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Luciana Tămaș. Ninnananna Eng

Luciana Tămaș

Trieste Contemporanea, Trieste (I)
December 2022 ― February 2023

Potential weapons and impertinent questions
Daniele Capra

In the process of growth, play enables children to emotionally explore conflict while simultaneously learning to recognise and channel their physical, psychological, and verbal aggression. Games such as simulated fights, warfare, and the use of both realistic and imaginary weapons allow children to delve into uncharted realms of their emotions, expressing their actions symbolically. Gregory Bateson notes: “In ordinary parlance, ‘play’ is not the name of an act or action; it is the name of aframe for action.”[1] In this context, “play could only occur if the participant organisms were capable of some degree of meta-communication, i.e., of exchanging signals which would carry the message ‘this is play’.”[2]

Indeed, the game serves as a self-cognitive means of experiencing feelings, emotions, and uncertainties before they manifest in life, with all their disruptive complexities. The implicit meta-communicative assumption, on the other hand, acts as a guarantor by creating a context that isolates the moment of play, keeping it somewhat detached from reality. Hence, the game can be perceived as a fictional state, a sort of mise-en-scène with internal rules established through explicit agreement among the involved parties. However, there is no audience or representation other than those participating in it; the agents themselves are the sole recipients of the action, which must be interpreted differently from ordinary customs.

It is reasonable to consider that the play framework elucidated by Bateson is equally applicable to contemporary works of art, which, by their very nature, transcend the norms and purposes to which other human creations or artifacts are bound. Objects typically serve diverse needs over time, functioning as tools, instruments, and items for practical, ritualistic, decorative, communicative, recreational, and symbolic purposes (even though, in the last fifty years, objects have frequently proliferated uncontrollably due to consumerism [3]). . A lot of object-based works, serving as both physical objects and artworks, are distinguished by their programmatically different purpose: the interrogative function. They are designed to pose one or more questions concerning the physical, temporal, or anthropological context in which they are placed, and to observers who encounter them. In this scenario, the interpretive framework of art allows us to view the works through different lenses compared to everyday phenomena, often intentionally embodying an ambiguity where various interpretative registers overlap.

This state of interpretive ambiguity also characterizes the works of Luciana Tămaș featured in the exhibition. Ninnananna (“lullaby”). The exhibition gathers approximately ten of the artist’s recent sculptures, which explore the delicate boundary between everyday domestic objects and instruments of competition or warfare. These ambivalent and questioning objects evoke contrasting sensations in the observer due to their seemingly inappropriate functions and unique construction. Created using recycled materials and DIY methods, the works humorously expose the latent aggressive aspect of everyday objects and banal forms prevalent in our daily lives. Silicone tubes, metal clothespins, luggage trolleys, wood scraps, and fishing rods are amalgamated and rendered ineffective (and playful) instruments of war. Consequently, harmless missiles, wooden machine guns, and faux drones completely incapable of flight, constructed from scrap metal, come to life.

Tămaș’s practice is characterised by the use of DIY and waste materials in assembly and installation, endowing them with a purely symbolic value. Transitioning from the imagery of technological warfare and space exploration, the artist fashions sculptures that, often improvised in form, serve no real purpose. Tămaș presents homemade and harmless imitations of such devices, which lack the exploratory and playful psychological purposes we often associate with toy weapons. These defunctionalised objects, fabricated by the artist, embody real parodies of instruments of conflict in the eyes of the viewer, evoking amusement through their material typology, imprecise assembly, and playful tendency to repurpose previously destined elements. Tămaș deconstructs the imagery of domestic objects, unveiling their ambiguities and darker facets, reimagining an anthropological and anti-militarist variation of Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen. However, in this instance, the artist takes a backseat, allowing the observer to mentally envision the possible actions the improbable objects could undertake.

