Benjamin Valenza – Double song, the game space

opening October 6 – h. 7.00 pm
fluxia gallery – Via Ciro Menotti, 9 – Milan

The incident was, and I will always remember …
Walking in the streets of a big city, a kind of ziggurats forest.
Walking with Josef Hannibal.
The walk is quiet, no discussions, but I can feel that there is a strange visual communion between us.
It’s like camera movements without focus or an end.
That walk brings us to a stop. We’re staring at the front of a big building. Heavy and hieratic.
Some kinds of unknown signs are on the front wall.
We have decided to enter the building.
Walk to a large hall.
Walk to a desk, and there is a woman behind it.
We ask:
-”What is this building?”
-”It’s a Library” said the woman
-”What kind of library? What do you keep here?”
-”We have plans, architectural plans, floor plans. All of them, since ever…”
-”Do you have artist studios’ plans?”
-”Yes we do!”
-”Can we see them?”
-”What are you looking for?”
-”Let’s start with Brancusi’s studio and the Lascaux cave!”


Some people came, and guided us to an empty room.
There is a smooth neutral light in that room.
Then they brings us the two plans, like two floating white rectangular plates. We start to read them. And at the same time, we extract from the plans, volumes. Some white blocs, small blocs of many shapes.

With those blocs we start to play a game.
It’s an assemblage game.
The product of that game is a vertical construction.
The game finds an end when both the participants are satisfied by the construction.


The incident was, and I will always remember…
Blocks of different shapes and sizes were ordered for me. I played for hours for the erection of fine porcelain piles.
When we choose the game for these evenings, we let the night in, to be admired, once, in the empty warehouses of the morning.

Rules of the game

Two players, the Mason and the Architect, are located on either side of the playing field, a rectangular flat surface on which is drawn a square: the Context. The game pieces are stored iin the Tops, a plan in which the various drawn zones, cutted, are the game pieces: a set of small blocks. Each Topos is unique, therefore the number and shape of pieces is different for each game.

The Mason selects and extracts the Topos, 5 blocs, and organizes them to the centre of the Context in the way he thinks (from his point of view), to be the most satisfactory: That is the first move of the game.

The Architect considers that distribution from the opposite point of view. If he does not like it, he ask the Mason to remove or add pieces. Otherwise, from that distribution, he starts the construction where he wants on the Context. This is the second move of the game.

He set up a Construction that is, or not, approved by the Mason. This one will react by changing the initial construction, but it can only do that by moving one of the pieces. Only the Architect can ask the Mason to add new pieces. The game continues piecemeal.

Players can replay the same pieces as many times as they wish. The removed pieces can not return to the construction.

There are not winners or losers.

The game continues until two players, partners, build a vertical construction that fully satisfy the both of them, each of tis views.