14 May 2014

short movie #1

short movie #1, 2005
Audio-visual, SD 4:3 Stereo, 2’40”

This audio-visual was one of the firsts I released, the second one to be exact.

In 2006 it won the 6th Golem Videofestival of Turin, Italy, then it was screened in few occasions receiving many appraisals from friends, onlookers and experts.

Lately it came again to popularity, having been selected by Food Art Awards 2013, by Play With Food 5 2014 in Turin and in Milan, by F.I.V.E. Feelings International Videoart Experience world tour and screened at the 3rd Biennale of Oran. That is why I'm going to write something about it now, besides that not everyone has fully got its meaning.

The video is minimalist, simply showing a sequence of 79 crackers taken out from a package of a very famous Italian brand of spaghetti and other foods, with just one final graphic addition and some sound effects. Indeed the package contained 80 crackers, but one was broken.

In the official caption I wrote: “The intent is to underline the non-reality represented by a product-image and let to emerge the hypocrisy of the commercial message that is an emblem of the illusion of a genuine world and of a false nature, unmasked thanks to the very matter of the product, or in this case by the 39 holes of the crackers.”

I do not consume mass-marketing foods like these, but I had the chance to catch something weird on this bakery product during a dinner at friends' house, so the very next day I bought one package at the store for a better investigation, which confirmed that my intuition was right.

Putting it simple, when at first I examined one of the crackers, I noticed the irregularity of the small holes: some were round, some were smaller, some were irregular; that would be the evidence of handmade production, just like if someone was coarsely piercing the crackers with a homely tool. Then I noticed that these irregular holes were scattered on the surface of all the crackers exactly in the same way: the holes have an identical array and shape for all the crackers, revealing that the crackers are indeed made by a machine, as you may expect from something coming out of an assembly line.

The attempt to confer a genuine look to this mass product is the very deceptive subliminal message promoted by the famous Italian brand: a genuine world. Imagine the managers of that brand who ask a designer to design the cookie-cutter mask for the industrial machine so it would print crackers as if they were home-made. This is intentional deception.

The video ends up with the very cookie-cutter graphical mask I extrapolated from the scheme of holes.

The ending title is “39 holes”, which is the number of holes on these crackers. 39 is an important number, full of historical and esoteric meanings, being 3 times 13 and also the number of lashes given by rabbis to people deserving 40. The rabbinical laws forbid to give more than 40 lashes as punishment, since 40 are considered sufficient to kill a man; besides, being that 40 is used in Semitic tradition as an indeterminate large number of items, and to show mercy, and finally to avoid miscounts that would violate the law of 40, the maximum number of lashes given to anyone has always been 39, 40 minus 1, just like the number of times people hit slaves in ancient Rome: forty save one; traditionally that is also the number of lashes given to Jesus of Nazareth. Then, 13 is esoterically associated to Jesus Christ or the one who dies, the excess beyond the perfect number 12, as the 12 Apostles or zodiac constellations. Finally, bread is traditionally the Body of Christ.
39 holes in the Body of Christ, that I have symbolically translated into the video as the consumers deserving this punishment of deception.

Surrealistically, I imagined a robotic granny who pierces numberless doughs at lightning speed; that's why I added the subtitle “the genuine scheme of serial granny”.

Here is the video, raise the volume or listen with headphones.

short movie #1, 2005 Audio-visual, SD 4:3 Stereo, 2’40”

25 Mar 2014

Why do I conceal myself

I love simplicity, spareness, privacy and to be an incognito person, I love potentiality but not power, I have never been in search for fame, I only wish fame for my artworks, this is to say my message. I do not like to be defined, I do not like to be considered good or evil; being this or that means to conform to a model, this is to say to become slaves, instead I want to be totally free from any stereotype or expectation.

Many people decide to become an artist because they always dreamt to be recognised on the streets by people whispering “Did you see? Mr. So-and-so”; this is valid either to a planetary level or limitedly to the place where one lives.
I am not interested in being recognised in public, I detest the idea to appear on the media. In the past it happened that I was identified by a stranger who saw me on a specialised magazine; at first that pleasantly surprised me, but after pondering I felt uncomfortable. Since then I still have made some more public presence, but it is quite a long time now that I scrupulously avoid to be photographed in public events and I dispose the removal of any picture where I can be identified.
This habit has become very useful in the actual dystopian society of mass surveillance and media tagging.

wasted words #30 (after Andy Warhol's saying), 2012
Series of personal aphorisms, ink on toilet paper, ~ 95 x 3200 mm

