A crystal swan bears a metal sphere on its back which contains a pair of wings drawn in colored pencil. It rests atop several torn fragments from Paolini’s graphic edition of L'exil du cygne (1984), in which the mythological figure of Narcissus is depicted asleep on the shores of a palette-lake, situated in relation to the image of a feather-pen.
The swan, in its elegance and purity, symbolizes immaculate beauty; the sphere, a cipher of perfection, is akin to the gamma of the iris that distinguishes the swan's wings. This sublime dimension is countered, however, by the torn image on which the swan is set, and the reference to the tragic myth of Narcissus.
The title is taken from a sonnet by the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé, and evokes the impossibility of determining the absolute via the signs of language. The alliteration of the French words "cygne" (swan) and "signe" (sign), alludes to the exile from that dimension of completeness that the poet as well as the artist always appeal to as they start over again.
2019 Lunetta 11, Mombarcaro (Cuneo), 22 June – 10 November, no catalogue.