Tămaș’s works repeatedly incorporate parts of varying origins, each with their unique, discernible forms. This assembly method encourages viewers not to perceive the work itself in its entirety and material singularity, but rather to discern the individual constituent elements chosen by the artist, thereby fragmenting their thoughts. Observers are prompted to project themselves elsewhere, tracing the origins of the different components, their intended uses, and the manner in which they were combined. Consequently, the unity of the sculptural vision is juxtaposed with a rhythmic fragmentation of stimuli. Ultimately, the artist’s works should be understood as hypertext-objects in a broad sense, facilitating the user’s ability to swiftly conceptually traverse the different elements physically connected by the artist. These works are thus devices that enable a multitude of connections.

Tămaș’s sculptures resemble domestic objects in every way, aided by the use of ordinary, low-cost materials that are often irreverently utilized, lacking the characteristics commonly associated with fine art practice. Her sculptural practice is devoid of a quest for grace or preciousness, instead mockingly diverting the gaze towards anthropological critique. These works do not represent or illustrate concepts but rather allude to the limitations of ordinary thought. They serve as revealing tools that caustically underscore the latent, often concealed, potential inherent in the objects and tools of conflict present in our lives and within the intimacy of our homes. In response to their pervasive psychological and tangible presence, Tămaș poses unexpected and impertinent childish questions. As a result, the observer is positioned in a critical, lucid, and playful state, engaging with works that serve as metaphors for a relentless progress bent towards conflict and war, devoid of a truly humanistic technology.

It is challenging to envision a response to the questions posed by the artist, let alone a way out of this predicament. As the exhibition’s title ironically implies, perhaps all that remains is the comforting lull of a tender lullaby.

[1] G. Bateson, Mind and Nature, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1979, p. 139.
[2] G. Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of the Mind, Northwale: Jason Aronson, 1972, p. 139.
[3] See J. Baudrillard, The System of Objects, London: Verso, 1996.

Intermezzo Eng

Giovanni Morbin, Slaven Tolj

Trieste Contemporanea, Trieste (I)
October ― December 2021

Daniele Capra

Intermezzo consists of ten works ranging from sculpture to video, from site-specific intervention to performance. The show analyses how a work can be understood as an interstitial element of relationship between the body of the artist and the context in which it manifests itself. In theatrical language, the intermezzo is a pause that marks the division between several parts of a representation or a performance, and is considered as an element of interruption of the narrative flow: it is a transitory parenthesis that foresees the suspension of the fiction, and temporarily marks the return to everyday reality. It is a brief space of hybridization in which the viewer feels the overlap between the fictional writing of the work and that of one’s own life (made by reality, one’s own system of relations, ideology, context). Intermezzo emphasizes how the work, especially in the case of artists dealing with Body Art and Performance Art such as Morbin and Tolj, is an uncertain and open habitus. It is a space of mediation and frontier, but also of estrangement, since the viewer is not always aware of the conventions of that context or of what is going to happen. As an intermediate element between the artist’s expression and the environment in which the viewer moves, the work becomes a sort of second skin, also endowed with expressive functions. It covers and keeps warm the most intimate and complex aspects of the individual, but, at the same time, conveys to the outside the perceptions and physical and psychic energy.

Giovanni Morbin’s research is characterized by the analysis of behaviour and posture, the volume, the presence of the body and its projections towards the outside through performance and sculpture. In the works of the series Non sto più nella pelle (“I’m not in my skin any more”), the artist moves significant portions of his body onto the external surface, creating conceptual self-portraits through the use of his own blood: in this way his body takes on a liquid form and becomes an intimate element of writing and drawing, but also of translation of its own volume towards outside of his body. Scultura sociale (“social sculpture”) is a work in constant evolution, made up of modular, semi-spherical elements in metal, that can be freely combined with existing objects, such as chairs, tables, doors, wardrobes, or any other object. It is a “social” sculpture precisely because of its ability to enter into a context and interact with it in a functional and visual form, being able, even ironically, to spontaneously latch onto the existing.

