Rising (up) again
Not so far from the Domus Academy -a Milanese suburbia that brings to mind the landscape of “Pomeriggi alla media industria”- a building of a company which was producing hidden microphones is now providing lodge to creative studios as well to the newborn Gloria Maria Gallery. A raku performance of the 34 year old Italian artist Caterina Silenzi entitled “Buta No Atama Raku”. All that together reveals someway the soul of this area located in the South of Milano, and maybe as well the need of the town itself: Rebirth.
A first brief of such a new life is represented by the previous day’s reopening of the art international project HangarBicocca whose curator has been democratically elected trough a selection of more than 100 names by the web surfers. The day after, on Friday June 25th 2010, Caterina Silenzi who found on a dusty country path a skull of a pig, made its reincarnation possible by recreating its meat muzzle with a Raku ceramics. A 16th century Japanese crafting process where primary alchemic elements (earth, air, fire and water) generate a final form from the clay.
At the same time the little of the performance as well of the resulting artwork, crosses the indigenous spirituality of Japan codified in the written historical records of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in the 7th and 8th century, the Shinto, with a Vodou rite alluding to the concept of revolution by remembering that a black creole pig of Haiti has been sacrificed to wikipediable Haitian Vodou Erzili Dantor during a Vodou ceremony which in fact marked the inception of the Haitian Revolution against French slave owners in 1791, less than three years later of the French revolution.
The artist who declares her passion for the anatomy and the fact that she is not interested in a kind of Art only intended to shock people as for example Damien Hirst’s skull marketing wich “has nothing to do with me”. Apparently she is more connected to the same world to which Gabriel Orozco’s skull was referring. And you might take into consideration that Caterina Silenzi achieved a Master at the Bilbao Univesity after her studies at the Milanese Brera Academy.
Her work consists indeed in giving a new life with an alchemic process like the Raku to fortuitous findings of organic rests like part of the skeletons of animals or tree stakes and trunks abandoned by the Adriatic sea next to the beach not far from the home where she lives in the Marche. The initial shock that any skull evokes and the concpet of the death is consequently balanced by the esthetic as it had been exhibited in London’s Regents Park. “The age of marvelluos”, curated by Joe Laplaca, showing how artists like i.e. Olafur Eliasson by researching the aesthetic of the science are someway reconducing contemporaty art to its Greek etymology: Tekné.
1-5 Performance “Buta no Atama Raku”
Gloriamaria Gallery, Milan
6-7 Zoo collection, 2009: Untitled, Deer