Defiling (contaminating) by art
Andrea Pagnes

Even though alimented (nourished) by the constant tension to survive for necessity – and therefore subdued to a continues metamorphosis because of the stimulations and the inspiration, owing to human talent and cleverly and, consequently, to the solutions that it has to find and make concrete from time to time (time after time) by its own nature – the capability to transform, to modify,  “to wove and unravel” (as Penelope), to unmake and remake in order to re-create is what animate the research of vitality of contemporary operativeness, as well as the spirit of the nowadays Homo Oeconomicus.

In the modern world (post-modern) – having took the place of the Homo Faber – the Homo Oeconomicus has begun to measure anything, any product he makes, only by factors and variables purely economic. Although flexible, these parameters are the only tools capable to express value. Far beyond any possibile nostalgic remembrance or moral delicacy, today what can’t be verify on economical bases, it is unanimitely labelled as “with no value”, that is it can’t be identify as “product “.

From this consideration, it is possible to infer how - and how much – the dynamics of human actions have become more and more aggressive. Inside the strategies of competitive markets, aggressiveness is not just a primary element, it is the constituent dorsal backbone, unavoidable quality and, absolutely recognizable expression.

Nowadays social systems use several mediatic ways (and not only them) to broadcast contemporary images of themselves that reiterate endlessly this precise concept: what has not any sort of economic value it is not a product. Then, to transform this product into something popular in order to incentive people to consume it, market strategies adopt always more and more sophisticated means of communication – and propaganda – with the clear intent of seducing thoughts and decisional freedom – through a subtle, subliminal manipulation -, in order to conform values and expectations to the market itself own advantages. Today, more than ever, economic power means absolute power.

Nevertheless this has brought modern man to have no other choice that to come straight into a sort of cul de sac where he has hopelessly confined himself: an arid place where the process of depression seems to be by now irreversible, if not definitive. Contemporary economy is so sickeningly un-equilibrated and out of balance that it has no other remedy to hold up on its own precariousness: for this reason it generates a widespread climax of fears and tensions that are not useful at all to what it would substantially be – or better, it is – that allows economy to exist- the concept – and with it all the ways and modalities – of production itself. The product – as final result of the production process – is determined by an importance that increases always more and more. As it must affect and weigh on the consumers choices, it prevaricates ineluctably the necessary ethic values of all those actions meant to aim and determine its state of being, depriving the comprehension of the consumers from what is the real sense of necessity.

In a modern society – to make it prosperous – the role of product can’t absolutely overcome the goodness of the rules of actions aimed to make it, even if only we bring our analysis on a hypothetical scale of values. It is always the quality of the action that offers to the product new possibilities of renovation, not its mere reification. Times and ways with which people join together to conceive projects, the quality of their actions in this sense are – and will always be – the priority elements that allow whatever system, whatever civilization - and life itself – to improve and grow better and prosperous.

Probably the answer to this question is due to our capability to transfer our attention from the product – as static matter – to the production process – what is creative in it -. That is that the production process has to be intended as a multiplicity of actions that a group of people adopt and destine from a starting point to an end, between form and content, animated by a desire of pure awareness and self-conscious approach towards the methods of doing, something absolutely indispensable to they themselves. Innovation, sustained development, renewable sources, responsible implementing and accurate utilization of the public – as well as the private – financial resources will be really possible only through a far-sighted, sane, clean way of planning useful to the producer – of course – but also to the consumer in the same measure.



A new way to cooperate to finalize innovative methods of planning can derive from what today is called “international presentialism” and the opportunities that it can offer. Fairs, conventions, events - supported by institutional organisms capable to involve accurately people of clear fame that operate in culture and art in general – offer the chance to producers and financial operators, to give birth to synergic, strategic processes between those different characters (actors) and the territory where they operate. The principal goal is to address different efforts and resources towards a more complex common activity, in order to develop already existing actions and future projects not necessarily finalized and destined to a “product tout court”: therefore, instead, to those products that are not consequentially circumstantial to the single event, but rather to a more wide-open vision, necessary to consolidate a philosophy of endurable development for the environment and the territory. Something that is highly civil and social at the same time.

In the specific – as previously said above - the overcoming of the actual stagnating situation can be spotted in that self-conscious, intuitive, constructive planning, where feelings and intelligence move together towards common goals. It is what the ancient Greek philosophy called with the word poiesis: the art f doing. Actually, whatever it will be the project that someone is going to do, face, make, it is always how good and serious will be his approach and, how ethically honest are his intents that is the real value. Whatever we can do, it will always be needed to arrive to give an expression of course complete and finished, but never definitive or closed in itself. It must be somehow comprehensible – not damaging – and always open and flexible to be modified, in order to give it new added values.
Nevertheless, to understand fully the reach of this precept, we must re-conciliate with the universal value that culture has; a value that has been already lately destroyed, crumbled away by a dull distinguishing of senseless rules, fragmented in the ghetto of useless roles, while it ought to be entirely rooted into the contemporary dynamics of the productive processes. It is in this way that the aspirations of mankind can be positively alimented, feeding and nourishing the spirit of all we contemporary human beings that live in this planet and move across it.

Therefore (so then), why art?

Wanting or not, an artist expresses always his spirit towards his emotions, thoughts, feelings and, matters. He bears this knowledge inside himself, more or less aware of it. It is part of his condition, it is something ingrained in his state of being. The artist investigate to bring to light something that it is hidden to the normal sight, as an eye – as pure physic sensor – can’t see. In few words, the artist always tries – or look for – a way to see more concentrate through things and reality, inside the things, for the reality. And also for he himself the destination of his work is equally important. To question himself about what the public can understand, digest, appreciate or feel the most- therefore capable of conducing the single fruitor to a more profound reflection, it is undoubtedly a post-modernist action, maybe even a bit spoilt if not vicious. Nevertheless, are the artists themselves that – everyone with his own peculiar language and way of expression – are capable to face individually these kinds of problematic and subjects, talking of their worries, allowing their works to exist as results of these thoughts, although in many different ways.
The soul of an artist can still do a lot for him: it can push him to choose which direction to take, or how to adapt his work and himself to the most various and different situations, or, again, to trans-form. To transform in something else the mistakes, the broken dreams, the unsatisfied aspirations.

The complexity of contemporary art leads us to consider a fundamental, determining factor that it seemed to be more and more unavoidable: the specificity given by curatorial choices, in other words the “vision d’ensamble” (analytic and punctual) that allows to relate the work of one – or more than one – artist to a particular space and, a particular situation, as it is vital to contextualize to stimulate, to diffuse to contaminate , this in order to make art the most comprehensible to fruitors inside a specific framework, trying to give evidence to a soul of art which is different from what was in the past, probably more powerful and clear in its own aims. An art that emerges because of the fusion of the pars construens with collective intervention.

It is the context, the framework that allows art to open itself to new territories of investigation and then overcome its partial vision of the world. It is always the context that, in a certain sense, allows art to find its position in this world. To look for a mutuality, for a symbiotic relation – with a precise feedback, not necessarily only economic – between art and enterprises it is undoubtedly a way to perceive and follow. In the same moment that art enters and belongs to such a context, it obviously contaminates while being contaminated as well, it dismembers and recomposes itself in a continuous process without loosing its own identity. Today, the deficiency that many operations (projects) sui generis have, is inside the idea of finding a unity at any costs, therefore neglecting possible openings to new, unknown developments, as the one of being able to perceive a possible sense of things that it can also be beauty beyond aesthetics, value beyond ethic itself.

Andrea Pagnes,  curator, writer, ARTIST