Vincenzo Fiore Marrese

Themes

A selection of themes. The order is by relevance. Every theme is related to one or more artworks. Scroll down or check the page index.

Reorder power structures

Theme

Is it possible to change the rules of a game through the same game's rules? Playing, you cannot break the rules. But if you are allowed to change the rules, you can easily break the rules by rule. And if someone disagrees, you can always say that's the rule. Part of my art workflow implies, generally, the reading of academic papers around my topics. One of the most pertinent papers on my research interest for this artwork is "Law against the Rule of Law: Assaulting Democracy" by Ivan Ermakoff[1]. This text inspired me with the title of the piece[2]. The text is around this question, «How do authoritarian contenders use the law to dismantle democratic institutions?»[3]. In my artwork, I don't have the aim to show skills. I work on the edge of the ordinary, changing meanings and merging direct reference to the topic of the artwork (like the barricade tape) with some more related to the intuition (the sunflower not yet unpacked) or more elusive (the x-rays).

About age-based targeting

Theme

A "police line do not cross" tape divide an hotel room into small sectors wrapped around the objects that I find in the room. There is paper scattered on the floor. In the paper sheets, there are notes about marketing strategies. My laptop is on. On the screen, the software appears to work on its own. A word editor writes some phrases. Everything happens without my intervention. Meanwhile, I move around the room, exploring aspects, actions and body language related to the stereotypical age-based narration. The title comes after a Facebook online guide for Facebook Business Pages.

Portfolio entry

To make landfall

Theme

"To make landfall" is an artwork about fuel transportation.

How the fuel transportation affects people? How it impacts global issues between nations? Which questions raise about the population that have no availability of fuel? How can art frame this topic to produce artworks?

To maintain a satisfactory temperature to face warm or cold weather to survive can be tricky. Let's think about the cold. Generally speaking, you need to have dresses or other stuff to cover yourself. Then it is relevant to have a shelter or a home. But you also need a heating system and fuel to warm up your place. You can search for fuel or pay for it. For the latter, you could face risks like fuel poverty. On another layer, you can have a home and economic resources to afford the fuel cost, but fuel cost is not constant. It can increase.

That's the relevant background behind this work, more focussed on another side of this faceted theme. It is the topic of natural gas transportation in the energy industry.

Natural gas transportation affects the population that has access or could have access to this kind of fuel. But at the same time, it implies the other side. It raises questions about the population that has no access to natural gas. Furthermore, it opens other global issues, since gas transportation can imply relationships between nations.

It is related to my biography, also. It affects the country where I was born, Italy, in the region where my father was born, with the so-called Trans Adriatic Pipeline, part of the Southern Energy Corridor, and the country where I'm living, Germany with the so-called Nord Stream. Furthermore, it impacts Europe, in general, and, of course, beyond places related to my biography, other nations and the geopolitical balance in a broad sense.

As is known, natural gas is one of the "most important energy resources"[1]. Where it is available, it is used domestically as "space heating, water heating, and cooking", "to produce energy" in some power plants, and as heating sources "for manufacturing process"[2]. It is "mostly made of methane", and pipelines transport it, or, in some cases, tanks as "liquid natural gas"[3].

In Italy and Germany, there are the landfalls of two noteworthy gas pipelines, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline[4], part of the Southern Energy Corridor, and the Nord Stream[5].

In some cases, gas pipelines come from other nations, often pass in the middle of in-between nations.

Due to the role of the Internet, a collateral topic is related to irrationality. Internet technologies are based on rational thinking but create irrationality. So, I mix in this kind of events some irrational elements, trying to collapse with the computational background of the Internet technologies. In this case, I will cast a part of a spell that needs gas energy. It is related to magical thinking that we used to think like the opposite of rationality. I'm working to find similarities between this side and the artistic act.

Another collateral topic is the multiplication of the identity overlapping the here and now. I'm interested in exploring this state as a performer. For that reason, the performance is not live-streamed because the time gap between the action and the performer's life create another kind of identity multiplication by the absence.

Portfolio entry

I (don't) know the spell

Theme

“I (don't) know the spell” explores our inner border between rational and irrational through the lens of Internet technologies, posing questions on the dividing line between the performance art and the magic act.

For my performance, I cast a spell according to instructions in an old manuscript of magic. Then I broadcast my action on Instagram in a temporary account that I will delete after after a few hours. The idea is to model a collision between magical thinking, let's call it irrational, and the world of information technologies built upon rational frameworks. The audience will experience this collision, and the art insider would appreciate the boundaries of the performance act compared with the magical one. With "magical thinking", I mean:

"the belief that one's (...) actions (...) can influence the course of events in the material world. Magical thinking presumes a causal link between one's inner, personal experience and the external physical world. Examples include beliefs that the movement of the Sun, Moon, and wind or the occurrence of rain can be influenced by one's thoughts or by the manipulation of some type of symbolic representation of these physical phenomena."[1]

Information technologies are a rationality tool, but the use of the Internet seems to improve irrational behaviours. I will explore this contradiction through my performance using Instagram doing a magical act, a spell. There are similitudes between "magical thinking" and "performance art". First, in "performance art", the artwork is an action that sometimes involves objects. Second, the idea that art could be related to magic or rituals is intriguing. Historically, this kind of connection appears in the specific field of "performance art". I will explore through my performance the relationship between magic and performance doing magic and performative action at the same time. My action is artistic, but a magic action too. I'm doing it according to the instruction of a book of spells.

The topic is labyrinthine. Is magical thinking irrational? Are technologies rational? Is there a connection between a magic action and an artistic one? How do I take steps in the world according to the information that surrounds me? I (don't) know, could be the answer.

