Davide Caldarini was born in Rome in 1995 and brought up in Genzano, in the province of Rome. In 2014 he moved to Berlin.
He now lives between Berlin and  Rome.


​“Bitte nicht einsteigen”, i.e. “please, do not get on this train”, are the words you may read on a train in Berlin, advising not to take it because it is broken down, it is out of service and will not continue its ride. Probably it will stop in a railway depot. With this sentence Davide opens his book Torpor. Story of a night that has to die. It is a journey that starts exactly from a broken-down train. Venturing on that train, despite the invitation not to get on it, implies being prepared to face the unknown and the unpredictable. This journey is a story - as Saramago puts it- the story of a traveller inside the journey he/she has made, the story of a journey that has carried in itself a traveller, the story of a journey and a traveller, searching for a fusion between the one who sees and what is seen, an encounter -not always peaceful- between subjectivity and objectivity. [1] As a traveller who hesitates over the way he/she has to take and then decides to let his/her instinct guide him/her in choosing one way or another, based on a strange fascination of a detail, similarly Davide goes on, choosing, apparently illogically, words and sentences that attract him. Indeed, words and sentences, like the world “torpor”, or the sentence in German or the one about the title’s etymology, should never be considered as indicators of meanings, but as guides in an itinerary in the interior of the self.

Story of a night that has to die

This book is a story open to different interpretations, it’s an invitation to guide oneself by means of a journey, to leave one’s own subjectivity, following a path that every now and then will cross the author’s path. In the first pages Davide gathers the sentences he has noted down. He introduces to a condition of torpor starting from the words collected, going back to the etymology of the word in the title - “with no intention, no feelings, I’m feeling stunned and stiff”- a sentence that had impressed him since it appeared to him as if it had been pronounced by someone; in this case it is the night that has put feelings to sleep.

The Greek root narkè,  meaning torpor, in its double meaning of fascination and apathy, is also the root of the narcissus- the flower- able to cause dullness and even a sweet death. Torpor, as well as the flower, contains in itself the   premonition of what will happen, i.e. the end of a night, time that will have to pass.

Davide opens his book announcing what will happen, while “the night has to go by” closes a renowned comedy by Eduardo De Filippo;[2] we are facing the night unfolding its obscurity and offering an invitation to explore the unknown and the unpredictable. It is necessary to go through the night being aware of being able to go through it. Nobody has ever seen the night, but we all know it – it’s the time that goes by, and browsing through this book we see the night that goes by.  At  the end of a journey we still have in our pockets train tickets, pieces of paper or of anything else on which we have noted down thoughts we have already forgotten; similarly, the book collects sentences found, disturbing thoughts  and images created from sunset to sunrise, from the brilliant shades of blue, going through black and the break of violet and red, to white.

The monotypes depict a journey made and consequently transfigured in images with abstract backgrounds on which forms, colours and interferences are brought to life, mirroring our everyday life made of plastic fragments, pieces of clothes and other unspecified stuff. The night shares with the journey the sense of bewilderment as well as the uncertain form of the appearances. If by day the city appears in its external aspect, by night its interior character is highlighted. Moreover, we are not certain we are all seeing the same things even when we are all watching the same image in a book “a father and his daughter see hieroglyphs, a boy sees some chicory, among the wrinkles of the material, whereas someone else sees a beating heart” explains Davide. If the journey started with torpid senses, as happens to those who are close to fall asleep, around the half of the book, at dawn, when the frost appears,  torpor is replaced by  frenzy, now the soul is ready to wake up. The slow time of blue and black heads the other way, now violet and red flow like blood, while emotions become stronger and crash into the dazzling white. This is a time of cruel lucidity, at the crossing of the deepest night and the premonition of the sun, a moment highlighting the end or the beginning of something, depending on who is watching.

​​[1] Josè Saramago, Journey to Portugal. In Pursuit of Portugal’s History and Culture, 2000.

[2] in Napoli milioinaria by Eduardo De Filippo, Teatro – Cantata dei giorni dispari, 2 voll. Mondadori, Milano. Collana "I Meridiani" 2005 e 2007

      Jasmina Mulalic