Behaviour manual (2011)
Gicléé prints on polythene paper, mounted on dibond, 40 x 27,2 cm each
Courtesy Spazio ALT – Alzano Lombardo (Bg)
Photo credits: Daniele Maffeis
I executed some exercises in a private collection with some contemporary art works. The project is the result of a process that brought me to deny my identity as an artist, instead, thinking about myself as a passive receptor of signals; an informed spectator.
The transfer of the illusion freed from the frame and the pedestal to the exhibition space transforms this arena of speech into a unified staging of objects in which the visitor can take a walk in the museum. The observer is split into eye and body, in which the former is, in a social and aesthetic sense, superior to the latter: the eye can be guided, but it is less complacent than the body, whose mobility is relative.
If the museum as a walk is a widespread spectacle, the exhibition is the death of the work. The museum as a walk and the walk as a museum are forms of indoctrination to the non-reaction, while the gymnastics at the museum, that is a form of more intense motor activity, is a form of rupture of the passive spectacle and it’s a form of disobedience. The physical and corporal education of the public represents the dawn of a new sacredness. In an aphorism, Nietzsche states: “A few hours of mountaineering make a rogue and a saint two quite similar creatures. Tiredness is the shortest way to equality and brotherhood.” In gymnastics, sight is at the expense of effort and prefers to the mediatic extensions of the eye (for example, the book) those of the motor arts (the foot). The visual man in our Western society, is a rational man: rationality and visuality have long been two and interchangeable terms, but we no longer live in a mainly visual world. Before the invention of writing, man lived in an acoustic space. The printed book, like the easel painting, fomented the new cult of individualism, while the Renaissance Vanishing Point systematically placed the viewer out of the frame. The instantaneous world of the electric means of communication involves us all immediately. No detachment or frame is possible. The electrical circuits recreate in us the multi-dimensional spatial orientation of the “primitives”. At the speed of electrical communication, purely visual means of understanding the world are no longer possible, and this also applies to the work: a visual fruition only bounces the eye as well as reaffirming a relationship from inferior to superior anti-democratic, whether it is a painting or a video. Television mediation creates our language, which we export outside the home. What remains original in those who watch TV is what is not verbal, for example, its physicality, its voice, its body. The ferocity of the old is found in the new tools of communication, ambiguous and skilful.
Physical activity, which in recent years has become one of the most conspicuous phenomena of post-industrial society, is considered as an aspect separate from aesthetic enjoyment, while in everyday life it has been increasingly asserting itself to the point of assuming a primary role. Yet man is created mainly through exercise, asceticism, training and stunts that he performs daily to rise from mediocrity. The vigorous “male body” of the athlete, present in the rich Greek sculptural culture alongside divinities, indicates a physical and psychic authorial relationship: a god was always a sort of sportsman and the athlete was a form of divinity. The emancipation of the visitor of exhibition spaces can occur through the body as a control center vigilante against signs in search of listening. To test an alternative behavior in the exhibition space as a gym, I also lay down next to the pigs in a work by Wim Delvoye.
The photographic examples in the collection of the former ALT Museum are demonstrative and not instructive.