Portfolio entry

Achilles and Tortoise Kornieieva-Marrese duo

Theme

It is an artwork about identity fragmentation and the perception of the body through Internet technologies. The context is about cities in different time zones. Berlin is in the UTC+1, and Kyiv is in the UTC+2 time zone. There is a time zone gap of one hour. When people talk through the Internet, this gap seems to disappear. It seems strange. They remain in their cities but, at the same time, they are elsewhere. They are able not only to talk but also to see each other. They experienced a sort of bodies presence. But in what kind of space and time, this connection happen? It looks like they are close, but they are still far. This situation reminded us of the “Achilles and the Tortoise” paradox. It seems that technology can fill this gap through the fragmentation of ourselves. We are not communicating directly. Each of us communicates with a mathematical representation of the other that appears through the machine. Despite the time zone gap, we live the same present. But it is a present that seems possible and impossible, at the same time because only the fragmentation of ourselves allows us to communicate with each other. This paradoxical situation is experienced daily, by a lot of people, for different reasons. We felt the urgency to explore it through the prism of our art practice.

Der Weg der Kohle

Theme

The concept of this work is the possibilities to shape social changes. The topic is related to the idea to imagine a network of former power plants that become museums of art that can create an innovative art platform rethinking the social function of a museum of art today. In the Museum Kesselhaus Herzberge, as a former power plant that provided energy as heat and electricity, you can see in the boiler room a didactic panel as a schematic representation that shows the use of fossil fuel. Everyone knows that fossil fuel phase-out is a big challenge. What if during this transition, we start an art phase-in through a network of a new type of art museums from the former power plants? On the floor of the boiler room there is a trap door. According to the narrative topos of the magic door that brings us to a new world, this trap door will be the place where the artwork will drive our imagination to this option.

Portfolio entry

post performance

Theme

What kind of questions could performance art pose to the relationship between people and the social world while happening through social media channels?

After 50 years, performance art is still a contemporary art medium. But, is it a medium, like painting or sculpture? According to J. Westerman «performance is not (and never was) a medium»[1], but «a set of questions (...) about how art relates to people and the wider social world»[2]. I imagined that these questions are some FAQ about posting on Facebook as an online social world. I assign these questions to some famous performance artists, as fake quotes, printing them on some panels. I place these panels in the space of the theatre room. I move my body through the panels, creating some electronic sounds related to my movements by sensors. These sounds are related to the idea of how our data creates information in the social world. In this case, pure useless, creative information. I have a golf-club with me, is a reference to a success-story about performance post on Facebook by a professional golfer called Rick Shiels. With this golf-club, I destroy the panels with fake quotes. It refers to the history of performance art, through the piece called "paper breakthrough" by S. Murakami. But this action to destroy the panels happen with the lights off when the audience could not see. So they can see only the result, not the process. During the performance, the lights are off and on, alternatively. I construct a plot of the performance, and the main action is not visible.

Cordone artistic collaboration with Live Art Lab: Tetiana Kornieieva and Anton Romanov

Theme

Three artists that speak different native languages, Ukrainian and Italian, meet in Kyiv to create a brand-new performance art piece. According to some academic papers in the Ukrainian language, there are a few hundred Italian word loans. We also discovered that some words have the same pronunciation but different meanings. During the performance, we explore the relationships between languages and create a physical action related to language collisions.

Portfolio entry

It's time artistic collaboration with Dagmar I. Glausnitzer-Smith

Theme

Two artists share the same space at the same moment. They act differently, and their actions appear not related. But because they are here and now, together, they start to collide. And in this collision, a new meaning comes up. It is related to the relationship between the body, and the objects as an ontological category. From one side, the attempt to dissolve the presence of the object through the movement, and the sounds. From the other side, the attempt to combine the body, and space, with the objects. This piece show, in a sense, how it is possible to found harmony from two different points of view, that appear as two different worlds of experience. It's time. It's time to collide.

Portfolio entry

I don’t think you realise what I’m talking about

Theme

The title of the artwork refers to the idea of complexity, and to the attitude to refuse it. I thought about Edgar Morin’s philosophy. I thought about his idea on the disorganisation of the three terms “individual”, “society”, and “species”, and the necessity to reorganise this relationship.

I downloaded a picture representing the idea of “nature” from a public domain stock photos website. I used this picture, uploaded from a user (representing the term “individual”) to talk about nature. I chose one with a plant and a bird (representing the term “species”). I wrote the words “individual”, “society”, and “species” on the image. I changed the size of this image. I published this image on the Internet (representig the term “society”).

The image exceeds any screen sizes. You can’t see it unless you drag and scroll it in two directions. This image suggests that nature exceeds humans machines, although it exists inside humans machines. It is only a matter of discovering it, as the complexity that is represented by the text ("individual/society/species") that you could find exploring the image.

Portfolio entry

Community Standards

Theme

Two years ago, Facebook released to the public its guidelines about what is forbidden to post, the “Community Standards”, with a section on “Violence and Criminal Behavior”. Violence relating to aggressivity and Facebook rules the idea of violence. I found Facebook's rules related to the self-domestication hypothesis and the media, the Internet, that I used for my artwork. I created a tension between the media itself and a meta-vision of its rules. I created a video that could be engaging for the Facebook audience (it is not so long, based on movements, and so on), but that included part of the text from the “Violence and Criminal Behavior” rules in itself. As you will see in the video, this text became part of my environment. During my action, I played a sound based on synthetic voices of chimpanzees during a fight, again something between real and virtual. I worked on chimpanzees voices because chimpanzees are very close to us, but, at the same time, they are animals that could be aggressive. In the video, you can see and old “tile stove”. I pull out from the stove some ethernet cables, and you can see a light source. I liked to create a connection between the stove, as a source of energy, and the Internet that hosting Facebook. The Internet is a potential source of energy that needs to be discerned, under the light of critical thinking.