Slaven Tolj’s practice is the result of a deep inner digging, in which elements of the author’s personal life are frequently merged with a lucid analysis of the socio-political context, and condensed into the form of performance and sculpture. The site of the stroke is an existentialist ready-made consisting of a tailor-made men’s suit that has been rendered essentially unusable, as many of its openings were sewn with a red thread: it is an empty space, a volume that is endowed with shape but cannot have a function, since a (visible) constraint blocks it, and reduces it to being a complement, an impotent accessory, as often happens to human beings in the most important issues of their lives. A tattoo of the logo of Rijeka’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art was created in the weeks following his appointment as director of the MMSU, when Tolj decided to have the museum logo tattooed on his shoulders. It is an intimate and at the same time subtly political work about the condition of being an artist and the art system. On the one hand, the artist testifies to his total personal commitment to his new institutional role. But on the other, also highlights to the fact that museums are often a brand and a yardstick for judge the importance of an artist during her/his career.

Interspaces. Trieste Contemporanea Award Eng

Johanna Binder / Abel, Carlo & Max Korinsky
Interspaces. Trieste Contemporanea Award

Trieste (I), Studio Tommaseo
April ― June 2014

TextConversation with Johanna BinderConversation with A., C. & M. Korinsky
The necessary strabismus
Daniele Capra

Painting and art that uses technology are considered to be two antipodal media, at least from a merely conceptual point of view, if we evaluate both the theoretical and operational assumptions and the pages of history that they have filled. Painting is indeed inextricably linked to its centuries-old history, characterized by continuous budding and radical pruning. New disciplines, instead, benefit from a tradition of not more than thirty years, in which many of the energies have been devoted to earning the status of work in the contemporary scene, leaving the niche of being only an attempt, an experimental and peripheral episode.

The speed of today, however, has actually made these two extremes a lot closer mixing and hybridizing positions, instruments and approaches, far beyond what one can imagine. Personally I find the definition of new media to be outdated, essentially for two reasons: the first one is that nowadays technology itself does not seem a novelty, since it is now historicized and present in art history books; the second one, far more important, is that the alienating effect of the work that uses technology has completely decayed, seeing as today we live centered around electronic devices (that help our telecommunications, mark our time or adjust our vital stream), electromagnetic and radio waves, to feel that technology is an extension of our body, its direct emanation.

If we use the same approach of cinema and videogames theorist, we could say that in recent years our approach has been immersive. It happens then, and not just for painting, that artists use technological tools (for example for the realization of three-dimensional rendering or for the development of imagines that will be then carried out/transferred on canvas); and it has frequently been observed how painting but a similar argument can be made for the others disciplines is made with devices that at first sight may seem far-removed from the art form. It is the case of the work conceived by the Korinsky brothers Abel, Marco and Max, in which a row of scanners are composing an image through slow movements of the lamps they are equipped with, reconstructing the concept of painting as a generative surface that is capable of reflecting in the eyes something different from itself.

Paradoxically, in the case of the final exhibition of the Trieste Contemporanea Award, even Johanna Binder’s works were not proper paintings, given the interesting volumetric analysis conducted on wooden frames and on the surface, that lead the research directly to the artist sculpture, contradicting the axiom of the two-dimensional work on canvas. If the captions and the materials by which the works are made are therefore not significant, not able to provide the zero degree of the work, even the definitions of the medium are not univocal, since a work can be part of, from the taxonomic point of view, different categories.

It is then of fundamental importance to search for interpretative keys through the exercise of lateral thinking, not merely considering exhaustive what you read, but also using a probabilistic approach. Therefore, strabismus is the most significant strategy for the viewer, as it allows simultaneous viewing – albeit imperfect – of non-adjacent territories.

As this exhibition describes, not only painting is made with all the technological help available (as the Korinsky brothers whom made an installation in which the sound produced by the device transmits the time variable), but sometimes painting seems to have lost its connotations by improvising (as in the cut paintings from Binder), in another role.
Thinking before painting
Interview with Johanna Binder

Daniele Capra: We’re here at Studio Tommaseo. In a couple of hours there will be the vernissage of the show of the Trieste Contemporanea Award won by you and Korinsky brothers. So Johanna, let’s talk about the very beginning. You attended classical music courses during your teen age-years, but then you decided to go to fine art academy. What happened?

