It took a microorganism to make us aware of a sick reality and stimulate reflections on authentic human values and on a model of sustainable development.
In the current catastrophic context, Art seems to have become ‘useless’, therefore art operators react to reaffirm its potential at least in digital channels, which allow mobility in spaces of relational freedom drastically reduced by the lockdown. Thus the virtual reality of the Web took over the physical one, appropriating the primary functions of cultural institutions and events of all kinds. At the same time – in order to find quick solutions to the problems that emerged and to survive in tomorrow’s “normality” certainly poorer and riskier than yesterday’s – the utmost importance is given to the role of science and creative energy, to multidisciplinarity and international cooperation.
Personally, on printed “Juliet”, since last year, involving heterogeneous personalities, I have promoted “Disciplinary interaction. From visual art to global society” and now I am also developing the complementary investigation, entitled “Creative production and identity”, which began before the arrival of the Coronavirus. In the next issue of the magazine the second episode will come out with extensive testimonies of Achille Bonito Oliva, Gian Ruggero Manzoni and Alfredo Pirri. Thanks to the collaboration of the latter, the image of the cover was reproduced here, previewed with an excerpt from the interview regarding the critical-explanatory reading of the subject.
Luciano Marucci: We are talking about the image created for the cover of “Juliet”. Let me start by saying that it is not a matter of paying homage to a deadly viral being classified Covid-19. On the contrary: it highlights its unstoppable self-generating power to expand everywhere, even challenging science. It has the appearance of a humanoid body with a seductive and at the same time malevolent pictorial-plastic side. It stimulates the observer in search of the “genesis and evolution” of its symbolic form, which refers to the concept of my investigation focused on “Creative production and identity”. Therefore, we are faced with an enigmatic performative virtual subject that tends to interact with users, mortally contaminating them.
Alfredo Pirri e Luciano Marucci “la bellezza salverà…” 2020, digital processing,
26,5 x 21 cm
Alfredo Pirri: Dear Luciano, first of all I would like to say more explicitly that this cover is a four-handed work of which we are both authors, and I thank you for having involved me. You asked me to work with the image of the virus (one of the many that circulate), I found it interesting because its “beauty” had already struck me. My contribution was very simple: treat the image in a somewhat home-like way, that is, using the tools I have at hand, at home, these days, and then superimpose on it a famous writing, often cited to give art a vision positive and full of hope …; the relationship between sentence and image is mysterious …, the sentence confirms the beauty of the image, but also affirms its danger … The whole is ambiguous and without affirmations: two question marks that are confirmed and canceled at the same time.
Can you briefly describe how the artifact was built in your occasional digital laboratory?
As I said, in a direct and simple way, I let the image speak for itself, without my intervention transforming it “creatively” much. The summary images of the circulating virus have focused heavily on color and spatial evocation. Perhaps to make us better understand how the virus is everywhere and the colors probably serve scientists to select the sectors of which it is composed. The result of these representations has something terribly beautiful and evokes familiar figures, humans or beings living in the water … Figures that upset us because they make us think that our bodies are inhabited by other creatures and that the whole is terribly seductive and also terribly difficult to accept.
I’m Luciano Marucci, born by case in Arezzo and I look my age… After a period in which I dedicated myself to journalism, applied ecology, environmental education and traveling the world, I occasionally collaborated as an art critic with specialized magazines (“Flash Art”, “Arte & Critica”, “Segno”, “Hortus”, “Ali”) and with varied cultural periodicals. Since 1991 in “Juliet” art magazine (in print and edition) I have regularly been publishing extensive services on interdisciplinary topics (involving important personalities), reportages of international events, reviews of exhibitions. I have edited monographic studies on contemporary artists and book-interviews. As an independent curator I have curated individual and collective exhibitions in institutional and telematic spaces. I live in Ascoli Piceno.