24 July 2015 0 Comments

In colour, in darkness

Disintegration and fragmentariness are associated, with impetus, and above all with their charge of primitive pain, with the spiritual and at once biological request that, in this young and mature painting presses forward from Arrigo Musti (born 1969). This appears evident through the continuous, nervous and palpable forward painterly movement (and engraving) towards a more recognizable, manipulated and stubbornly absorbed universal lament that appears in all its tenacious task, and in which the explosion of a natural, archetypal anger crudely seems to crystallize even into the organic fabrics, to be rediscovered, in every expressive variant, in the amazed, uncontested and mute silence. This is a pathway submerged by bodily poetics, assumed in the totality of their extreme revelation. Hence crumbled epiphanies, quickly dissolved because of metaphorical acid rains, red-hot from the phase of creation in which the profound ergonomic value, the kinematic drive, live above all in the continuous cycle of dissolution, nurtured by the wound, tending also to the restoration of integrity through the urgency of regeneration. These are those “events/signs of the wound”, mentioned by Vitaldo Conte in his Pulsional Gender Art (2011), that “become an exhibition of borderline corporeity, made naked subject/object, defenceless.” Then, he confirms to us, that “blood and the cut ‘seal’ the contact, visual and intimate, between the marked body and the eye that looks, more than any other verbal communication, tying them both to signification with profound implications.” It seems then that the body (the face for its centrality of meanings), in its being an epicentre between two poles, is reaffirmed in an inescapable form by the “Signs-wound of the body”, for which such “markings open up to other people’s gazes, to invite them to look at/touch their own condition of sacrifice, sometimes preserving, in the poses and in the ceremonials of the event, a classical stamping” (Conte). And on these conditions, though with different implications, in this language there emerges the pulsatory substance, the very sore in which Musti’s portraits, visible icons of those syncretic “mutant identities” connoted by Francesca Alfano Miglietti (2008) and suited to tracing themselves in the asperity of the contaminations between ‘flesh’ and ‘technology’, certainly narrate, even starting from the germinative phase, their drama at the confine between the bidimensional state and the three-dimensional one. In this way we read, with Amniotic Rain or with Blood Rain, the works entrusted to the material taste for that privilege of placing of the icon on the light carpet of punctiform dripping (emblems, for proximity of target, also suggested by the image/dripping conflict of Chrissy Anglikerin); a carpet in which there is extolled the blood transmigration of the elements concentrated in it, or again in the vaster human amnion: nourishment, dissolution and denunciation, probably, of a not distant histaminic commerce. Now the transduction of such perceptive signals, explicit, raw, not devoid of an archaic sacred disposition, reveals, precisely in the maceration of subjects gemmated by a compact expressionist nucleus (looking now to tachism now to a franker informal ancestry), the sound of dissipatio, stubbornly reflex in that producing, iteratively, the register of the wounds, interpreted in its quality of writing that belongs, right from the depth, to western art. It is an affiliation in which the sense of ‘religio’ shows its hunger for such secretions; then it is precisely in the pigmentary diachrony (red/azure), almost an inversion or symbolic placing of an arterial/venous admixture, in which there voluptuously flow blood and lymph in an essential link with suffering existence which, along further streets, feels it is stigmatized by global indifference, and therefore relegated to that enclave of the Nameless in which Arrigo Musti wants to arouse indignation and social martyrdom. Besides, in this reality, as some time ago was stressed by Peter Camporesi in his intense essay The juice of life. Symbolism and magic of blood (1988), we see how it “thickens with magic meanings, mystical allusions, pharmacological prodigies, alchemic dreams (the artificial man, the homunculus, is born from rotten sperm and feeds on blood)” and that “the torture of Christ, together with the cult of his body and his blood, becomes, precisely, a collective passio.” It is a meaningful animi passiones nurtured and glorified by the very dispersion of life, in the continual and contrasting identification/repulsion with the blood of God made a man, because of that refreshing and ironic bath which we are offered by the work Singing in the blood rain. Hence immersion, highlighted by Paolo Segneri, the seventeenth-century Jesuit preacher mentioned by Camporesi (the greatest, perhaps, after Bernardine of Siena: “talkative” and vacuous for De Sanctis), has to flow in an open, persistent “internal cosmography of the human body” (The unbeliever without an excuse, [Baglioni, Venice 1690]). Besides, it is human wholeness that suffers from the marketing of the body (see Cosmetic Rain as for the works of the ‘Italy Pavilion’: Venice Biennial 2011) in the uneven, exasperated technological impact (Radioactive Rain, 2008). Then, in Anorexic Rain, produced by the most marked gestural character, wandering bodies are delineated in timeless navigation: mirror images of ‘saintliness’ independently suffered, reminding us of illuminated transverberations or of the scourging displayed by Rudolph Mark Bell in his Holy Anorexia (Chicago 1987). Reverberation of one’s own and other people’s carnal essence in which the tragic account of human vicissitudes, their grotesque appearing and dying, their genetic exultation, their being victims of the ambush, flourish, with Arrigo, in the unpopularity of the breaking out, in colour as in darkness, in the deep night of the soul ready, however, to give us back unexpected “gems of light.”

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