Portfolio entry

People also ask

Theme

The concept of this work is the human self-domestication hypothesis. The topic is about the search engines semantics and the online researches related to aggressivity.

I have composed a sound piece based on some synthetic voices of chimpanzees, and a beat. There are chimpanzees voices during a fight. As we know, chimpanzees are very close to the Homo genus. Anyway, they are still more aggressive than humans in the wild environment. As a human, we are, generally, less aggressive. There is a debate about the idea that natural selection supports less aggressive humans instead of more aggressive. Anyway, we still fight and make wars. Recently media show debated news about a navy seal. This man, Edward Gallagher, seems to have committed war crimes, appear like a very aggressive soldier. Anyway, the President of the USA justified it. So, in this piece, I will explore how this news, related to the topic of aggressivity, is presented by Google in its function called “People also ask”.

Portfolio entry

Body’s Law

Theme

“Body’s Law” is an action about a state of transition of the body. Transition means a passage from one point to another. It explores a social state of transition from the state of detention in a jail to the state of being part of a society.

Transition means a bridge-state, a state of passage from one point to another. During this state, a subject, like a body, is not entirely in the starting nor in the ending point of something: it is in between.

In this action, I explore a social state of transition. It is the state of passage from two other states. The starting point is the social state of detention of a body in a jail. The ending point is the social state of a body being part of a civil community, a society. If we presume that a body, generally, is part of a society before entering in jail, we can speak about this state of transition as a state were the body came back into an original social state, so it is a sort of “reintegration”. The action was, in fact, inspired by the reading of a handbook called “Reentering Your Community” a book developed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, an agency of the United States of America.

The state of detention entails, in fact, the idea that the society needs to take control of some people by control their bodies movements and by containing their bodies inside a building, the prison. The level of the control on the body's movement is related to the penalty that the society believe that is necessary for certain people. For example, if the level of the penalty is high then the body’s could be incarcerated in a very small jail, also without contacts with others prisoners. In the community movements of the bodies looks like free, I mean free on purpose, but, often there are related to the social convention. But, obviously, there is a quite big difference in a body constrained inside a jail from a body constrained inside a social convention.

So, in this action body’s movements is a way to point through an art form, the dance. It’s a way to include an artistic purpose in the action. But action art is not the dance. Artistic action often involves the body of the artist and if an artist uses the body focussing on the movements it looks like that artist want to do dancing. However, action art is not dance nor theatre nor other well-defined forms of art, but in some case entails movements. So, in that cases, the body’s movement is a way to point to an art form, the dance, but remaining in a not well-defined form of art as the action art is. To remain in a not well-defined or not well-explored form of art, the artist uses the body’s movement focussing on the natural language of his body rather to a dance style.

During the action, some of this movements generate some electronic sounds in real time thanks to some electronic devices. The sound is related to movements because is a sort of metaphor of creation. The creation, in the meaning of creativity, is related to art but also to an action executed by the body in general. Again if in the action there are sounds it does not mean that is music, as a well-defined form of art, for example, the dance. The body’s movement generates sounds in real time like an outcome of the action, not with the purpose to make music. There are other sound sources that appear during the action, one is a synthetic voice and another is a sequence of sounds composed originally by the artist. The synthetic voice repeats some phrases taken from the handbook mentioned before. The sequence of sounds, actually, is something close to a music composition. Essentially the sound composition is in contrast with the sounds generates by the movements. It is recorded and it is created without the direct control of the body’s movements, so it is a metaphor of a sort of vital stream that burst into the state of transition without the possibility that you can shape it.

Body is an animal feature rather than a culture feature. To control a body inside a prison often we use technologies. But technologies are also essential in the relationships between bodies and community. Some features of the body are more related to the animal side than others. For example, the language is not related to the animal side as the body’s fluids, like saliva, drool. The artist uses his saliva to stick some paper sheets in the space around him: on the stage, on the wall, on windows etcetera. On the paper sheets, there are some phrases that represent the language: culture. These phrases were taken from the handbook mentioned before.

Strike

Theme

The concept of this work is the gamification of warfare. The topic is about the relationship between wars and children.

“Strike” is a piece about war and games. It is sound art based, with an action created by the engagement of local children. A child stays in a room and plays with a toy drone and some sounds playing. The sounds come from some registrations. There are sounds like a buzz by male bees (“drones”, in English), some interviews about the impact of drones in war zones, and some sounds of explosions. The purpose is to create an impactful experience about the relationship between playing and war. The sounds are mixed and modified in real time by the artist.

Portfolio entries Selection

Suspended Sentence

Theme

“Suspended Sentence” is a piece about colonialism, pollution and exotic plants. It happens, generally, in botanical gardens. Some sounds that I recorded during my trip to Bangladesh create the core of the piece.

I developed this piece for botanical gardens and similar spaces. The idea is to add a temporary plant to the collection of the garden. It is an unusual plant, not a real one.

In Italian, my first language, the word "plant" has two meanings. The first meaning is "plant" as an organism. The second meaning is "map", typically "a map of a city". The unusual plant is "a map of a city". But this is an extraordinary map. Maps are, generally, pictures. In this case, sounds made the map. It is a "sound map of a city". It is a sound map that creates a perceptual contrast inside the environment of the garden. That is the reason why I work, primarily, with sounds. To enhance the perceptual contrast, I work on two different perceptual channels. The vision of the garden remains quite the same. The sounds that you hear in garden changes. What you see create a perceptual contrast with what you hear.

