BONES CAN WAIT by Caterina Silenzi
Animals are to be respected, for different reasons. Not because they are “good” or useful for us (they are not all this way) but because a norm inside us, and acknowledged by all the religions and legislations, summons us not to cause pain, neither to us nor to any creature able to perceive it […] Laymen have few certainty but this is the main one: it’s acceptable to suffer or cause pain only to save oneself or someone else a deeper suffer. It’s a simple rule but its consequences are complex and everybody knows it. How to compare our own pain with the others’?
Primo Levi Against the pain in The Others’Job
Caterina Silenzi’s sculpture moves along the dimension of the encounter, the expectation, the creation as vital ritual. The artist’s Trophies set up a hybrid gallery of characters: animals speaking the humans’ body language and humans who show themselves under animal semblance. Where does the former start and the latter end?
Caterina Silenzi gives animals and their anatomy recognition of intrinsic wisdom, finding a map in their bones, a path, a trace where her creation starts.
The artist does not look for the bones, but rather comes across them and from the casuality of their encounter the weave begins of a new story, of a new life. Caterina Silenzi herself tells:
“If, walking through the wood, I bump into an animal bone I carry it home, clean it up and put it in a place so that it is always visible and I am able to observe it quitely and from all perspectives.
Then I keep waiting for the day when the uncontrollable desire to build something or someone comes! Sometimes this is the materilization of a state of mind, the consequence of some event somehow important in my life. The bones can wait months or years. Then as soon as I have a clear image of what will come up from them, everything goes istintively, qickly, following that impulse which goes beyond any logic.”
Every artist has his own alphabet; in this case it consists of animal lives’ remains merged with ceramics. Through Raku technique Caterina Silenzi creates shapes in ceramics and she does this feeling the creative effort of the act that the technique itself suggests. She is dealing with an acient Japanese long and complex procedure, whose main elements are: fire, air, water and earth. Very high temperature and the reiterate baking of the pieces turn the craft into a shaman ritual showing the artist dealing with a new-born life. In this case CREATION is redefined. The encounter with the death merges into the creative effort and the voyage ends in a new life. The pieces in ceramics support and enclose the animal bone splinters like an altar, making the spectator feel like a future exporer who deals with archeological remains testifying the existence, during unknown times, of animal lives which were perfectly human.
Text by Valentina Gregori