|Piero Manzoni, Socle du Monde (Pedestal for the World), 1961. Iron, 82 x 100 x 100cm|
The definition of art is not set in stone. A work can be nothing more than an idea given physical form. And a great idea can change the way you perceive the world, in this case even literally. Socle-du-Monde, or Pedestal for the World, flips the viewer upside down and makes him question his very orientation in the universe. The “great idea” doesn’t even need to be a complex theory that would take an entire book to adequately explore. It can be something so simple as sticking a block of stone in a patch of grass and giving it an inscription. Simplicity can do wonders by leaving the work to the imagination of the viewer. This sculpture makes plain just how small I am in comparison to the scope of the piece itself, and the piece's implications are mind-blowing - Manzoni has turned the whole world into a work of art. And he made it. He owns it. If that isn’t thought-provoking, then I don’t know what is. An idea is all you need.