So why do I have recently started to exhibit myself in person into performances? Because this is a rapid and instant way to create communicative and conceptual actions without the hassle of creating an audio-visual artwork or paying some actors. And after all nobody knows for sure if the person acting the performance is really me or an actor properly instructed.

       nothing happened archetype, 2012                             rewilding a plum tree, 2014           

I am not interested in appearance, neither in aesthetics, thus the most natural, neutral and fast way to conceal one's own identity is to pull the hair over the face. Kids! Try this at home, or around town under the surveillance cameras.
I detest make-up, while masking or cloaking is too demanding, and, as I said, to me only the message is important; I would consider masking only when functional to the message; for example, the burqa or other anonymising costumes nowadays are a message in itself, even much overworked in the art scene.

A photograph of the Artist Benna seen from the back. April 2009
Ink on unexposed photographic paper, 12.5 x 9 cm

As I am not interested in showing off, I not even like the compulsory ranking of social ego and any definition of status, then I refuse to recognise myself in territorial, national or chronological-historical identities; in few words I do not like to define myself as belonging to a state or as citizen of a nation, or to say where I was born and other personal data imposed by the materialist society: I am a sovereign, universal and self-determined intellect, as anyone who decide to be so. I like to confront spiritually, and the spirit knows no space or time limits, the mental affinities do exist regardless of physical limits. This attitude of mine is anyway an obstacle in my art activities, since also in the art world there are few people who have such spiritual stature to take the word in freedom for a being free from formal ties. Sadly, bureaucracy has turn people into sterile, cold, suspicious, fearful persons, forcing the soul inside the most crushing crevices of a petrified armour-body.
Finally, people is too much interested in materialism, in what is passing through their digestive system, in what is covering their skin, in what is supporting their weight: those people will leave behind in the cosmos just a random trail of rubbish, while the others are leaving behind paths of intelligent signs.

the barter, 2008-2016
Polyptych, 4 photographic manipulations, 75 x 50 cm each

We have been taught that we are one with the cosmos, and I believe it too. Anyway nature defined our essence for this earthly dimension so we are individuals, and everything is inside us as it is outside. The individual entity is the essence of our duty, not the egotism or the imposition of the self, let alone the branding of one's own social identity. For ourselves the individuality is the foundation of freedom, of self-determination and completeness. In the individual there is everything we could ever have, or could ever find: the knowledge, the energy, the spirit; our individual essence makes all the cosmos surrounding us rational and plausible; we are the origin and the end of our existence.

The Fourth Paradise (after Michelangelo Pistoletto's The Third Paradise), 2013
Digital graphics, print on paper, 25 x 20 cm

Secrecy is peculiar to individuality, which is almost near to oneness, the strongest structure in the universe.

wasted words #43, 2013
Series of personal aphorisms, ink on toilet paper, ~ 95 x 1510 mm

Having said all this, here is a self-portrait representing myself, as one of the forms actually predominating in my spirit.

self-portrait, 2014, print on paper, 30 x 23 cm

27 Jan 2014

rewilding a plum tree

rewilding a plum tree, 2014
Performance. Video recording, b/w, 480 x 640 pixels, audio, 5’03”.

This time I am explaining the very latest work I made: the performance entitled “rewilding a plum tree”, which is not obscure at all, but I want to tell you why I did it.

It may be banal, humble, but planting a seed could one day become a revolutionary act, illegal, abolished by law: nowadays, U.E. wants to forbid the use and exchange of unapproved seeds, a blow to biodiversity and freedom.


To plant a tree is purely an artistic act, meta-natural. But with this action I want to restore what human beings stole to the belonging dominion.
Planting the seed, we favour the return to life of the primordial form of that natural genetic project: a wild plant, free from the manipulations and eugenic selections made on cultivations.

You may be unaware that the fruits we are used to eat are the result of eugenic manipulations in order to make them bigger, sweeter or with the desired characteristics, by the means of grafts, selections and controlled pollinations, all alterations that if done on a human being would be considered monstrosities, like the creature of Dr. Frankenstein. Instead, the wild plants offer us fruits that are small but rich in natural equilibrium and vital strength, that is the energy expressed by the spontaneous genetic code inscribed into the seed.

We all know how a plant sprouts and grows, but I believe that some do not not know how to do that in practice: this video document is for them all.

I could have chosen a better place where to plant this plum tree, a sunnier hill, but nature does not choose where a seed will fall, and all the chances to survive are up to fate, to selection and the very plant's strength.