Johanna Binder: I wanted to be able to create something by myself, not only to be interpreter of something that someone else wrote. I realized that around when I was seventeen. So I started to paint, just for my personal reason. After that I decided to attend the fine art academy…

DC: Which were your main activities there? What were you interested in?

JB: Drawing and a lot natural science. I wanted to learn the classical technique, as painting with many transparent color layers. So I started with realistic painting…

DC: Realistic painting? So different from the geometrical/sculptural works of today, which are based on patterns! How did your subjects change?

JB: I don’t know. I worked in a very narrative way, but I use to asked myself why I needed narration in painting and why represent three-dimensional subject/illusion. I didn’t have any answer, and still I haven’t. Everything started from that unanswered question.

DC: So you left this approach…

JB: I left all this subject but actually something still remains. I mean the sculptural approach. It’s still there and I’m trying to deal with it with different attitude.

DC: Ok. And what about music? Is still important for you? I think there is a nice sense of rhythm in your works, as in the stripes or dots…

JB: I don’t think so. Perhaps it’s about something dealing with visual and pictorial approach.

DC: How did you start to cut the canvas and make holes on it?

JB: I thought a lot, and still now it’s one of my unanswered questions, about the space and the illusion of space in a canvas. In the tradition the space is just represented on the surface of painting. Actually I think that third dimension, apart from the color structure, is on the space between the canvas and wall. I try to open this space and make it visible.

DC: So, you are interested on the space each work occupies and the surface we are not able to see…

JB: Of course! For me the main question is what is the front and what the backside of a painting. I’d like to change the definition of space in painting as two parts divided by the surface. And I’d like to make the relationships between the two faces become more equal.
For me a canvas with its structure is still an object, it’s an all-body. If I cut the object I can make the light visible…

DC: Also from the backside?

JB: Yes. I want to make the color pure light. In both sides.

DC: In some works you cut all the surface and let the canvas disappear. But the observer can see some colors in the wall.

JB: If textile part is removed and you put the structure frame against the wall you can see a specific form you usually never pay any attention to. My idea is make visible this form.

DC: But sometimes you like overlapping the levels, as the work you presented for the show of the prize, kind of combined paintings…

JB: Well… This is related to the old masters of painting, who painted with different layers of colors. I try to do the same with the frame structures.

DC: And what about colors of your works? How do you choose them?

JB: I used to select colors very strictly, with a subjective color system. But I changed my approach and I have now taken the freedom to choose the colors. I’m a painter, and I choose them according to the place and the light.

DC: But you use just twelve-fifteen pure colors…

JB: Maybe twenty! I used to use only pure colors, now I mixed them.

DC: And what is the project before painting?

JB: There are a lot of ideas paintings can dealt with and a lot of facilities you can’t avoid. If you want to make that visible you need to think about to the whole process before. You need to control everything you scheduled in your mind.

DC: How long does it take to make a painting? After you got the project is just execution time?

JB: It’s a long process and I need to rethink very often about all the steps. I made different tries until I find a solution, and that costs me a lot of patience. Often I delete the works which don’t satisfy me.

DC: So fierce! And what are your next projects?

JB: At moment I’m working at some paintings that disappear from the canvas. I’m trying to find out what an image is and if the canvas, which is left by the painting, could also serve as an image…
Between Sound and Light
Interview with Abel, Carlo & Max Korinsky

Daniele Capra: Daniele Capra: We’re here at Studio Tommaseo. Everything is ready for the show of the Trieste Contemporanea Award won by you and Johanna Binder. So let’s talk about your career. It’s not easy to be brothers. How did you begin and start working together?

Abel Korinsky: I studied history, German language, sociology and music. I attended guitar courses but interpreting for me was not enough. After that, I started to attend sound courses in Berlin University, with Carlo, and I was interested in sound art and new media art…

Carlo Korinsky: I have the same background of Abel. After the courses of sound art and media in Berlin we began to work in that field.

DC: What about you, Max?

