The Doublefold Dream of Art
2RC - between artist and maker
Achille Bonito Oliva
Chi said that "life is a dream"? The bearer of this statement, we want to keep silent about his name, evidently spoke by considering himself in a state of wakefulness. He pronounced the sentence standing on a threshold from which to look at the world, something in a clear state of sensibility allowed him to think of being out of this dream, in a place sheltered from any irruption, perhaps placed high up, in a raised position above the heap of a newspaper that forms and frays out of any warp of reason.
The chain of facts has been shattered and they take place outside any consequential logic. Then for the one who spoke, it was necessary to take cover and take shelter, by means of a declaration that would precipitate life into the dark funnel of the dream, from which there is no shelter but only the possibility of assisting quietly or with anguish, without a shot, hurting or interfering. The dream allows a surface representation, a flow of images that all flow according to the direction of the figure.
Art, on the other hand, shows us that this rash assertion is not possible, that language is not an instrument of representation but is itself representation. He who creates is the artificer, he who establishes the artifice, the god of dreams and the god who dreams. For the artist there is no caesura, the door closed or the door open: the hinge slides on its hinges and the artist always remains with his hand attached to the handle, not out of prudence but out of wonder. He discovers that the hand itself is the handle. It is not the artist who dreams, it is the art itself that dreams, which moves not so much to ape the world, but rather to simulate movement and arrest, flight and suspension, in short, the language, it feels omnipotent and continually pursues his dream of power. Of course not all dreams are the same, many fly to an impregnable height and still others fly low to the ground or underground. Dreams of intoxication and dreams of degradation but all sublime. Not all dreams are within everyone's reach.
Some are exclusive and turn from mouth to mouth only among the artists, they fly at half height like a breath, among the dreamers of images who tell each other looking at each other, whispering them in their ears. Other dreams, on the other hand, can freely circulate even among ordinary men. They start from the images of art, classical Greek sculpture, and then divert to a more accessible height, up to the mouths and ears and also to the common eyes. These perhaps spread loudly, sometimes even with noise, according to a striking and admired circulation. Sometimes it also happens that the dream dreams of itself and then we are faced with the most indecipherable image, as it does not want any external reading. to itself, but wishes to sleep on itself without ever being interrupted and brought into a waking state. Then there are dreams that fly just to be looked at and are those of art, which take on the guise of visual language. These can run and flow in a figural and abstract way, in the depths of men and under their feet. Since 1959 Valter and Eleonora Rossi have assumed the double dream of art in the Shakespearean conscience deliberately and indirectly Mannerist "that we are a dream in a dream". Since then, with a constant feverish half-sleep, the couple has become a collective subject, not just artisans and faithful performers, rather a happy plaque (2RC) that accompanied the faithful and creative work of two subjects who have never ousted the artists of their role. of creators. Craftsmen who bring added value in the graphic creation for the master image of the artist. The work of Valter and Eleonora Rossi, as a sort of car plate, has traveled all over the world, moving from Italy to America, to Japan and always capturing the protagonists and young promises of the art of the second half of the twentieth century. Craftsmen and non-artisans, simple artisans of the creation of others, have developed a cultural nomadism that has led them to meet artists of informal abstraction, action painting, Pop Art, Arte Povera and Transavanguardia. Not to mention the foray into the creative field of various artists of the historical avant-garde, European and American.
If 2RC strategically hatched and practiced the double dream strategy, a graphic exercise that created a new skin for contemporary art, now let's go back to the first dream, that of art. The artist has chosen to dream of a dream of art that crosses many territories, those that unfold through threads of solar images and forms, made of fragments and sudden flashes, of constant returns, and of distances and sinking into a place that it seems to belong to everyone. The magical territory is illuminated by an inner gaze that shines with its own light, strengthened by an eye that has the double ability to look and look at itself: Alechinsky.
