In 1970, Mario Schifano travelled across the United States, then still relishing the conquest of the moon, in order to survey locations for Human Lab, a film which he never managed to make. He was in the company of Nancy Ruspoli. They visited the Pentagon and NASA, emblems of the American superpower at the height of its strength, but it was essentially a road trip, one which was to take them also to California, in search of inspiration. The photographs have a cinematographic touch to them: working notes but also carefree moments with Nancy. An adventure through American space, through the fulls and voids of a civilisation then at the helm of the whole world.
The closing pages feature extracts from Ruspoli’s diary, also featuring her sketches and drawings. The book
is a demonstration that Schifano belongs to a generation of artists who looked to the United Stated for their primary source of inspiration. The accompanying texts are by Giorgio Vasta, Nancy Ruspoli and Francesca Zanella, director of the CSAC in Parma, the archive where the photographs are housed.