Today if one observes a diffused tendency to homologize or individuate various motifs in art, giving a statute of validity to a more or less orthodox belonging of it (often decided only on formal assonance), the presence of those artists who, though linguistically working in contemporaneity, are able to easily proceed along a path exempt from binding constrictions, must be "celebrated".
Maurizio Pellegrin is one of these artists.
The appropriate and simulative act of everyday reality, that of the city with its spaces, with its memories and with its “new”, constitutes its method of intervention. The same idea of fragmentation, which appears in many of his works, is inferred by disuniformity, by the multiplication of details that characterizes the metropolitan panorama.
Like a Pop Art artist, Pellegrin extracts those objects that capture his attention from this panorama. Objets trouvés, therefore, used for that charge of memory that accompanies them and, in the isolation of the context of belonging, acquire greater possibilities. In fact, in nominating them separately, one can attribute all of those formal and obsolete semantic consonances to them. It is an invitation to not distract, to instead concentrate on existence in order to reactivate some potentialities.
To the objects and places that form the glossary of his work, one can align various constant lexicals that explain the sense of the operation. Thus, the bandages that wrap the objects, their “packaging”, seals the intervention as testimony of this appropriation.
To simulate this appropriation, instead, there are small pillows, rewrapped in taut or draped cloth, that may be there to contain certain mysteries, those hidden secrets of the world, or are perhaps accessible in all their valences only in how many people possess the relative initiation keys.
The esoteric component of Pellegrin’s artistic path is therefore underlined by the systematic presence of numbers. A double valence is attributed to these numbers: firstly, a Pythagorean one, as quantitative representations and secondly, symbolic entries. Often the addition of single numbers is summarized in the title that recites the sum; but very frequently, they conceal, in each symbolic valence and in its combination with the other, the possibility of revealing the enigma subtended in each work. Additionally, they overlap with some of the various parts of the whole, where the numbers stamp an ulterior seal of appropriation.
From the apparently inventoried scan of objects, from the “small pillows” and from the numbers – that is to say, from each factor in his relationship with others, emerges, from time to time, a different thematic nucleus that always refers to the arcane contents in the quotidian. For this road, the esotericism present in Pellegrin’s work translated into operative and resolute praxis becomes, precisely in virtue of the quotidian, the representation of a “metropolitan esotericism”.
As for the contemporaneity of the language, it doesn’t become true tout court with the withdrawal of objects that belong to it, like neon lights, photographs or continuous references to the cinema, but in the employment that can be made of these elements, together in fragments of the past.
These and the others are equally part of the present, and rather, it is the way they become manipulated to position Pellegrin’s work in contemporaneity.
This is because the objects are assumed not as much for their evocative force as for their communicative capacity.
The two operational moments, one of simulation with his “small pillows” and secondly, the appropriation of the objects to historic memory.
Also the employment of numbers underline the desire of circumscribing or circumventing the “objects” in order to then dispose of them in the interferences that the complex in action determines to a relational use.
For Pellegrin, it’s a matter of energy exchanges of things among them and with the external world; it is this that reaffirms the communicative assumption.
An itinerary this marked by a strong interest in communication, it doesn’t lack a self-referential perspective: the photographic square of its own image or self-portraits, which are dissimulated in more subtle or less immediate references (much like his handwritten poetry), represent the paradigms of this function.
In a recent work, a series of binaural headphones wrapped in bandages and systematized around an enlarged photogram of two blindfolded faces transfers the urgency of communicating from within. In fact, once one has inhibited the sensorial perception from the external world, the direction becomes declared in the title
Don’t take me off.
Thus, between the inside and outside, that which remains unchanged is the representation of the mystery.
Maybe Pellegrin intends to leave us in a state of silent interrogation in the face of elusive secrets, capable of exercising, however, a strong power of seduction.