The city that I mapped with the sounds is Dhaka. Dhaka is the capital city of Bangladesh in Asia. I recorded some sounds from the city during my journey in Dhaka. I was in Dhaka to participate in a Biennal of Live Art. The sounds that I recorded were sounds from birds, traffic, demonstrations and prays. That sounds come from the categories of nature, technology, politics and religion: a complete set that could describe the sound environment of a city.

Generally, historic botanical gardens have exotic plants in their collections. Exotic plants, in the XIX century, comes from colonies. Dhaka could appear an "exotic" country, at least for people of XIX century. That is the reason why I use sounds coming from Dhaka. To make a connection and to create a reflexion about nature, city and the idea of colonisation.

Another reason is that Dhaka, according to some research, is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Put the sounds of traffic comes from a city like Dhaka inside a botanical garden, is another way to create some reflexion about the environment and the climatic changes caused by our actions. During this action, I also use my body. I move from one point to another, from a three to another three, and during my way, I create some electronic sounds, in real time, related to my movements. The metaphor of the movement refers to the idea that a lot of pollution is created to move bodies from one point to another. Scientific studies say that pollution is related to several thin particles suspended in the air. That is the reason why I use the word "suspended" in the title.

But this word could be another meaning related to law matters. In these terms "suspended sentence" is a law sentence. This sentence is special. It will not be applied if this person maintains is behaviour legal. This concept is particularly interesting for my artistic research that is, at present, around the relation with body and politics. The thin particles, related to the pollution, altered our environments and our bodies. We need to find an alternative. Humanity has a sort of "suspended sentence" related to this topic.

At the end of the action, I donate to the audience a printed card.

On the first side of the card, there is a picture. It is a picture of a leaf covered by dust. I shot this picture in Dhaka. On the other side, there is the phrase "Suspended Sentence".

Portfolio entry

Pull it Down (Put it Down)

Theme

“Pull it Down (Put it Down)” explores with an artistic purpose the idea to use the technology to find new ways to rules the bodies movements. The experience to be arrested by taser weapon is the focus of the performance. It is a weapon that the police start to use now in our country, Italy. It is a weapon that involved a strange reaction in the body. I’m a very interested in it for what that implied in a biological and political sense.

Portfolio entry

Across the Body

Abstract

“Across the Body” is an artwork about the drawing and the disappearing of artwork perceived as an object.

I came from the centre of Italy, close to the northern, and I approached art via our traditional media, drawing, painting and etching. I felt the urgency to question the nature of these media from the Western historical perspective.

In the West, drawing was not considered an autonomous art form for a long time. Several centuries passed until artists realized they did not necessarily have to represent reality. Under the influence of the European avant-garde, American painters developed a gesture paint style inspired by the idea of drawing in the loss of rational control. A critic and an artist, Rosenberg (1952) and Kaprow (1958), wrote relevant articles about gesture painters. They popularize the idea of the artwork as an immaterial event raher than a material object. At the same time, a new art movement arose. They believe that the immaterial idea is more relevant than the material artwork (LeWitt 1967). Two critics, Chandler and Lippard (1968), wrote about the concept of the complete dematerialization of the artwork as a material object. A philosopher, Osborne (2004), sees the dematerialization of the artwork as a pure idea, unachievable.

Gesture painters inspired artistic events beyond the act of painting and the painting as an object. What if these events include the act of painting and the painting as an object?

I decided to avoid painting and chose to draw. Remaining focused on the paramount role of the hand in drawing, I decided to move attention to the body gesture. Playing with the expectations of the viewer, I remove the draw at the end of the drawing action. The event becomes the disappearance of the object.

Some questions remain open. The viewer's perception can find relevant the drawing signs, also if they represent nothing. What happens to the power of representing reality (Moxey 2009) while drawing signs? Involving the viewer in the process of drawing is a way to entangle art and ordinary life. How does the artwork join art, ordinary life and reality altogether?

References
  1. Rosenberg H. (1952), The American Action Painters, ARTnews 52, December, New York City, pp. 22-23
  2. Kaprow A. (1958), The Legacy of Jackson Pollock, Art News vol. 57 no. 6 (October 1958): 24–26; 55–57
  3. LeWitt S. (1967), Paragraphs on Conceptual Art, Artforum, 5:10 (Summer 1967), pp. 79–84
  4. Chandler J., Lippard, L. (1968), The Dematerialization of Art, Art international, 12:2 (February 1968)
  5. Osborne, P. (2004), Art Beyond Aesthetics Philosophical Criticism, Art History and Contemporary Art, Art History, 27: 651-670. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0141-6790.2004.00442.x
  6. Moxey K. (2009), Mimesis and Iconoclasm, DOI:10.1111/j.1467-8365.2008.00648.x, ART HISTORY . ISSN 0141–6790 . VOL 32 NO 1 . FEBRUARY 2009 pp 52-77
Theme

“Across the Body” is an artwork about the drawing and the disappearing of artwork perceived as an object.

I came from the centre of Italy, close to the northern, and I approached art via our traditional media, drawing, painting and etching, focusing on the body. Despite the media, my approach as a visual artist was modern but narrow. I felt the urgency to question the nature of these media from the Western historical perspective.

From the Western historical perspective, drawing plays a peculiar role[1]. The history of art in Western culture tells us that, for a long time, the drawing appears not an autonomous art form[2]. Plus, in the same cultural context, the draftsperson was intended as a person skilled at mirroring reality[3]. In the West, drawing became an autonomous art form at the end of the 14th century[4]. Then, in the 20th century, artists realized that they did not necessarily have to represent reality[5].

