in “Maurizio Pellegrin"
Charta, catalogue of the exhibition, Milan, 2005
Venice…is for Maurizio Pellegrin a constant part of His work, like an everlasting love, unfullfilled, almost an obsession, a voice that comes from the soul and that repeats this reality. Nothing that does forgets Venice, each place brings him back here, in spite of New York, in spite of the other cities where he has lived and travelled, not withstanding the differently understood cultures, the analyzed philosophies and the diverse inspirations…Only in Venice, therefore, could this project be brought to light, that intersects nine host places, that speaks of Himself through Her, with a self-portrait visualized on the different states of matter and of spirit… nine “stations”, chapters of a reflection matured in twenty-five years of research and work in art, on space and its morphology, on history and the present through iconographies and energies, as well as perception and emotion, seduction, space and determination led back to a unity of equilibrium. It is the reaffirmation of being, “all this speaks about me”; the message chooses an “emotive function” (the message aims to provoke reactions in the receiver, to stimulate associations, to promote behaviours of response that meander beyond the simple recognition of the indicated thing). One of the ways for this is the object, and if the object itself is unanimated, in art it discovers the soul it never had…Thus also the disturbance becomes “object” of reflection the ‘thing” becomes ‘seemingly stable”, the idea of our certainty, the rediscovered normality… The specific identity becomes subverted without being distorted, or rather: your good-luck charm, your photography, your letters, in my hands, becomes you, the vision that I have of you. Object, therefore, as bodily, sensual and platonic essence, such as result of an awareness, of an action, of a recognizable experience within its limits, in clues and pretexts, and that in codes of abstraction are valued as reality, property, and appearance. The body is the clothing of the psyche, for this reason it is translated by the Artist as “unique”, a personal microcosm subdivided among frames of mind; it isn’t skin, eyes, hands or lips, but the concepts that we assign to them, a mental and reflexive physique, and for this reason, translates into another iconography. In this “other”, in this hypothetical “you”, we also distinguish His inevitable presence; the hand that does not create, search, and this work reflects His existence. Abstract by his ancestral life, the object evokes physical sensations in us: sounds, odours, palpability, more stronger and evident precisely because they are unconnected by intermediate pathways of manual construction; incomprehensible and possible at the same time… Maurizio Pellegrin does not change the form, the colour, the identity, but the “picture of the situation”, restablishing a comparison through symbolic dialectic: everything that does not want to only be de-contextualization, but revolution and revaluation of that interior energy, also for the artist, for his earthly passage through countries, voices, different cultures. Thus the perceived experiences assume tangibility, focusing on a “unique”, determined and non-superfluous objective of a present concept. Each single part is therefore essential to the configuration of the narrative development of the “work body”, as a fragmented substance where each object ia a part of itself… Objects sought travelling and found thiinking, and also in this, the connection to Venice is again re-established, populations of travellers, merchants and navigators.
The journey represents the tension to research, discovery and change, the return to origins. It is a trip in order to express the conquering of knowledge and a superior spiritual dimension…Together the things that compose His works give life to a “landscape of desire” and of memory, that never brought with them the things as they are but as we would like to remember them; and in travelling, which is not to escape, they bring back figurations of a metaphysical particular of alluring harmony…The bandage, the wrapping, to wind and to tighten various objects with small ropes and strips of fabric, extrapolates a motivation in the desire to contain and to maintain integral vital energies and memories of single fragments… Codes of sacristy, of religious customs, of sacerdotal symbols, antique ornament of countenance and body, the bandage in itself is the symbol of constriction, of an insane physical condition, the desire of repression, the disoriented will, premeditated. Many elements are completely bottled by material, as if to contain this energy. The use of thread, instead, is not only a nuance of the aesthetic formulization, but in itself has a structure and an narrative history inherent to its being. The gesture of constriction is more fragile, its limits are not perceivable and intuitive doubt oscillates between stability and ephemerality. The thread symbolizes a path to follow without losing oneself in the uselessness that distances us from all concrete aspirations…The figurative presence of the numbers transcends from the ordinary number count, from the didactic context, from the accounting formality. Maurizio Pellegrin avails himself of their emotive function, that dimension of recurrence, divination, philosophical geometries and pathways parallel to history…Each object possesses its own numeric valence, each single number symbolically stabilizes and arithmetically quantifies the quantity of energy that He himself assumes inside each “fragment”: sometimes this appears, other times it remains implicit. Therefore, the final number of the comprehensive work represents the total value of all energies, and at the same time has an allegoric significance whose motives lie in the study of numerology, which different