Max Korynsky: I attended the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf and at the same time history and German language too. I moved to Berlin one year after Abel and Carlo, and we decided to work
together and not to be just brothers with good connections…

AK: Before Max came to Berlin we use to spend the whole day on Skype speaking together.
So we needed to be close!

DC: Abel and Carlo, was important not having regular art studies?

CK: I think so. Mainly because when we made our research we have deeper knowledge in
different fields but art.

DC: And you Max? You worked also as a painter…

MK: I have the most conservative profile. Even if our work is not based on classical art, I think that can be useful to have this kind of cultural approach.

DC: Which was the first time you worked together?

MK: We had the first idea when we saw the final show in Düsseldorf Academy and in Berlin University. We saw some young artists using sound in painting, and other proposing a visualization of sound. We found a way to combine the two parts, “ears&eyes”, for the first exhibition we had together.

DC: So you don’t like labels as “sound art”, “new media”…

MK: Absolutely no! We dislike them. Our work is based on finding the best solution to our questions. We don’t care about categorizations!

CK: It’s not easy to make a category. For instance we use different equipment, as electrical devices. Can we make a new category? I don’t think so!

DC: I see. You use everything as a tool. Is there any difference/specialization among you?

AK: We have different attitudes, for instance I’m the technical man, but this is not important. We like working to the concept together to elaborate all the different parts, sharing or mixing our ideas.

DC: Let’s talk about the work you presented here. What is it based on?

MK: A lot of time ago we began to discuss the look of different scanners moving on the floor…

CK: The idea came from copy machines, but the color light was green and we didn’t like it. So we chose scanners, that make an interesting noise…

MK: We had this kind of work in our mind, but we needed to find a solution on how to manage it. The first idea was using thirty scanners, instead we decide to stack in the wall only thirteen. It has been good not to know the difficulty before, maybe we wouldn’t have done it!

DC: Yesterday you told me that the installation can be seen as a painting…

MK: Sure. There are some frames, against a wall, that are as borders. And audience can see the light moving on the surface. Isn’t this classical painting?

DC: In large sense I think so. But which kind of equipment did you use for it? There are computers, and probably you wrote also some lines of software…

AK: A scanner uses stepper motors to move the lights. We need to understand how it works (there aren’t instruction about it!), find and set up microcontrollers with different drivers. It’s not easy to manage all. You need also to melt some plastic elements to find space for cables and connections.

DC: In this work you chose technology devices we can find in our homes or offices. Is this important for you?

CK: I think in that case just happened. Usually is not the best using this kind of cheap equipment you can’t trust on, since they are not expected to work for a long time…

DC: How usually do you have an idea for a new work?

MK: Each of us has his personal approach and we don’t talk to the other at the beginning. Just after we bring our idea to the group combining sound and visual part, as happened with scanners in this show, in which people can hear the sound of scanners and the lights.

DC: Do you have an architectural approach to your works?

MK: Of course, since we play with space and light, and our installations can be perceived as not different from an environmental work.

AK: We have two kind of work: installation in space with sound and light, as we’ll arrange in June for Berlin Cathedral; wall pieces, as the scanners for Trieste Contemporanea. Definitely both of them dealing with architecture.

DC: And what’s next? Is there any project you don’t have the chance to do yet?

AK: Since a couple of years we have a special idea about the physics of sound, but in Autumn we’ll have the opportunity to create the installation in the Experimenta Biennial in Melbourne…

Laura Pozzar. Non calpestare l’erba Eng

Laura Pozzar
Non calpestare l’erba

Trieste (I), Mini Mu
October 2013

English text not available

Larger than borders Eng

Larger Than Borders
Armando Lulaj, Alban Muja, Studio203, Driant Zeneli

Trieste, Studio Tommaseo
October 2013

Comfortable stereotypes
Daniele Capra

The show Larger Than Borders collects the videos of young artists dealing with Albania or Albanian culture, but different in genres, contents, themes or attitudes. Albanian culture is just the common ground, the starting point of their personal research, and becomes for the spectator a stereotype to forget.