Artists develop the idea of drawing without thinking

In Europe, during the 20s of the 20th century, arose an art movement called by artists Surrealism[6]. Inside this movement, artists embraced a method called as automatic drawing[7]. The concept of 'automatism' implies the loss of rational control[8]. In the field of automatic drawing, a prominent artist was André Masson[9].

The idea of drawing without thinking influences painters' gestures

In America, during the 40s and 50s of the 20th century[10], arose an art style identified by critics as Abstract Expressionism[11]. Inside this style, critics describe a class of artists as gesture painters[12]. These artists gave careful attention and put force into the artist's hand gestures[13]. The particular importance of the gesture comes after the Surrealist 'automatism' that unleashes the irrational movement of the hand[14].

Painters working with gestures bring the idea of artwork as an event

In 1952, the critic Harold Rosenberg described these artists as action painters[15]. The canvas was a space to act where an event happened, not a picture[16]. In the category of action painters, a prominent artist was Jackson Pollock[17]. In 1958, the artist Allan Kaprow published an article[18] (written in 1956[19]) about Pollock. Kaprow popularized a form of art that he called happening[20]. In his article, you can find some roots in the idea of happening in the way he describes Pollock's legacy.

Kaprow first described the peculiarity of Pollock's gesture which he called the diaristic gesture[21]. He wrote that the act of painting, the hand gesture, became even more relevant in the last seventy-five years, and all these lines and traces assumed their own identity without representing any object[22]. These hand gestures follow a framework, mostly consciously, of rules related to aesthetic values[23]. In Pollock, it is different since he gives an "almost absolute value", as Kaprow wrote, to the gesture that comes from the Surrealistic idea of automatism[24]. Kaprow stress "almost absolute" because he knows that Pollock has the attitude to stop and think carefully about action, understanding the difference between "a good gesture and a bad one"[25]. However, Pollock seems to bring the surrealist idea of automatism beyond the painting itself in the way of the "ritual", as Kaprow wrote[26]. Again, according to Kaprow, Pollock goes beyond the idea of painting cause of the size of his paintings, creating "environments"[27]. Soon, it appears reasonable that Kaprow thinks that Pollock's legacy brings "materials" for new art that can overcome painting itself in the form of "happenings" and "events"[28].

An event has no material form

A happening, by definition, is an "(...) antinarrative theatrical pieces (...) staged in studios, galleries, and offbeat locations, usually with direct audience involvement"[29]. The word happening was used for the first time in artwork by Kaprow in 1959, for 18 Happenings in 6 Parts[30]. According to several scholars, happenings were paramount models[31] in the development of performance art[32]. A performance, by definition, is an "event that could include a diverse range of actions, movements, gestures, and choreography"[33]. Since performance is an event, the artwork, as an object, disappears[34]. The work is the action itself, and due to its loss of the material form, performance finds similarities[35] in conceptual art[36].

An idea has no material form

In 1967, the artist Sol LeWitt published an article about his frame of reference on conceptual art[37].

LeWitt uses the terms 'concept' and 'idea' interchangeably, assuming that the idea is the more important quality of the artwork[38]. By definition, 'expressionism' refers to "stylistic approaches that emphasize intense personal expression"[39]. That's what LeWitt tries to avoid with his approach[40]. The expectations set by the expressionist attitude in the audience are the obstacle to perceiving the conceptual art[41]. He talks about "the expectation of an emotional kick"[42]. It means that, under the correct perspective, conceptual art should not appear boring to the audience[43]. Moreover, LeWitt explains that conceptual art is not in every case developed by logic[44], and ideas come after intuition[45]. Likewise, the artwork is not an illustration of a system of beliefs[46]. The work itself implies the system of beliefs[47]. Conceptual art avoids sensual perception and emotions aiming to involve the spectator's mind[48].

The artwork loses the material form

In 1968, the critic Lucy Lippard with John Chandler published an article[49] (written in 1967[50]) about the dematerialization of art[51]. They state that in the last twenty years, the process of making art was based on emotions and intuition, "anti-intellectual", then a way based on thinking, "ultra-conceptual", took place[52]. This new development brings a "dematerialization" of the art object that soon could become obsolescent[53]. Then, according to the authors, this dematerialization in visual arts opens two ways, "art as idea" and "art as action"[54]. To stress the different approaches they wrote about "artist as thinker" and "artist as maker"[55]. However, they state that using artwork to express ideas was a popular way in the past, “only in the late nineteenth century” arose this way of thinking about art as something related only to sensual perception[56].

You cannot lose the material form in an artwork

In 2004, the philosopher Peter Osborne released an article titled "Art beyond aesthetics"[57], which will expand in a book published in 2013[58]. According to Osborne, "All art requires some form of materialization"[59] A kind of conceptual art pointed to the dematerialization of the object of art[60]. However, the complete dematerialization of the artwork is unreachable[61]. A "form of materialization" is inevitable[62]. Likewise, to materialize a thing is not a sufficient condition to create a work[63]. You inevitably need concepts to make art[64].

The event becomes the disappearance of the object itself

Gesture painters inspired artistic events beyond the act of painting and the painting as an object. What if these events include the act of painting and the painting as an object?

There is an obstacle: the viewer's perception. This kind of event likely appears trivial. There are not trivial by themselves. They could seem trivial due to historical reasons. So, I decided to avoid painting and chose to draw.

To draw is generally conceived as a hand gesture. However, the hand gesture could be related to the whole body movement. So, remaining focused on the paramount role of the hand, I, anyway, decided to move attention to the body gesture.

