A group’s attempt
“At the very start of the alchemic operation there was blackness (the nigredo) –death as the initiator. It was impossible to achieve transmutation by starting from forms that had been used up by Time. First one had to dissolve them, so that later, by means of ablution, one could reach whiteness, which was the stamp of a successful result for the first part of the opus magnum.”
Andrzej Szczeklik, Catharsis, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2005
The artists who are a part of this provisional coincidence, far from setting themselves up as a manifest group, have accepted to work together protected by the impurity of the proposal – “impurity” that must be understood more as a program than as a quality. Where would this impurity reside? It could be thought that in this stage the four artists deliberately rarefy the components that, to a greater or lesser degree, determine their poetics and styles, and embark in an experience of transmutation which seeks to find in exclusive black and exclusive white something of the stages of blackness and whiteness which alchemists went through in their quest for the perfect matter. They recreate and replicate the “manner of being” of abstraction – that category often omnipresent even where it is presumed to be absent – seeking with the heterogeneity of their resources, and reaffirmed in a sort of iconoclastic discomfort in view of the inevitable influence of the geometric tradition, what may well be a new essence, another type of illumination – two-faced, somewhere between hedonistic abandonment and puritanical modesty – in an overpopulated field of action. They invent – there are those who would prefer the term “discover” – and display arbitrary contributions from other fields, among them landscape painting, ornamentation, and graphics, to name just a few, and elegantly tense the chord of equilibrium, distortion, counterpoint, and rupture, with extremely strict boundaries and instructions which are at the same time very productively slack. Their work method is rigorously marked by a movement of constant de-focusing and re-focusing of the semantic elements, so that the visual field is a place of concealment and avoidance rather than a place of revelation, not so much an efficient scene as a sum of symptoms. From this peculiar point of inflection in their individual careers, and in the particular current situation of festive hypervisuality, these artists offer us a reluctant, endogenous work, which is rather a hypothesis of different ways of contagion, a vade mecum of intimately contaminated unknown codes, in which doubt is cast on every fixation or notion of ultimate perfection; an impulsive laboratory hybrid in which each piece has been nurtured and raised so that they can only breathe stale air.