The State of Art, which should be us, Italy, strikes again. A “variegated “ path forms a “mosaic” which intends to represent “with maximum approximation” the Italian artistic reality. A declaration of intents which, once again, flatters our countergenius Vittorio glorifying him as a director of a real absurd theatre.
One hundred seventy-two are the artists taking part to the detached section of the venetian Biennale for Friuli Venezia Giulia. You can find from young to elderly historical artists, going through numerous unknown Sunday painters. Really everybody is there. Welcome democratic art, says the curator, this is not a regional Biennale, but rather the Biennale of Venice, so much for those curators, a species in extinction he hopes, who think that you artists are sick and need them to be cured. At the Biennale of Porto Vecchio, he says, there are exclusively healthy artists.
Without any doubt the sgarbian sign is there, but the effect wonders chamber, at least partially, despite the horror vacui is not something you can recover by with a simple cachet. The spaces are wide, well illuminated, derived by the archeology/industrial area requalification typical of the nineteenth century, developed as commercial port. The building (huge) is articulated on four floors. I start with a patrol tour going through the International section InCE-CEI at the first floor with interesting works and a still organic and airy mounting. I am stricken by many works and in general by a honest curatorial choice rather homogeneous.
At the third floor, we are in the heart of the Biennale FVG, a path in the dark Dantesque wood, darker and chaotic step after step. The ingredients of the good soup are all present: a mix of sweet and bitter tastes, a nice fresh cube to give a bit of flavor and the old chicken that we all know how she makes the stock. A bit of salt in the soup is missing as far as the management of the ingredients is concerned, which are meanly blended in a cream which puzzles rather than improving, ending up to make disappear right under our nose the great works of some big artists present. As with the most tasty dishes, a single bad taste is enough to cover all the rest, similarly we are always more rapted by the horrible rather than by the beautiful (the charme of the freak/trash/kitsch is irresistible for me) as well as you are swallowed up by the psychedelic fantmounting in a whirlpool which sucks you in, making you lose the equilibrium. And that gone bad ingredient, unfortunately I should rather speak at the plural, is able to make stodgy the work of all the others, so much for the democratic art (politics is not for us).
Democratic art, an oxymoronic pairing as he considers it, that is an anarchic cannibalesque art which is directed toward the mass kamikaze destruction. It’s a utopia believing that a congruous criterion exists, a scientific judgment and a meritocratic and satisfying selection with a lack of professional and adequate support.
I assure that Friuli Venezia Giulia isn’t missing contemporary art experts who at least could have covered, let’s say, the wholes and the shortcomings. In fact I know for sure that some artists of a fundamental relevance for our region haven’t been invited, and please allow me to say that probably they weren’t even known. Others, even very young talents, unfortunately didn’t accept the invitation. To make a long story short: the tail of the fox and the grapes at the contrary. Many foxes which hate grapes, a lot of grapes offered on a silver plate to all the foxes suddenly caught by a voracious and insatiable hunger. With the stomach full someone claims having done it for that glittering and magnificent plate, someone else because you should never refuse anything and others because of boredom. It must be said that someone coherently really liked grapes. What we should ask is to what extent are we disposed, me included, to give up our ideals and our intellectual dignity. I think that Vittorio once again pulled the rug out from under us. Devilishly brilliant, as usual. We have swallowed the bait. And probably they could neither use it in their portfolio since the pride will be almost the same as that of being on the phone book. Maybe someone is going to deny it or somebody else will fell his/her rewarded career is over. Probably many are going to remove and forget about it. I am not going to mention any of those present, please forgive me or be grateful, your own discretion.
What’s the price of fame? I would like 2 kilos and a half please. If you can wrap it I’ll take it home, thank you.
Translations Francesca Grattoni.