Buddha’s Corners


In the artist’s residence, both internally and externally, there are 71 concave corners and 80 convex corners: 151 corners in total. Buddha’s Corners is composed of 151 angular elements created in DAS modelling clay, each in turn composed of three 20 cm bars (453 bars overall). The sum of these elements is a total of 91 m, which is the same as the height of the two colossal Buddhas of Bamiyan that were destroyed by the Taliban on 12 March 2001. These two Buddhas, which dated back to the third and the sixth centuries, measured 53 and 38 m in height respectively. The 71 concave corners and 80 convex corners of this piece occupy all the corners in the space. As always in Francesco Arena’s artistic work, his choice of material was by no means random. DAS is air-drying; it is not clay but can be shaped by hand and the artist thought it important that he worked on it himself. Just as the Buddhas were made by hand, so too are these corners, representing a sort of exploded version of the colossal sculptures; here, in the same way that dust collects, rubble takes refuge in and around the concave and convex corners of the piece. The installation is a triple landscape-place: the external landscape-place of the Buddhas, the domestic and private landscape-place of the artist’s home, and the public landscape-place of the gallery.