Letter to Aldo Rossi

Aldo Rossi lighthouse - Aldo's Commissionaire Karin van Pinxteren
Aldo Rossi, The Light House, 1985, Breda

Breda Park Valkenberg August 24, 2004

Dear Aldo Rossi,

A lighthouse without any entrance – as a doorkeeper I’m deeply affected. I belong to all buildings, but this building will not admit me.

Counterclockwise, I walk around the tower, carrying the light. I’d like to discuss your decision to leave out the entrance. But answers are only provided during a person’s lifetime – after death, all one can do is speculate.

A lighthouse is not a part of the city, does not originate from the city. In my cyclic rounds against time, I try to place the lighthouse. Sometimes, the absolute quality of the present dejects me and by using successive reconstructions I find connections and try to understand what I see. A salty and clear ingredient mixed with a murky freshwater basis. Elements which may coexist, but will not emulsify.

Its seemingly cheerful exterior has an opposite function. A lighthouse tells us to be careful, in particular not to approach too closely, because we will be smashed against the mass. Do you want to use the lighthouse’s presence to protect us from the mass which is called the city, in order to stay on course and not run aground? Or did you want to create a building which speaks about life, which flirts with its mass during the day and after nightfall conducts a monologue in light about its inside, the interior, about the fire in the subconscious. In that case it turns out to be a strategic move inland – an odd manoeuvre for an architect.

There is no plot, night and day follow one another continuously and each time we approach the coast again.

This building has no use for eyes. It wants to be blind, seeing nothing of what happens around it, and it conducts an endless discourse on the borderline between life and death, mass and energy. Only those who can understand the silent language of day and night are listening.

Leaving out the entrance means leaving out man. You said that the entrance heralds what we get to see. But we get nothing to see here. Is it an illusion? I belong to the entrance – am I an illusion?

Karin van Pinxteren

Aldo's Commissionaire - Aldo Rossi lighthouse - Karin van Pinxteren

Part of the performance ‘Aldo’s Commissionaire’ | 2hr walk counterclockwise on the lighthouse of Aldo Rossi in Breda The Netherlands on August 24, 2004 |  20:00 – 22:00 hr | ‘Kielhalen’ Stichting IDFX, Breda | text spoken in Italian | photo in the middle – Peter Roek