Prof. Daniele Radini Tedeschi - Art critique and historian
Increasingly recurring are those theories according to which man must live, and die, in a fractal and not in a squared architecture or geometric solid. To live in a skyscraper in fact strongly affects the individual’s aura while this does not happen in the case of a trullo: (cylindrical house with conical roof), an African tukul, a cave. The architecture, since the time of Bruno Taut, had understood the need to construct homes and cities meeting certain aesthetic forms, in the form of a rose and therefore of the flower. The fractal structure (instead fractal) therefore can facilitate the generation of that blissful field thrown over humanity by way of compression wave, super wave in the words of Dan Winter. Cities like Prague were in fact arisen on a fractal rose shaped plant, the same for Pienza, and back up to Stonehenge or Machu Picchu, to reach therefore the Mayan sacred buildings of Guatemala. The necessity of Andrea Prandi to embed his video art in a flower screen-shaped frame from composite flower petals -that is a fractal- shows its unconscious desire to enter the aura of art within a sacred protection, not only symbolic, but also concrete. The flower thus becomes crate, screen, opening, orifice, corolla, antrum, border, margin… as well as a frame in the sense of preservation. I have always considered sacred those late Gothic polyptyches not so much for the therein saints paintings or based aureus, however for the wooden structure of their frames, pointed, carved, almost chiselled, as to say glyptics. In the same way Prandi’s flower screen plays the ambiguous margins of paper to reflect on the incestuous border, morbid, between work and the container, individual and dwelling, death and the grave. The closed flower is in fact the sarcophagus opera infibulated after secular violations of narcissism, it is the curtain of a narration which is finally interrupted, it is the overdose expected like manna (delicacy) from heaven, drugs and aether widespread and beyond, in the empty spaces of the galaxies, in blacks holes, in wells of the universe, in the processes of stars, elisie landfills of which stagnant cosmic faeces waste, the scrapings, the sidereal palpates, the Martian erosion. The closed flower is the death of the effeminate Dionysian, the transformation of mother woman in holy Ava, worthy host of contemporary Lari. The open flower is instead the moment when renewed life unfolds after the eternal return, perpetual return of life, death, nature, flowers, bliss, stars, faeces, meat, sweat, the seed and even the margin. And here it is dripping with neutrality, gelid, albicans, snow-white and lacteal like nothing, here winter has returned, marginal season but dominant of the soul, the only true moment of crystallization, the hibernation and then emancipation of consciousness of the subconscious, most secret fears, of the undone and mute triumphs. The four seasons of the soul depart and stagnate formally in winter… everything is winter in this short film inasmuch as white is dominant, endless tainted sea of ice, the coldness of the soul, the eternal defeat, of the new Light. Whilst dealing then with spring, summer and autumn, the melancholic winter excels with its night closure of the screen flower, an ice flower, a snowflake from frozen petals, like a crystallized water lily pointed towards the sewer of the world. The author like Tasso speaks in a disjointed manner, he lexically expresses hope, cyclicality, will of renaissance, but in a formal setting, therefore stylistic, knows well the nature of the eternal return and rebirth, both aptitudes in which man does not possess any power of resistance. Nihilism of the short film is in the agonizing search for “positive confirmations” -term that in the medical field coincides with infection- which of all the mutilated man to climb the mountain. Well this archetype, extremely dialectical in its immediate moral transcription, has the same power of narcotic or suicide, or of human actions against nature. Prandi builds the work as a mark, track, imprint to photograph, then transcribe, to remember the actualization, being the milestone an intimate and sincere need to withstand. The opera as an anchor, the flower like a marmoreal headstone engraved, annotated, scratched, grazed. The deep research that is actualized in the opera is an aesthetic process that has much more importance than the final manufactured article. This is also confirmed in the ephemeral result of the opera somewhere between immaterial sculpture, immaterial design and film sequence of evanescent images. As well as musical notes dispersed in the air after the playing of a transverse flute, the opera of Prandi is lost in oxygen uninhabited spaces, in the memory of a public which is unable to pass on, the senility of humanity seated on the dusty velvet armchair, with eyes fixed, the hum of reminiscence under the whitened cover during the years. But if at an iconological level the opera (total, understood both as a screen and also as a film) aspires to significant nihilistic and related to vanities-memento mori, finds manifest in the field as a positive reading, centred on the human will to react against the opposing fortunes, almost a sort of existential revanchism. The short film is made up of four seasons corresponding to four large landscapes of the soul, each populated by characters- speaking of the protagonists is impossible in this film- all having in common a militant fate, even in the alternation between failures, collapses and exceedances. Not everyone is a winner, but no one seems really passive; in fact, in this short film, the figures are perhaps lived indirectly, but even in this situation, of them remains absolute innocence that never can be appealed to “passivity.” The artist therefore after building a frame to the framework -by a twist of fate the opera coincides with the frame being the nature film projection and not pittorica- it enters in a logical narration, consequential, didascalic, whose greatest value lies in