L’ora italiana features twenty tondi, all of the same size, on which fragments of images appear and are arranged in a space without any descriptive connotations. Each of the twenty tondi features a clock, in different positions and each one set at a different time, accompanied by changing lighting conditions and sound.
The installation attracts and involves, yet at the same time creating unease and, as a result, provoking reflections and the viewer’s desire for knowledge.
In the twenty tondi, fragments of daily life captured on the streets of Bologna in that period emerge, partially erased by the colour white, which alters their ability to be read.
The artist seeks to explore how art might react, with its means, to the tragedy that inspired it and to which it attempts to provide an answer.
The sequence of tondi is well thought out, as shown by the sketches made by the artist, which he kept without ever publishing. These include the texts that Isgrò later decided to erase, preferring to give the role of the “word” to the ticking of passing time, which accompanies the effect of the images present and erased.
L’ora italiana, in the years following its debut in Bologna in 1986, was installed at the Galleria Manuela Allegrini in Brescia in 1993 and in the retrospectives dedicated to Isgrò in 2001 in the church of Santa Maria dello Spasimo in Palermo, in 2008 at the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato, in 2009 in the Galleria del Credito Valtellinese in Milano and in Istanbul (Taksim Sanat Galerisi) in 2010.