The dream is dotted and scattered with fragments that live at the intersection of many skies, which gravitate at different heights. The fragments are always thin and never full-bodied, the lightness allows them to wander quickly and to stop quietly without clutter and without imbalances. There is no sinking or precipitation. The elements are arranged according to the dictates of coexistence and epiphany, according to the sense of illumination and sudden appearance: Calder.
The image is the result of a field of signs scattered outside any idea of a path and all ready to re-enter themselves, to dream of their own shadowy thinness. The dream is not made up of still and peremptory images but of filaments of images ready to shatter in the intertwining of many itineraries. It is made to be looked at by an inner eye, in the mobility of its tracks. Traces that are at the same time lasting, rooted in the history of dreams that dazzle and have dazzled the millennial history of men and the earth, immortality: Burri.
The forms germinate directly in the dream of the work, cut out in its frame, the one that finds its edges in the confines of the sculpture which are then the confines of the dream itself. The germinating language of art causes many flowers, even the oxymoron of the garden as a desert. It proliferates on itself and floods the surface of the picture with careful disorder. Attention arises from a biological discipline of language, which is always arranged according to instantaneous relationships and relationships: Victor Pasmore.
Even the colors are arranged in an open way either inside the filaments of the images or outside, to deconcentrate the figures, to establish links that then fall away according to echoes that are fading away. Sometimes they burst nearby with a roar that always remains silent, as it always strikes the eye, albeit the internal one. From here it then quickly flows into the other organs of perception, which are never just visual. The images thus return to where they started, in the dark or totally luminous recesses of the deep garden in front of him: Bacon.
The profound is of course not the place of the irrational, of the pure misrecognition of reason, but the reservoir that always finds new lymph and renewal from its own drive to remain underground. A tank placed entirely horizontally that does not like to raise its head, which has an inclined movement for its attitude. It is the dream of art to transport him out of his supine position, to drag him to the place of representation, where he does not suffer losses, if anything, it increases with a further dark splendor: Cucchi.
“Work discipline to get closer to the form” (Miró). The painter's assertion springs from the very nature of language, which always likes to place itself under one's gaze in a thorough and compunct manner. Compunction certainly does not mean a loss of intensity, but rather an increase and greater concentration. The dream of art passes through the overcoming of improvisation, the refinement of the image that calibrates its appearance so that it does not rush out of the reservoir that has entertained it until then: Julian Schnabel.
The entertainment of the image is the only possibility to keep it out of any caesura. The artist has the gift of not dispossessing the image of its depth, of its internal ties. Art never produces lacerations, shapes and figures retain deep roots that root them in the substance of the imaginary. The imaginary is not an abstract place, the abstract condition of fantasy, but the uninterrupted terminal of the reservoir of the depth. Language constitutes the mechanics through which it initiates and produces its pollutions: Afro.
Vibration is the movement that the artist develops to get closer to the inner place. From this place nature is not far away, indeed it lives in unison on the same wavelength, made up of expansion and contraction, of subtle tremors that prevent great events but constitute the temporal polarities, and therefore invisible, within which the small events of birth and death: Clemente.
The simultaneity of the image is not the result of speed but rather of a patient calibration that tends not to deprive it of its initial intensity. Intensity is the temperature that measures the reality of the image, its remaining unchanged within the grid of language: Max Bill.
A slow and patient struggle opens up between the artist and his tools, what is at stake is to prevent the loss that can derive from the too excited use of language. The artist is aware that language has a profound structure and that the profound is structured like language, with connections and passages. So the artist, like the acrobat, walks slowly on the wire, in an attempt to cross a very narrow point where it is possible to fall: Fontana.
The artist has preserved enough roots to remain firmly anchored to the vibration that holds nature and also the dream of art. Here geometry and organic signs intertwine incessantly and establish the harmony of apparitions that preserve the intense ghost of the whole inside and out. The whole is the circularity of the whole and also the struggle to keep the initial vibration within the confines of a language that proliferates a double meaning, the ascending one of finitude and the unlimited and descending one of an infinity that can only be suspected: Arnaldo Pomodoro .