punctuality: every act is part of a principal action, every attitude coincides perfectly with a typical emotion. Nothing is left to chance, to the artistic act, but rather everything tolls through a typical rhythmic cadence of music video clips. But in this case the music is not the protagonist, but rather an ancillary; So the question arises, who is the prim actor? The answer is nothing, in the existentialist sense just veined from the typical peculiarities of the flâneur prospect of Antonioni in which there only exists emptied landscapes, impassivity, dehumanized spaces, incommunicability. Prandi then starts from a condition of disorientation to move through a scaling: his path is therefore pervaded by doors, real borders between the two different places and, in a key evolutionary, borders between hemispheres of exceedances. The opera is not open but rather total, because the tight compartments respond to an expanded symphony, to a chorus of reactions. The biggest accusation from the artist towards the modern world points to the crisis of the tale, as the post-modern has relegated the story to concise short tales. Prandi resuming the discourse through a kind of philosophy of action, mimics the post-modern in its architectural structure, but populates this eco monster of humanity gravid of life, full of desire to be and conscious to be cast heiddegerian. The narrative structure therefore becomes a harbinger of a self-generation of images that follow each equipollent and cadenced, daughters of a multiple birth, embedded in mating combinations, sculptured through an absolutely lucid logical symmetry and mathematics. From this clue the author’s mathematical aptitude is well noted, alien to the involuntary artistic jerk, to the creative unconscious impulse, but rather calculated, methodical, planned. The choice of the cast, the tools, environments reveal and confirm the nature of a perfect project, differing from typical improvisation of a lot of art videos and approaching as said in the world of cinema and music video clips. If on the other hand this glacial coldness, this objective crystallization of the idea, flows into an arctic Apollonian at the expense of a Dionysian totally fugitive -and this could be the only fact to the entire opera- on the other hand, the loyalty to the theme and the nature of the artist brings back the production to accepted current events. Prandi is not opposed to the tools of modernity, in fact he incorporates them through a search of the most innovative means updating his way of style. If Warhol’s dream was to become a machine -you think of its endless screen prints or the paralytic film Empire – Prandi seems to have crossed this mimesis stating its nature not only mechanical, but even technological, electronic and computerized. The manual skills has definitively given way to digital; the artist becomes the author of the project and the specialized team takes care of specific areas suitable for the implementation of the various founding elements of the opera. The demiurge artist has ceased to mould but has started to think. But the opera must not be the author’s self-satisfaction, but rather has to photograph the current situation through an aesthetic taste, beyond good and evil, to say it with Nietzsche. And Prandi ends up showing his merchandise without blatant feigning, almost placing on the table a cartouche of guts and soul, donated with absolute naivety to public ridicule or appreciation. Some will spit on that flower, finding it similar to a water lily infected and dirty, others will pass over and some will even understand in part or half of all the author’s ideas. Only those who will find the white blood gushing from those carnivores petals, milk tears from the corolla of the plasma, well only the marginalized, the derelicts, the fallen, the battered, the stoned and pure souls will end up reading the absolute drama of those animated frames and those applied icons. Only a superficial reading could lead to a good-natured and deluded interpretation, the biggest mistake would be to confuse the naive author’s gaze with the illusion. Prandi has no illusions but critically interprets his hopes, his dreams and the images of the mind, a healthy mind, too healthy, perhaps overly lucid, never deluded. Each sequence has its outcome, nothing is left to the case, to the unknown. The realization of human will is the central engine of the short film, also translated in the chiasmus of the will of achievement seen as the end for which to strive for. The perfect spatial disposition of the opera therefore deserves to be given a quest for religious attention, sacred, to a fanatical limit, because of its archaic liturgical strength symbolized by the morning opening of the flower and its relative evening closing, as if to symbolize an enthusiastic greeting rite to the God Sun. The space around would therefore need to lean, line, set out the path of the observer, as if to lead him towards a naòs, a Templar cell worthy only of the most rigid priests. This route will have a apotropaic and structural value and will be of great aid to the work and its understanding. From an atmospheric and narrative point of view it is also possible to expose additional affinity with the paintings of Elisar von Kupffer and precisely with the clear of the blessed world, a homoerotic circular painting of Paradise again broken down into four sections representing the seasons. Like in the video of Prandi, even Elisar tends to stereotype the figures, to make them neutral, schematic and not individualized, while at the same time common sources appear for both works, or the mountain (If you raise above high peaks / Will become free in the kingdom of ‘aere / No longer a slave of human mirages / No longer a slave to earth’s tormentors) the mirror (Ice mirror, magic mirror / Mirror that gifts me with an alter ego / Tell me, suave creature, / What still bewitches you?) or for example, the big flower (Seated on a big flower, / The sky blue waves carry me away/ The dreams of a child have come true / In a world of Divine Light).