting oneself be carried away by the tide of objects to be rearranged. It is a project somewhere between a technical manual, a furniture store catalogue and a book to play with. It reflects on the nature of photography as a document, using it as a visual tool for cataloguing, highlighting how labile categorical criteria are, how the context changes the perception of the object presented, the infinite number of possibilities and how fun it can also be to get lost among them.


Enciclopedia visiva delle diverse metodologie di sistemazione di insiemi di oggetti – LIBRO

The exhibition focuses on one of the project’s recurring and iconic elements, the book: par excellence it is a portable and easily archived object that by its very nature contains information and preserves its historical value by cataloguing it; within the project it is placed in different places and contexts: the book is used as a container of rare stamps inside a numismatics shop, as a historical document inside the library, as a cheap object inside the flea market, as a mysterious and ownerless object inside the lost property.

The images on display show the different cataloguing methods used in the four locations and the sequence invented to arrange the secondary objects: by quantity of pages, by size… The space available has been used to demonstrate how much the view changes between an ordered and disordered whole, how submitting to a grid/scheme can alter images and documents, and how errors, even if we try to perform a perfect objective cataloguing, will always be present.

The presence of the bookcase and the possibility of taking and moving books is an invitation to the user to try to imagine an alternative arrangement to the classic alphabetical order, an effort of imagination in an area where it is not usually used. The exhibition catalogue is a folder containing each image or fragment of image mosaic, the captions, the title, highlighting both the documentary form of the object – the images are printed with an office printer – and the context that changes the meaning and perception of it.


If you wish, you can bring a book or encyclopaedia that you no longer use: you will be able to add the volume to the bookcase in the exhibition space and decide freely how to order or catalogue it!

The exhibition is open to the public from Monday 20 May until Friday 24 May 2024 during the academy’s normal opening hours:

Official opening: Monday 20 May at 18.00
Tuesday – Thursday: 9am – 8pm
Friday: 9am – 4pm.

Find out more about the artist

from 20.05.2024 to 24.05.2024
Via degli Ausoni, 7

Event type

  • RUFA Culture