La beauté sera convulsive ou ne sera pas
"L'Amour fou", André Breton
I recaptured some scientific photographs conserved in the archive of the Fondazione San Servolo, and depicting mentally hill female patients internalised in the mental asylum of the San Clement Island in Venice from 1873 to 1890.
Everything began with Beauty.
An intense and convulsive beauty.
A beauty that reveals itself through the expressions of the internalised women, in their intelligent and empty gazes.
A beauty that exists per se in the elegance of the compositions, in the miracle performed by Art, particularly when the latter is not pursued nor intentional.
The beauty of faces portrayed by force, coerced, touched, immobilised by heavy hands, hands that hinder, hands that enchain, hands that are like straightjackets. Portraits of women that in the Middle Ages would have been witches to burn, that in 1800 have been locked up and tortured. Portraits of rebellious women, of women that probably could have been great.
The images that we find next to the many faces of madness, behind and above them, are also convulsive and wonderful images, although no longer human.
They are images of planetary nebulas, universes and stars.
Once more scientific photographs of undeniable beauty and aesthetic value, captured by NASA satellites, by extraterrestrial machinery.
Images of pure inorganic matter.
Photographs of unknowable, mysterious, abstract events.
Gas hovering in space like Jackson Pollock dripping, flow of coloured matter, pulsating heart of light. A matter not only containing matter, but also the secret behind it, the promise of a real unconscious calm.
STARS is a work on the contemporary man and his constant strive to classify normal and abnormal.
STARS is a work on the man that believes it is possible to domesticate its nature to the external world.
STARS is a work on the majestic failure of this desperate attempt.
Because nature in indomitable, wild and magnificent.