The drawing process aims to realize an object called a draw. The viewer can enjoy the process of drawing. Then the expectation is to look at the draw or to buy it, as it becomes a commodity. So, I play with these expectations removing the draw at the end of the drawing action.

The event becomes the disappearance of the object itself.

Lastly, it remains two open questions.

Two open questions

The viewer's perception can find relevant the drawing signs, also if they represent nothing. However, artists tried for centuries to catch the reality[65]. A draw that represents something has power. Moxey calls it "presentational power"[66], the power to "create an entirely new experience"[67]. This experience is a replacement for the authentic object[68].

What happens to the power of representing reality while drawing signs?

Involving the viewer in the process of drawing is a way to entangle art and ordinary life. But the power of representing reality links art with reality.

How does the artwork join art, ordinary life and reality altogether?

Notes
  1. "The bond between drawing and other art forms is of course very close, because the preliminary sketch was for a long time the chief purpose of the drawing. A state of mutual dependence exists in particular between painting and drawing, above all, in the case of sketches and studies for the composition of a picture (...) Still closer, perhaps, is the bond between drawing and engraving, which works with the same artistic means, with monochrome linearity as its main formal element and with various tone and plane methods closely related to those of drawing" in Hutter, H. R. (1998). drawing. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/art/drawing-art back to the text
  2. "Not until the late 14th century, however, did drawing come into its own—no longer necessarily subordinate, conceptually or materially, to another art form" in Hutter, H. R. (1998) op. cit. back to the text
  3. "(...) has been the vehicle of a representational more or less illusionist rendition of objects. Only in very recent times has the line been conceived of as an autonomous element of form, independent of an object to be represented" in Hutter, H. R. (1998) op. cit. back to the text
  4. "In the West, the history of drawing as an independent artistic document began toward the end of the 14th century" in Hutter, H. R. (1998) op. cit. back to the text
  5. "drawing is represented in the work of practically all 20th-century artists (...) As the other arts have become nonrepresentational, thus attaining autonomy and formal independence in relation to external reality, drawing is more than ever considered an autonomous work of art, independent of the other arts. (...) in laying the groundwork for a new evaluation of the nonrepresentational line" in Hutter, H. R. (1998) op. cit. back to the text
  6. The term 'surrealism' appeared first in 1917 in the context of a review by Guillaume Apollinaire: "Parade ue sorte de sur-réalisme où je vois le point de départ d'une série de manifestations de cet Esprit Noveau qui, trouvant aujourd'hui l'occasione de se montrer, ne manquera pas de séduire l'élite er se promet de modifier de fonde en comble, dans l'allegrésse universelle, les arts et les mœurs, car le bon sens veut qu'ills soient au moins à la hauteur des progrès scientifiques et industriels" in Apollinaire G. (1917), «Parade» et l'Esprit Nouveau, Excelsior, 11 Mai, Paris, p.5. Then the term was first used by artists in 1924 in the first Manifesto of Surrealism by André Breton. See Breton A. (1924), MANIFESTE DU SURRÉALISME, Poisson Soluble, Editions du Sagittaire, Paris. back to the text
  7. The term 'automatic drawing' appears in 1913's book of Austin Osman Spare. See Osman Spare A. (1913), The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love). The Psychology of Ecstasy, Co-operative Printing Society: London, "Automatic drawing as means to art", p.55 back to the text
  8. "in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern" in Breton, A. (1969). Manifestoes of Surrealism. United States: University of Michigan Press, p.26 back to the text
  9. "André Masson’s automatic drawings came to characterize the process (...)", Anonymus (2012), Drawing Surrealism, Didactic, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, p.2 back to the text
  10. "A new vanguard emerged in the early 1940s, primarily in New York (...) The first generation of Abstract Expressionism flourished between 1943 and the mid-1950s. (...) In the wake of Abstract Expressionism, new generations of artists—both American and European—were profoundly marked by the breakthroughs made by the first generation, and went on to create their own important expressions based on, but not imitative of, those who forged the way" in Paul, Stella. “Abstract Expressionism.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/abex/hd_abex.htm (October 2004) back to the text
  11. The term 'abstract expressionism' comes after an article by Robert Coates in 1946 talking about the painter Hans Hofmann. See Emily Warner, ‘The Painting’, in Pompeii 1959 by Hans Hofmann, Tate Research Publication, 2018, https://www.tate.org.uk/research/in-focus/pompeii/the-painting, accessed 21 July 2022. According to some scholars, Coates did not invent the term itself. See Rosenbaum, Roman, Toteva, Maia and Legaspi Ramirez, Eileen. "Abstract Expressionism." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 21 Jul. 2022 https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/overview/abstract-expressionism. doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REMO19-1 back to the text
  12. "the painterly application of the Abstract Expressionist gesture painters and the color emphasis of the field painters" in Elderfield J. (1986), Morris Louis, The Museum of Modern Art: Distributed by New York Graphic Society Books, Little, Brown and Co., New York back to the text
  13. "a special emphasis on the gesture made by the artist’s hand" in Street B. (2017), Abstract Expressionism, Exhibition in Focus, Royal Academy of Arts, London, p.1 back to the text
  14. "in which automatic gesture and improvisation gain free rein" in Stella (2004) back to the text
  15. Rosenberg H. (1952), The American Action Painters, ARTnews 52, December, New York City, pp. 22-23, 48-50 back to the text
  16. "an arena in which to act (...) What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event", in Idem, p.22 back to the text