societies have developed and considered for centuries. The fonts can be discovered in Pythagorean, Cabalistic, Buddhist and Zen studies: the number one symbolizes harmony, order and the principle of good. The number one is unity and is indivisible: it can not be increased by multiplication or decreased by division: 1 x 1 = 1, 1 : 1 = 1. One is the adapted symbol of the Creator. Historically the number two corresponded to the number of intellect… In Numerology, the number two is revealed in the mental sphere, the angel and the soul; in the celestial sphere the light, the sun and the moon; in the sphere of the elements, water and the earth; in the internal sphere of man, the heart and the brain… Three indicates the number of evolution, geometrically it is a triangle, symbolically it is the desire to grow and rise high. Three is also the mystic number…and is the number of creativity. Four, order, rationality, solidity and stability. Five in many languages has the name of the hand, unity repeated as many times as the fingers, it is the number of movement. Six symbolically represents the number of love. Seven represents the number that the ancestors designated as the most complete due to its composition of Spirit (3) and Matter (4), Creativity and Rationality, geometrically the triangle and square. Eight, infinity, an unending form. Nine is the confirmation. Ten, where the sum of one plus zero (1+0) equals one (1+0=1), and unity is achieved, represented symbolically by number one . The objects, the bandages and rope, threads and numbers, are very much like the colors, small, essential and absolute, they find a place in the work since they invest an exact significance which contributes to the aim of the harmonic compositional project… Color is a visual sensation, it is information, it is the reflection of a frame of mind. Black, white, gold and red, green and orange, exclusive in the executive dominance, recur in the work of this artist as luminescent property of historical-cultural and philosophical references; as well as in this case as fonts of energies, as parallelisms of already acquired definitions… Black, the sum of all colors, the absence of light even though it absorbs all radiations; the emotive translation is brought back to unhappiness and to pain, to anguish and desperation…It is the color of energy that stems from the depths of the earth; it is the opposite of white in chromaticity, however, in Oriental culture, while death represents a new beginning, darkness is vested in white… Gold is linked to the splendour of the light and the sun, it is the esoteric idea of spirituality; it is richness, abundance, heat, health, love and knowledge… Red is one of the three primary colors, representing emotion but also action, pleasure and sensuality, attraction… Green is the color that directly refers to nature, filters the harmonies in Japanese gardens, recalls the presence of flowers cultivated in the Tea ceremony and positioned in the niches of the Tokonoma… Orange is obtained from the sum of red and yellow, a testimonial color of vitality contained with elegance, it is the color that often appears in Japanese culture, in the lackey and in the Obi, in Kimonos and in the sweet foliage of the winter garden…
The observation of an elusive static, of a movement that goes beyond the image, this intense and fascinating interpretive lyricism is connected to photography: often incident on the visual horizon of the work, it cuts and concentrates the attention. The recognizable image persuades the will of observation, evading a specific inherent reference in the photogram precisely because it does not always want to be subject of the “subject”, but rather a complement and a section, a reinforcement of unity, recent evidence of a passively documented reality or sometimes fruit of casualness… Each image represents a fragment of time that marks a station of our evolutionary track, an extract of memory that is brought back to an interior consciousness… The development of the collective use of the world of images, constantly more orientated in acrobatics of the virtual and in the perfection of the perception, is an identity different from the one that shines through in His work, where we do not find the mediate function of display but rather the inside of sight. A subtle but profound difference that debates and distinguishes the investigation and the process of growth of contemporary art. In the same way, the film research of which Pellegrin develops a descriptive emotional narration, is concentrated on the unfolding of that philosophical sentiment that he is never able to abandon. This formalization is the background of a heterogeneous story made up of image sequences, words and sounds that are again re-employed in unity from compositive fragmentation. The final formalization in the chronology of Maurizio Pellegrin’s work looks at the introduction of the pictorial gesture: on the walls where particular works have been installed, the Author delineates in painted squares, the complexity of the objects chosen in order to create a relationship between the subject and the “skin of the wall”. The painting is often monochromatic, marked by brushstrokes and by castings of the same color. This way a tactility emerges which reveals the allure of a new surface and a new definition of the space… The amount of the energy is then inherent in things, in direct and indirect actions, in the same Artist, and its characterization is an implicit part of his message: Maurizio Pellegrin determines this perhaps above all other things, putting into play that which is received and that which is carried out by itself in a unified result, furnishing useful hints for the visual perception of its energy, in the totality of the whole, distant from disharmonies, contrasts and instabilities, and pervades from more intense and profound suggestions.