For this reason the artist in his work overturns the notion of nature into anti-nature through the use of classic materials such as marble or technological prostheses. By means of quotations of mutilation, cruelty and death he constructs a whole series of oppositions to what is the most common vitalistic notion of nature. To this, art responds with culture as an instrument of perpetration of man as thought and therefore of immortality: Consagra.
The artist decides not to work only on simple pairs of oppositions, but to practice a perversely polymorphic language. Positive and negative become polarities that find in the work a place in which to exercise their values in terms of simultaneity. Here then we discover what the specific nature of language is that freezes vitality in an exemplary and definitive form. It turns out that the work is not only creation but also a reflection on the paradoxical desire for immortality that art harbors within itself and that the practice of a language is indispensable, by its nature the bearer of immobility and therefore of death: Nancy Graves.
The artist in graphics with his work, made of sculpture, drawing and installation, programmatically elevates the lower death of everyday life to a higher death: Nevelson.
Nature-death is therefore the essence of the language that leads to every creation. Here a suspension of all hostility of time is triggered, a sort of apnea is created protected by the form that blocks the biological breath and holds the image on the threshold of our gaze: Kounellis.
Nature and anti-nature combine in the work to create an armistice between the catastrophe of time and our desire for duration. Art seems to be at the service of a dream of omnipotence, that of eternalizing our present, cheerfully expelling any hope of the future in the hic et nunc of a work that, through contemplation, also holds the viewer on the happy threshold of the eternal present: Manzù.
Here the memory of the sculptures is also collected. These sculptures use the golden characters of harmony, proportion and symmetry that support the identity of classical sculpture, in particular the Greek one that has come down to us through the archaeological finds collected in museums. The Nike of Samothrace, mutilated and deprived of some of its parts, has arrived to us. Yet the nostalgia for lack, the suspicion of a perfection embodied in the form allow us to enjoy the work through a contribution of contemplative imagination.
There is no need for all of this in enjoying art. Here mutilation is accepted from the outset, by the artist and by the models themselves, represented through a formal economy that restores harmony and proportion: Chillida.
The use of marble, the quotation in the graphics of such a plastic material, help the work to assume a sort of serenity that reverberates over the whole image. The artist gives exemplary definition, a dignified normalization, to a body apparatus that exhibits its shortcomings frontally. If generally sculpture celebrates the heroic deeds of characters who gain visibility by detaching themselves from the everyday, now it is the everyday itself that does not require any heroism but speaks through its own evidence: Moore.
Art puts to death the mutilation and partiality of the everyday through a language that is expressed through the preference of a genre such as still life. The artist has created the artifice of a natural paradise made of perenniality, a coexistence of different flowers, thorns and plants eternalized in the instant beauty of a luxuriance blocked in its best moment: Sutherland.
Here too the technological prosthesis intervenes as anti-nature on the principle of organic nature. The artifice helps to support a cosmetics for an indefinite period, an eternity presented by a garden which, however, requires a space that is closed and separated at the same time from the life of our daily life: Sonia Delaunay.
Natura naturans and natura naturata confront each other in a dialectic that ultimately leads to the foundation of a no-man's land, the privilege of a place. We inhabit the threshold beyond which a show happily paralyzed in its development is fixed for future memory. A borderline separates us between us inhabitants the lower death of everyday life and the work of art that occupies entirely the higher death of the eternal present: Man Ray.
The dream of art seems to run along other heights, according to lines of flight that do not maintain distances from the ground, on the contrary they seem to travel along paths that are at the opaque height of the feet. The mirror, its composed consistency, the traces of some memories of objects, the reflections that hint at solitary conversations with the wall. The surface is a mirror, a horizon that runs firm and unshakable to bar the gaze. Here the dream of art occurs through incisive signs, which have the strength of craquelure, a contained break, like a memory: Turcato.
Now everything becomes precarious and at the same time definitive, traced inside the cemented substance of a surface that welcomes and holds every sign in a lasting way. The dream of art has a long memory and is not lost behind the fickle sequences of simple free associations. The images remain entangled within the thickness of a black and specular material. Yet they all run to take cover on the surface of the wall, from where it is then not possible to escape far, from the wall to the ground: Richter.
