Alfabeti della mente
Carlo Alfano, Irma Blank, Dadamaino, Hanne Darboven,
Mirtha Dermisache, León Ferrari, Marcia Hafif, Anna Maria Maiolino, Edda Renouf, Antonio Scaccabarozzi, Jan Schoonhoven
from 22 October to 07 January 2012
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The subject of the exhibition that opens on the 22nd of October at 18.00, entitled Alphabets of the mind, is not Visual or Concrete Poetry, but Conceptual research at the boundary between writing drawings and drawing writing.
As Angela Madesani points out in the introduction to the exhibition, The French linguist Roland Barthes claimed that «writing need not be legible in order to qualify as writing». Moreover, between the Sixties and Seventies,
there were many artists on the international scene who made declarations and proclamations, strongly marked by ideological, and even more frequently politi- cal, affiliations. The protest is clear, outspoken. An attitude that is more often than not easy, explicit and fashionable. The pieces exhibited here go against all of that, but without being preconceived. We stand before pieces, created with traditional techniques, mostly on paper, which display a profound social and historical awareness, and above all an awareness of language. Nothing is ran- dom or ephemeral and every signifier takes on a real, typically unconventional, meaning.
The exhibition includes over 40 works by 11 selected artists. In his Frammen- ti di un autoritratto anonimo, Carlo Alfano codes a grammar made of numbers, while the artist Irma Blank, who is German but has lived in Italy for almost fifty years, in both Eingschriften and Trascrizioni dedicates herself to the translation of the concept of the unspeakable.
On display are the compulsive artificial writings by German Hanne Darboven and Dadamaino’s obsessive dictations in Alphabets of the mind and the more recent Sein und Zeit.
South American artists include Mirtha Dermisache (Textos from the Seven- ties and the more recent Newsletters, in which artificial writing recovers its purely plastic dimension, are exhibited), Leon Ferrari (in whose work the letter and the text, told in a thousand ways, have a supporting role) and Anna Maria Maiolino with the Codificações Matéricas Series pieces, mental traces gener- ated by the force of gravity.
The works of two American artists are also exhibited, Marcia Hafif (“mental exercises, which seem to record the mechanisms of thought”, writes Angela Madesani) and Edda Renouf, whose writing “is like an incision into the skin of the subject”.
Antonio Scaccabarozzi invents laws that decode the alphabet and grammar of mental structures, made of single typewritten dots, while Jan Schoonhaven organises lines in the balance between approximation and rigour.