The idea of nation based on common language and tradition, the kulturnation, becomes central in the nineteenth century, and quickly became one of the ideas to whom the men showed both their strongest passions and the worst instincts. The story of our past hundred years testifies it tragically.

Today, even if there are still many differences on the social, religious and economic point of views, our world has shrunk – even thanks to strong pressures of capitalism, that is constantly animated by the needs to seek new markets and new workers to be enslaved for the promise of a minimum economical wealth. So the idea of nation is now one of the many tags we use in our personal taxonomy, or a tool politicians uses for feeding and manipulating people.

Eventually a nation that is something that does not exist except in people’s mind. The idea of ​​the borders that contains/holds the space of a nation is outdated, and became mostly a mere exercise of topology made by old geographers moving on the cartesian plane: borders exist only to be overtaken.

This is even more evident for Albania, a nation who has close connections with neighboring Kosovo, where people speak the same language, but also the strong relationships with Turkey or Italy. Although it may seem geographically small in size, the concept of Albania/Albanian crosses the limited boundaries.

Although Albania may seem geographically small in size, the concept of being Albanian, easily overcomes the limitations of the physical boundaries and of comfortable hidden stereotypes.

Matteo Attruia. Courtesy The Artist Eng

Matteo Attruia
Courtesy The Artist

Trieste (I), LipanjePuntin Artecontemporanea
May ― June 2012

English text not available

Driant Zeneli. The dream of Icarus was to make a cloud Eng

Driant Zeneli
The Dream Of Icarus Was To Make A Cloud

Trieste (I), Galleria Tommaseo
October 2009 ― January 2010

The discreet charm of utopia [1]
Daniele Capra

How can art speak the language of a radically different experience, how can it represent the qualitative difference? How can art invoke images and needs of liberation which reach into the depth dimension of human existence, how can it articulate the experience not only of a particular class, but of all the oppressed? [2]

I do not know if there is still space for utopia in the last corner of the post-modern in which we are living, that we might define as ‘post-ideological’, ‘post-historical’ or ‘post-something else’. If we wanted to distil this short twentieth century, it has closed with the warning that all political and social utopias are only a palliative postponing all the ills that professed to cure to a later date. The doctrines that claimed to explain and order society failed, the hangovers from the avant-gardes of the early decades of the last century now are over, and even the utopias for changing the destiny of art and leading it elsewhere – chased by many artists from the late-1960s – have shown themselves to be incapable to bearing the weight of reality (consider, for example, the failed attempt to do away with market forces). So we might say, to adopt the crude language of marketing, that the utopias have inexorably worn themselves out just as consumer products wear out, and that in the market of ideas, utopia as an item has exercised its appeal less and less, having been relegated to a small niche product. Perhaps fascinating and of great value, but nevertheless a niche product far from the habits and lives of the majority.

This condition of stagnation has been caused in part on the one hand by the continuous changes in direction of human deeds, and on the other by the very speed with which situations have succeeded each other: in other words, not only the actors on the stage acted without a clear direction, but they move so rapidly. This is why the metaphor of liquidity dear to Bauman effectively summarises our contemporary situation: “Liquid modern is a society in which the conditions under which its members act change faster than it takes the ways of acting to consolidate into habits and routines”. [3]

In this situation, characterised by an unorganised, chaotic lack of structure, the spaces for artistic actions have over time adjusted themselves to new and more intimate needs, without this meaning a retreat to less important or less complex elements. The work of art has thus taken on a more transitory role because it defines itself exclusively within the forms of its own complexity, without the need to snatch at doctrinal handholds or supports of orthodox patterns of thinking: the work simply is, and its outlines are by nature intrinsically blurred.
The dialectic confrontation with utopia is one of the most interesting themes in the production of Driant Zeneli. Both when the young artist recounts pieces of history from his country through the story of his own father (who was one of the official portraitists of the regime during the years of the Albanian dictatorship as we see in the video When I grow up I want to be an Artist), and when he films the impossible reconstruction of a puzzle, formed of white pieces, all identical in form, by some students at an Academy of Fine Arts. In this second case, the utopia can be that of the equality of all citizens within the state, one now defeated by reality (as all the countries in which a communist dictatorship was founded); but it is impossible to compose an image that is solid by making identical pieces of a puzzle fit, especially if we do not know the design we are supposed to be making. Those participating in the game discover the aporia hidden within it and for which there is no solution except complete abandonment.