Time and space find an irreversible arrangement, a crossed placement made for future memory by the ability of the surface to know how to build a wall against any instability. Leaving a trace means to engrave, to enter the material with a steady wrist or to quickly grasp and meet the wall to mark the number of one's passage in the race. Chance and decision, geometry and open forms, are placed in a horizontal, still and frozen position, all images of a presence that finds no other evidence outside of these indirect memories: Capogrossi.
Therefore the wall, the wall belongs to everyone but only the identified and incisive gesture of the artist manages to undermine the hard and opaque resistance of its surface. Perhaps the wall belongs to everyone because everyone can look at it, heritage of the social eye. But the dream of art has the strength to be seen, to appear even to those who are not artists, but only as a representation: Vasarely.
Art brings his dream of art into contact with the feet and body, lowers the flight of images to the height of the collective gaze, on a support that, by definition, is readable by all: the mirror. Here it happens that time and space materialize their intertwining and fix their encounters in the forms that are convenient and in keeping with the nature of the support. The signs are in fact almost always graffiti, small gashes and wounds that congeal on the ground. The collective book that speaks a still obscure and singular language: Penck.
It is traversed by a lasting yet precarious visual writing, made up of silent signs, casts of objects and lost steps. As if they had fallen into a fresh substance that then cemented them inside, without letting them escape. The low dream occurs entirely in everyday life and does not cite winged or eccentric images, it is content to cite the innumerable prose of small objects, of small incidents of forms that meet the mirror, of signs that congeal in the material, arousing a lasting memory, otherwise impossible: Francis.
The long memory of the wall is not an inherent quality of the material but a transfiguring effect of the dream of art, which finds in the artist's individual imagination the strength to bring to a long life what would otherwise perish. The artist is the creator of a long dream. The creation takes place through the surprise of combinations and aggregations of shapes and objects that normally live very far from each other: George Segal.
The dream of 2RC art is to create new families of signs, new nuclei of meaning, through which it is always possible to hope for other encounters and a perennial conflict of orders. The step returns ceaselessly, to trace the overcoming of old dispositions of signs. But this is possible because the specular matter already possesses within itself the strength to withstand the change, a continuous manipulation of its surface, a hard surface and at the same time sweet and yielding. Molds, casts, concave and convex, rhythm the surface according to spatial chords and dissonances that do not disturb the ability to withstand new interventions. The created wall is a work that responds to one's dream, which harbors the impulses of a fantasy free from any slavery of a definitive alphabet. Here there is no writing that repeats itself, nor a writing that claims the right of repetition. The omnipotence of the unrepeatable and individual gesture accompanies and supports the energy of language. Therefore the passage has no nausea, because there is no repetition, which always brings the awareness of impossibility and failure. The dream of art is precisely to bring the everyday and its convention onto the horizontal and slippery plane of the ground, where everything turns into an occasion for sign.
The transfiguration is the result of the intertwining between step and mirror of the sign's need to take on the flesh of matter and for this to come out of the constitutive inertia of its own essence. The dream of 2RC art is to cross the low condition of everyday language, in the awareness that only the artist can get to dig into his opaque substance and bring to the surface a new energy, material and moral. 2RC tends to socialize the dream of art, placing it metaphorically and metonymically in the possibility of an apparition sensitive to every glance, ready to turn into communication, albeit through a visual and mental alphabet that knows very well the labyrinths within which language goes. to hunt. The dream is to broaden the contagion of one of his attitudes, which consists in bringing the everyday into a condition of impossibility, where language comes out of the banks of meaning to slip towards other drifts.
Ultimately Valter and Eleonora Rossi, branded 2RC, have traveled far and wide among the works of numerous artists. Practicing a film nomadism, a harmony between creator and creative, artist and craftsman who amplified the dream of art between the XNUMXth and XNUMXst centuries, in a double dream, which produced a seal of further perenniality to the immortality of art.
Achille Bonito Oliva