by Beatrice Baruffini
We discover that words have a weight since childhood.
The first word pronounced with a full meaning, which certifies the abandonment of protolinguistic lallations, preparatory exercises for a transformation from a cub of man to a social animal, is celebrated as a special awareness (from the Latin specialis, der. Specie, it is not an adjective any).
At that precise moment we begin to practice the language that becomes the privileged tool for putting us in relation to one another and to each other, with those parts of the world that fall under our daily life.
Let's start baptizing things with words. It is we who call them, we call them to us, we include them in our lives, we anchor them in our days, we determine them, we give them continuous possibilities to take space and mean.
Linguistic rites are but associations - conscious and reasoned, instinctive and anarchic, experimental, innovative, provocative, hereditary, imaginative - to establish relationships between representations and signs, enrich the weight of contents, strengthen forms, establish new mechanisms of reference.
We move them from one context to another, we tame them and then rediscover their wild character, we disguise them and push them to the limits of signification.
Words are inexhaustible accomplices of our collective stay on this planet, they are our means of creating connections and perhaps they are the only one that allows us to name elsewhere, back and forth in time.
Naming is an act of survival of the species.Words are not made to remain still, they are not made for silence.
They never shirk.
To be they need to come alive, to be manipulated, transformed, tied to thin threads, worn, moved, moved, used.
The words, natural light or artificial neon, ancient and contemporary, guide the eye, amaze it, indicate the curious overshadowings, become shadows.
Words are symbols that create metaphors.
The words on black, indelible, indelible.
Those choices, worn, that fit like a glove.
This is how puppetry becomes the means, the suggestion, for a possible animation of words.
This section will always start with a background to introduce the word on stage.
We imagine the word behind the scenes, hidden, silent, still; what happens in the first lines is a linguistic poetic conception, a narrative artifice, which gives rise to a surreal and abstract etymology, because a posteriori.
We already know that there are four words to which each issue of this column will be dedicated: water, fire, air, earth.
Our eyes are contemplative towards them.
What will happen next is a creative process, an exercise not to be taken too seriously (and perhaps for this reason already failed or to be read with hands in hair ...) of writing that works on words by means of puppetry.
A word is manipulated by derivation, drawing on suffixes and prefixes, synonyms and antonyms, investigating roots, families, translations, with anagrams, metaphors, popular sayings, iconographic images, advertising claims, collective memories.
It concerns the living part of a word, which is not satisfied with changing shape, but does so by looking each time for the place where to let one's soul reside.
In doing so it becomes a shadow word, a puppet word, an object word, a thread word, a ventriloquist word, a word on black.
The meanings and signifiers to be manipulated and animated, to generate new possibilities of connections, are two levels that intersect, move, influence each other, generate an eternal exchange of elements that proceeds by overturning of meaning, encroachments where the rules must be broken and the experiments, endless.