The recent All Art has been… temporary also shows the limit beyond which utopia – sometimes casually – gives way to reality. Zeneli happened to be passing by the GAM in Turin when Maurizio Nannucci’s neon text, set on top of the building, suffered a breakdown: three letters were switched off, spelling the word ‘temporary’ instead of ‘contemporary’; the message of the work was thus changed in ruinous and unpredictable manner by the sustained affirmation of one’s strength bared against the fragile exposure of one’s limit. Once again, utopia is disillusioned by reality, and beneath the tower of Babel gathers the rubble showing the inescapable need to come to terms with the reality.

And yet there is a space for dreams, for utopia, although limited in space and time. And the only true ambition that art can have is to be able to give us a portion of it, albeit in the form of transitory, ephemeral event disappearing with the same natural simplicity with which it has been created. Werner Herzog pompously called it the Conquest of the Useless, to witness how so much effort being directed to the attainment of one’s aims has its counterpart in their substantial vacuity. Aware of the impossibility of producing works that be “monuments that are longer-lasting than bronze”, [4] Zeneli senses how it is fundamental to trace out – for himself and for the observer – a space of freedom within which to create thought, in order to have the minimum instruments to break free of a condition of existential loss in which we have fallen as a result of the flattening and adaptation to the status quo. Rather than the oppression of a great void that has no form, therefore, better the liquid fragility of the possible, as revealed by the work The Dream of Icarus was to make a Cloud.

The video shows how delicate, subtle and impalpable a utopia can be. And also how much, despite what one might think, it can demand in terms of commitment, dedication, will, courage. An action – the creation of a small cloud, something that happens millions of times on earth – is almost impossible without sophisticated aeronautical equipment. However, Zeneli considers it fundamental to try, to share with the spectator a dream similar to that of Icarus. Boarded on a paraglider, the artist creates a cirrus cloud that lasts a few seconds before dissolving with the mountain wind. At that point, the paraglider is already off-camera and no traces remain of the artist and the utopia he wished to give us.

[1] The title ironically refers to the movie The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie directed by Luis Buñuel (1972).
[2] H. Marcuse, The Aesthetic Dimension. Toward a Critique of Marxist Aesthetics, Beacon Press, Boston, 1978, p. 40.
[3] Z. Bauman, Liquid life, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2005, p. 1.
[4] “Exegi monumentum aere perennius”, Orazio, Odi, III, 30, 1.

Michele Spanghero. Translucide Eng

Michele Spanghero

Trieste (I), Factory Art
May ― June 2009

English text not avalaible

Alberto Tadiello. 20khz Eng

Alberto Tadiello

Trieste (I), Studio Tommaseo
December 2008 ― February 2009

Hot Water Music
Daniele Capra

We speak little, in low voices; each of us already in the company of our own thoughts, and above all, we feel we should not interfere in others’ thoughts. But we do say something to each other because silence, like a vacuum, cannot be felt or touched without its being tested: to observe and listen to it and to manage to distinguish the subdued but clear signals. [1]

Take any work by Bach in which there be a fugue and counterpoint. Or if you love a challenge, pick The Art of Fugue.[2] Don’t have any reverential reservations. Stop for ten minutes and isolate yourself from the world. You may do this even in the bus, or in the car in the middle of traffic, or in front of the computer. The fondamental condition is to feel yourself cut off from the world. Just pay attention and listen four or five times to the universe of sound programmed and imagined by the German composer, or at least until it begins to unravel – or tangle itself if you have been snared by it. In other words, pass some time, even a short period of each day, as much as is needed so as not to feel foreign in a land whose language you do not speak.

