by Emanuela De Cecco / Flash Art Italia n°197, 2011
Due to a progressive weakening of artistic practices dealing with participation – whose initial thrust towards an involvement of the audience, during the entire phase of the work’s realization process, is today often reduced to simulations wherein only conciliatory aspects are acted upon – a discontinuous signal surfaces from the practices of artists who assume their own role, also physically, from a first-person involvement and as of now they establish possible forms of participation.
It is absolutely nothing new but it certainly is symptomatic signal, because the element pooling such an heterogeneous array of works together, it’s the will’s expression to build – from oneself, that it from one’s own body where experience is lived at its fullest form – the sense of an act undergoing through a strong confrontation with the requirements of the art system, an ever stronger global cultural industry, always most concentrated on preserving its own existence above anything else.
In various contemporary practices – however present the memory of the tension that brought artists from the 60s and 70s to proceed in an apparently similar direction – the body’s presence doesn’t run out in its physicality, nor it is oriented towards regaining a supposedly natural dimension, it is rather employed as a necessary passage in order to produce the possibility of an encounter.
In Davide Savorani’s work, whose research has strongly been affected by a parallel and significant experience in theatre, a consequence through which the premises drawn until now manifest themselves is the alteration of the frame wherein the public is requested to pay different and greater attention. It is different from the speed according to which we are authorised to go through consumption places; it is greater when this change of rhythm/intensity/contact translates itself into an invitation to remain, as well as to return, in the exhibition space, not to produce random encounters, but to establish a close relationship with the exhibited work and what is that triggers and unpredictable directions. It is even greater when this request bases itself no longer on the ‘everyone is an artist’ rhetoric, rather on the sharing of one’s relative limits and influences.
In Green Room we experiment the partiality of space’s perception in relationship to the displacement of the exhibited elements, to the way in which other performers act upon the same context and how their actions also transform the perception of the space itself. Everyone involved experiments the limits and influences of the actual place we find ourselves in. By maintaining a distinction among one’s respective role, our presence is defined through them. It is certainly not at random that the entrance of the exhibition is marked by a strip of land contained in a minimal structure, whose presence is obviously “threshold”, yet also an obstacle/limit, which forces everyone intending to go in to make a step different from the others. Thus, by physically marking out an entrance that doesn’t transfigure anyone – for example by turning the visitor into artist – everyone who steps over the structure to is urged to physically encounter as well his own role and his own position.
Green Room is also a studio, an opportunity where Davide has decided to publicly show a side of the work that usually lives in a separate space and separate time. During the opening and the days following, he has exposed his vulnerability by trying out there his movements, making mistakes, starting again, always stopping before managing to produce a completed sequence.
This – and not only this – dynamic doesn’t foresee the word end. Green Room invites us stay in a spot where a flux of temporary actions flow. We are invited to make contact, to stay and to return to the place where this flux condenses itself.
Inside the space there are present constructed elements, objects, drawings, among which a few employed in previous exhibitions and during performative actions: memories that come back to eyes of those who have already seen, previews for those who have only begun looking from here and have now started knowing the work of the artist backwards. In either direction, the movement is identical. As a matter of fact, the coexistence of a temporal line, which can expand itself both towards the past as well as towards the future, is what characterises the same nature of the clues, potential traces of something that has already occurred or indications of something that is about to take place in the future. There is an organic attitude by which certain presences renew themselves and cohabit with the elements produced for the occasion, that is for the length of the exhibition. Ciclicity instead of linearity, the arrangement in order to allow something to return, not as a fetish, which through time has seen its own value to increase, but rather as a tool. A tool disposed in another context, where it can produce different effects. Images stratifying themselves. As if they were possible stories, clues and auspices for that matter, as well as one-ways and returns, memories and wishes.
Abyssal is the difference between a set of coloured scarves hanged on a bar as if just ironed and the memory of the same ones tied together in a single knot. Release, order and calmness in the former case, tension in the latter. It is and example, it is about reversible states, one-ways and returns, again.
The lack of user instructions disables the attempt to activate a disciplined exercise of analysis of every single element shown in the space. The presence of each one is singularly evocative, yet overall, one is unable to detect a narrative structure. As with a rebus without solution, unless one decides to look for it going through some other way, for example starting with an urge, an incident, something that resemble and hits as the “punctum” according to Roland Barthes. The missing unveiling of a unifying narration is a sort of hand-over – paraphrasing what the anthropologist Alfred Gell writes about a partial transfer of responsibilities to the public – because as such an act of subtraction is what allows it, allows us, to experiment more possibilities, further reactions. In which way is each element related to the rest? How have they been used in previous occasions and what effects have they produced? In which way is the artist now employing them in my presence? How will these movements transform my perception of them and of the space hosting them? Can I touch? Can I also move something? Which are the unwritten rules? Can I repeat the gestures of a figure whose face I cannot see? The possible returns and repetitions present in Green Room also contribute to mark a difference among the returns and repetitions that paradoxically live with the research of the novelty ‘at all costs’ in every field of public communication. But this novelty is set for a short life, in fact it consummates, and the resurrection that follows this passionless death is a lightning: everything restarts, it can change rhythm, yet the structure itself remains the same. In marketing, repetition is used because it is effective, reassuring, it removes uncertainties, and the message masked by novelty denies it.
In Green Room these same elements live, to the contrary, in close relationship with a condition of uncertainty, which doesn’t refer to a psychological condition, rather it refers to their action of agents that prevent everything from acquiring a definite form. This repetition is training, learning, patient practice, where repeating, testing more possibilities, is a necessary action so that the unexpected can carry on happening.