  17. "Allan Kaprow's (...) essay "The Legacy of Jackson Pollock" was published in October 1958 issue of Artnews, only two years after the painter's tragic death. (...) Abstract Expressionism was well under way. Kaprow's text, however, was the first to address head-on the issue of its legacy, or rather that of its main protagonist", in Foster, H., Krauss, R. E., Bois, Y.-A., Buchloh, B. H. D., & Joselit, D. (2004). Art since 1900: Modernism, antimodernism, postmodernism, Thames & Hudson, New York, p.450 back to the text
  18. Kaprow A. (1958), The Legacy of Jackson Pollock, Art News vol. 57 no. 6 (October 1958): 24–26; 55–57 back to the text
  19. Kaprow declared it in an interview. See Roth M, Kaprow A. (1981), Oral history interview with Allan Kaprow, 1981 Feb. 5-18, Smithsonian Archives of American Art, Washington, D.C., 1981, p.16 back to the text
  20. "The term was coined by Allan Kaprow (...) Kaprow may have made the term, and the idea of blurring the boundary of art and life, popular but he was the first to admit that he wasn’t the only one or the first working in this way" in Beaven K., Performance Art The Happening, Happening, Art Terms, Art and Artists, Tate, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/h/happening/happening back to the text
  21. "With Pollock, however, the so-called “dance” of dripping, slashing, squeezing, daubing and whatever else went into a work, placed an almost absolute value upon a diaristic gesture." in Kaprow A (1958), The Legacy of Jackson Pollock, ARTNews, October reprinted in The Editors of ARTnews (2018), From the Archives: Allan Kaprow on the Legacy of Jackson Pollock, in 1958, https://www.artnews.com/art-news/retrospective/archives-allan-kaprow-legacy-jackson-pollock-1958-9768/ back to the text
  22. "For instance, the “Act of Painting.” In the last seventy-five years the random play of the hand upon the canvas or paper has become increasingly important. Strokes, smears, lines, dots, etc. became less and less attached to represented objects and existed more and more on their own, self-sufficiently" in ibidem back to the text
  23. "the idea of an “order” (...) obeyed the (...) esthetic (...) quite consciously" in ibidem back to the text
  24. "the so-called “dance” of dripping, slashing, squeezing, daubing and whatever else went into a work, placed an almost absolute value upon a diaristic gesture" in ibidem back to the text
  25. "But I used the words “almost absolute” when I spoke of the diaristic gesture as distinct from the process of judging each move upon the canvas. Pollock, interrupting his work, would judge his “acts” very shrewdly and with care for long periods of time before going into another “act.” He knew the difference between a good gesture and a bad one. This was his conscious artistry at work and it makes him a part of the traditional community of painters" in ibidem back to the text
  26. "Here the direct application of an automatic approach to the act makes it clear that not only is this not the old craft of painting, but it is perhaps bordering on ritual itself, which happens to use paint as one of its materials. (The European Surrealists may have used automatism as an ingredient but hardly can we say they really practiced it wholeheartedly (...) Surrealism attracted Pollock, as an attitude rather than as a collection of artistic examples.)" in ibidem back to the text
  27. "Then scale. Pollock’s choice of enormous sizes served many purposes (...) they ceased to become paintings and became environments" in ibidem back to the text
  28. "But what do we do now? (...) There are two alternatives. One is to continue in this vein. (...) The other is to give up the making of paintings entirely (...) Pollock, as I see him, left us at the point where we must become preoccupied with and even dazzled by the space and objects of our everyday life (...) a thousand other things which will be discovered by the present generation of artists. Not only will these bold creators show us, as if for the first time, the world we have always had about us, but ignored, but they will disclose entirely unheard of happenings and events (...)" in ibidem back to the text
  29. "(...) antinarrative theatrical pieces (...) staged in studios, galleries, and offbeat locations, usually with direct audience involvement" in Happening, Collection Online, Movements, Guggenheim, https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/movement/happenings back to the text
  30. "The name was first used by the American artist Allan Kaprow in the title of his 1959 work 18 Happenings in 6 Parts which took place on six days, 4–10 October 1959 at the Reuben Gallery, New York" in Happening, Art Terms, Art and Artists, Tate, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/h/happening back to the text
  31. "Kaprow’s happenings are often cited as a major influence on the development of performance art as a respected artistic medium", in Suarez J. (2015), How Allan Kaprow Helped Create “Happenings”, Guggenheim Blogs, Guggenheim, https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/findings/how-allan-kaprow-helped-create-happenings back to the text
  32. "Performance art arose in the early 1970s as a general term for a multitude of activities" in Wainwright, L. S. (2008). performance art. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/art/performance-art back to the text
  33. Performance, Art Terms, MoMA, https://www.moma.org/collection/terms/performance back to the text
  34. "By the early 1970s performance had evolved into a primary rather than adjunct means of expression for artists to convey their dissatisfaction with the commercial gallery system and the commodification of the art object. By eliminating the object, performance was thought to facilitate direct communication between artist and viewer" in Performance, Movements, Collection Online, Guggenheim, https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/movement/performance back to the text
  35. "In the post-war period performance became aligned with conceptual art, because of its often immaterial nature" in Performance art, Art Term, Art and Artists, Tate, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/p/performance-art back to the text