You will hear that music is spoken, is quoted, with a firm necessity that makes it all alike without being identical. There is a strong logic subtending it, a serial and mathematical technique. Underlying it, perhaps, is the need to explain that the world is written in mathematical symbols (a little as Galileo imagined it). And that nothing is created and nothing destroyed, but everything is subject to change.
But above all, you will feel – whether the matter makes you curious, whether you like it, or it nauseates or excites you – that it is able to influence your heartbeat and your blood pressure. In other words, it produces sometimes strong reactions. The more time and the more attention you pay, the more you will be moved, in negative terms too: it is a commonplace experimental test. And Bach, with supreme skill, was well able to count. His immense cathedrals of sound are in fact inspired and supported by a ratio that unfolds in and anticipates the modernity of logical and rational thinking, but which is also likewise able to come to terms with the dynamic we might define of the affections or pathetic. A mass of notes bent to conform to the ferocious combinatory law of counterpoint, and which is able to transmit information (docere), but also movere and delectare, in accordance with the categories of codified rhetoric of Latin oratory.

This is exactly what also happens with the works of Alberto Tadiello. And as with Bach’s music, perhaps only someone who has the peace and quiet to listen over and over to it can succeed in sensing it. The young artist has worked on two levels since his early work. One that is strongly structured, characterised by a dynamic of cause-effect of the scientific language, from a project that nourishes itself from the suggestions deriving from consumer electronics and work tools put to improper use (for instance, over-powered speakers, or drawings made using an electric drill). The other is more subtle, at times skilfully hidden, which resorts to the more complex and less visible part, the emotion side that is hard to find in those practising extreme conceptual art. This is an unexpected development, almost reserved solely for those who listen carefully.His works are characterized by a dry poetic form, sometimes sharp and cutting, of calculated effect, that never concedes anything to the visual spectacle. But it would be totally superficial if we were not to pay attention to those elements enabling us to understand how his conceptual suggestions are conveyed to the observer in the crudity of their emotional chill. Calm and slowness, indeed, make it possible to unveil a stylistic key that is all his: warmth. For example, we may consider the installation realised for the Viafarini residence, comprising two flanked speakers fed by an overly ad hoc voltage and a circuit that alternately blocks and supplies the electricity. The effect is that of a small explosion and the speakers, because of the surges of current running through them, are destined to break. And yet, after a few moments in the room in which the work is installed, one notices that that noise belongs to us and is not alien to our daily existence: it is our heartbeat. Similarly, Eprom, presented at the one-man show in Naples and comprising a carillon operated by high-speed electric motors (which over time will cause the progressive cancellation of the sound track), in its vaguely art nouveau design recalls the germination of plants and the development of natural elements.

Any observer limiting himself, therefore, to the simple esprit de geometrie, would lose himself the other and more abundant part of the esprit de finesse. For it is in the recomposition of these two Pascalian elements that the calculations of reason, the efforts made to perceive the form, combine with the appeal of nature and simplicity that reveals itself, even in unusual form. And progressively, as in the case of the sound-based installations using the movement of the tides of Venice, the earthquake of Friuli, the movement of the Alpine and polar glaciers of 20 kHz (presented for the Premio Giovane Emergente Europeo at Trieste Contemporanea), the translation in noise of the digital variations recorded produces emotional reactions, although not necessarily in sounds that we might customarily find appealing. But anyway, in his own way, Tadiello seems to continue the tradition which states that “the aim of sculpture is to test the limits – and failures – of human control”. [3] Even though the sculptural interest of the objects used is not the commonplace three-dimensional development of a work, so much as a research into a more complex environmental and installational dimension. And with an evolutionary dynamic that recalls, albeit anchored to other forms of logic, the extension in an architectural sense of Vito Acconci’s work. It only remains for us to be silent and to warm our ears. [4]

[1] Giulio Paolini, Lo sguardo nel vuoto, in L’immagine del vuoto, Skira, 2006.
[2] Johann Sebastian Bach, The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080.
[3] See Richard Nonas, in Maurizio Pellegrin, Innerscapes, Trieste Contemporanea, 1998.
[4] The title of the text is a tribute to Charles Bukowski Hot Water Music.