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Let’s take back the Arts, let’s take back the Planet.
Sinister creaking sounds can be heard here and there; even the ugly birds of ill omen are announcing UFOs, meteorites, prophecies. The nuclear fear behind us ─how come we are no longer afraid?─ we come up with a new fear.
Yet, there must be some truth behind it all. The most sensitive artists feel it, understand it, maybe without realising it. Faced with a world increasingly full of debris, cultural debris ─despite the oxymoron─ included, some have reset their language.
And not just recently, at that: Manzoni, Ryman, Paolini spring to mind. They struck a conciliatory tone, used white, or nothingness, proposed a work as the point where the work originates before it actually exists, a work that could arise from a blank canvas that the author decides to leave untouched, open to possibilities.
Why does this degré zèro de l’écriture, as defined by Roland, this “writing degree zero” of the work of art, continue to fascinate artists? (And who cares if many just do the opposite.)
The world is rebelling against the invasion of images. We might as well use our cell phones and digital devices; it costs nothing. Cogito ergo sum, I shoot and I delete, I can do whatever I want; however, this is not true: we never do that, we never press delete. So we can no longer find an image when we are looking for it. It is lost in the sheer bulk of the imagery, of communication turned into both subject and object: into everything.
This is why some artists, more sensitive to this invasion and perhaps unawares, refuse to contribute with yet more images, more words, more goods (to be bought and sold).
Among these artists, Haris Epaminonda presents us with flat white sculptures, just rhythmed by a thin brass bar, like a light; or glossy black volumes, held together by a brass hinge that sheds light on them.
This is Haris’ second show at our gallery, details by email. I am a bit sorry for preaching one thing and doing another, though. We should discourage the proliferation of emails ─this modern tom-tom, tam-tam, spam-spam─ and go back to smoke signals, or else send blank emails, no text, no date, white emails for a rarefied white show, just like the works of Ian Wilson or Tino Sehgal, which leave no trace, not even fingerprints.
The artist, standing tall in front of Titian and Caspar David’s pale blue mountains, no longer sees great expanses fading into infinity, but instead sees container ships, fully loaded car transporters, wind turbines, high voltage pylons, cross-country motorcycles roaring through once dreamlike cypress-lined hills…
Haris makes a clean sweep and prepares works for the Venice Biennale, for the exhibition at the Gropius Bau in Berlin and for our gallery in Brescia: a trilogy of silence and wonder based on a non-violent approach, designed to create a mental space free from the cumbersome daily grind.
Seeing is believing. Hope you will join us.