  36. The term 'concept art' was coined by Henry Flynt in 1961 and released under a publication in 1963. See Flynt H. (1963), Essay: Concept Art (Provisional Version), in Brecht G. et al. (1963), An Anthology of Chance Operations, published by La Monte Young & Jackson Mac Low, New York, pp. 30-34. ""Concept art" is first of all an art of which the material is "concepts," as the material of for ex. music is sound. Since "concepts" are closely bound up with language, concept art is a kind of art of which the material is language. That is, unlike for ex. a work of music, in which the music proper (as opposed to notation, analysis, a.s.f.) is just sound, concept art proper will involve language" in Flynt H. (1963), p.31 back to the text
  37. LeWitt S. (1967), Paragraphs on Conceptual Art, Artforum, 5:10 (Summer 1967), pp. 79–84 back to the text
  38. "In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work", in LeWitt S. (1967), p. 80 back to the text
  39. Expressionism, Art Terms, MoMA, https://www.moma.org/collection/terms/expressionism back to the text
  40. "This eliminates the arbitrary, the capricious, and the subjective as much as possible", in LeWitt S. (1967), p. 80 back to the text
  41. "It is only the expectation of an emotional kick, to which one conditioned to expressionist art is accustomed, that would deter the viewer from perceiving this art", in LeWitt S. (1967), p. 80 back to the text
  42. Ibidem back to the text
  43. "There is no reason to suppose, however, that the conceptual artist is out to bore the viewer", in LeWitt S. (1967), p. 80 back to the text
  44. "Conceptual art is not necessarily logical", in LeWitt S. (1967), p. 80 back to the text
  45. "Ideas are discovered by intuition", in LeWitt S. (1967), p. 80 back to the text
  46. "it is not an illustration of any system of philosophy", in LeWitt S. (1967), p. 80 back to the text
  47. "The philosophy of the work is implicit in the work", in LeWitt S. (1967), p. 80 back to the text
  48. "to engage the mind of the viewer rather than his eye or emotions", in LeWitt S. (1967), p. 83 back to the text
  49. Chandler J., Lippard, L. (1986), The Dematerialization of Art, Art international, 12:2 (February 1968), pp. 31-36 reprinted in Lippard, L.R. (1971). Changing: essays in art criticism, Dutton, New York back to the text
  50. See Proceedings of the 2nd International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Image and Imagination: IMG 2019. Germany, Springer International Publishing, 2020., p. 415, note 2 back to the text
  51. The expression 'dematerialization of art' appears in Chandler, Lippard (1986) back to the text
  52. "During the 1960's, the anti-intellectual, emotional/intuitive process of art-making characteristic of the last two decades have begun to give away to an ultra-conceptual art that emphasizes the thinking process almost exclusively" in Lippard, L.R. (1971), p.255 back to the text
  53. "Such a trend appears to be provoking a profound dematerialization of art, especially of art as object, and if it continues to prevail, it may result in the object's becoming wholly obsolete" in Lippard, L.R. (1971), p.255 back to the text
  54. "The visual arts at the moment seem to hover at a crossroad that may well turn out to be two roads to one place, though they appear to have come from two sources: art as idea and art as action. In the first case, matter id denied, as sensation has been converted into concept; in the second case, matter has been transformed into energy and time-motion" in Lippard, L.R. (1971), p.255 back to the text
  55. "The artist as thinker (...) the artist as maker (...)" in Lippard, L.R. (1971), p.270 back to the text
  56. "Of course the use of the object of art as a vehicle for ideas is nothing new. In the course of art history it was only in the late nineteenth century tha an alternative was offered by the proposal that art is strictly "retinal" or sensuous in effect - a proposition that has come down to us as the formal or modernist mainstream" in Lippard, L.R. (1971), pp.272-273. The word "retinal", according to the note in the text, comes after Duchamp's interview: "(...) painting should not be only retinal or visual; it should have to do with the gray matter of our understanding, not alone the purely visual" in Nelson J. (editor) (1958), Wisdom. Conversations With the Elder Wise Men of Our Day, Marcel Duchamp interviewed by James Johnson Sweeney, W. W. Norton & Company Inc, New York back to the text
  57. Osborne, P. (2004), ART BEYOND AESTHETICS: PHILOSOPHICAL CRITICISM, ART HISTORY AND CONTEMPORARY ART. Art History, 27: 651-670. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0141-6790.2004.00442.x back to the text
  58. Osborne P. (2013), Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art, Verso, London back to the text
  59. "All art requires some form of materialization; that is to say, aesthetic ‒ felt, spazio-temporal ‒ presentation" in Osborne P. (2013), p.48 back to the text
  60. "the idea of a 'purely' conceptual art associated for a brief period (1968-1972) with Joseph Kosuth in the US and the Art & Language in Britain" in Idem pp. 48-49 back to the text
  61. "It was the ironic historical achievement of the strong programme of 'analytical' or 'pure' conceptual art to have demonstrated the ineliminability of the aesthetic as a necessity, though radically insufficient, component of the artwork through the failure of its attempt at its elimination" in Idem p.49 back to the text
  62. "All art requires some form of materialization" in Idem p.48 back to the text
  63. "conceptual art was able to bring once again to light, in a more decisive way, the necessary conceptuality of the work which had been buried by the aesthetic ideology of the formalist modernism (...) The aesthetic concept of art mistakes one of art's many conditions for the whole." in Idem p.49 back to the text
  64. "Art's necessary conceptuality. (Art is constituted by concepts, their relations and their instantiation in practices of discrimination: art/non-art.)" in Idem p.48 back to the text
  65. "artists throughout the ages striven to capture the enduring poetry and power of what we call reality" in Moxey K. (2009), Mimesis and Iconoclasm, DOI:10.1111/j.1467-8365.2008.00648.x, ART HISTORY . ISSN 0141–6790 . VOL 32 NO 1 . FEBRUARY 2009 pp 52-77, p.52 back to the text
  66. "presentational power" in Idem, p.54 back to the text
  67. "to create an entirely new experience" in Ibidem back to the text
  68. "a substitute for the ‘real’ thing" in Ibidem back to the text

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