About this performance the art theorist Vivi Kallinikou had the following words:
“The notion of planting a tree as a revolutionary act in the context of the very same act being considered illegal is intriguing and goes beyond Beuys’ work.”

Do not waste time: go to free a tree.

Me and power

Which power? I do not pursue power in life, talking of secular powers. The so called power, wielded by rulers, would bring material advantages, but also many drawbacks, first of all a loss in spirituality and individual wholeness. That power must be maintained, preserved from other ruler wannabes; it is an organised structure of slavery that entails a loss of freedom for both the rulers and the others. From this point of view, beside this mutual slavery, power is an exchange, a shift of materiality toward one side with a release of spirituality toward the counterpart, thus I consider rulers as the very loosing ones.

europawns: black ops, 2011
Series of digital manipulations, 40 x 40 cm

We live in a hybrid dimension, between physicality and spirituality, so a balance seems to be more appealing, but in my experience I have learnt that materiality brings nowhere and the direction of life is ruled only by the mind, the word; matter is inert without a spirit; in this, matter is just an expression, a ground moulded by cosmic thoughts. The pursuit of materialism, wealth, possession and so on, is simply a deception transforming people into inanimate matter.

bunny's pearl necklace, 2008
Print and mixed technique on paper, 26 x 21 cm

For my personal ethics, I can not stand limitations of freedom, either to me or by me, hardly bearing to undergo any form of hierarchical organisation, and above all refusing to be in charge of command, preferring the confrontation between peers, where only the best idea or solution "rules".
Talking of social activities, an individual can be praised and esteemed for the intelligence, but no one is perfect, thus confrontation becomes necessary. A hierarchical structure, where subordinates unconditionally obey to chief's orders, is fundamentally fallacious. In effect we can see every day in every field the faults of that kind of hierarchical model on which the world was built: wars acted by armies, social inequality promulgated by governments, bogus economies created by financial groups, sophistications bore by academic establishments, hypocrisy of religious institutions.

aim, 2008-2010
Audio-visual, SD 4:3 Stereo, 1’42”

europawns: mystic trio, 2011
Series of digital manipulations, 40 x 40 cm

europawns: the two gates toward gold, 2011
Series of digital manipulations, 40 x 40 cm

Even democracy is a kind of bogus organisation, not based on what you could do to elevate your spirituality and improve yourself, but just on what you must do, in order to become an adept of the globally shared slavery of materialism, where only power and wealth would set you free.

wasted words #38, 2012
Series of personal aphorisms, ink on toilet paper, ~ 95 x 1640 mm

europawns: bagnasco napolitano and angela hinting to have more children, 2011-2012
Series of digital manipulations, 40 x 40 cm

All those kinds of organisations are necessary to maintain materialist power, preserving it from attacks; individuals alone can not protect materialism; just the opposite, individualism is the only and impregnable fortress of spiritualism.

The organisation into hierarchies of oligarchies distributing benefits is the fingerprint of materialist power: there is no hierarchy in the metaphysical sphere, and any religion or doctrine proposing hierarchies is a mystification; ruling gods included.

wasted words #32, 2012
Series of personal aphorisms, ink on toilet paper, ~ 95 x 1060 mm

Spirituality power knows no restraints or rules. Statistically it may be collected into quanta, specific clusters of quanta correlated by similarity, or whatever else feature, but individual self-responsibility is the key point.

I consider myself lucky to have never fallen inside the tight meanders of any organisation at all: I am not a priest, not a captain, not a freemason, not a politician, not even a doctor or a professional.

In the past, as many on this world who are not even aware, I have been taught to conform my behaviour to institutional religions, tempted to take advantage of the easy money from the ruling class, I have been hold in check, approached by freemasons, but something always made me understand that these were not the right paths to follow.

FreemasonS Awake! YOU’VE BEEN DECEIVED, 2012
Collage on paper, ~ 304 x 419 mm

I do not despise brothers for being inside those hierarchies of materialist power, because they are victims of fear. I have acquaintances and even pals into that system, in the army, some into religions and politics and into freemasonry, so I hug them all as friends with their own choices, but sincerely I consider them in first stance simply unfree. Most of them have been deceived and are unwittingly parts of evil machinations, or at least I prefer to believe so.

I would never want to limit their freedom to find the way their way, but I just give them here my peer opinion.

europawns: draghi goes bce, 2011
Series of digital manipulations, 40 x 40 cm