by Martina Cavallarin
“It is not an image I am seeking. It’s not an idea. It’s an emotion you want to recreate, an emotion of wanting, of giving, of destroying” (Louise Bourgeois)
Some artists use codices moving toward a more poetic temperature; other artists’ paths choose a more surgical climate; yet others live of dissonances, to be measured and calibrated inside a harmony changing its stress from one behavior to the other. The task is being put to test through works exploring different materials, and based on a geometric grid extending from the horizontal to the vertical, by continuous intercessions. Annalù is constantly dedicated to those intercessions producing works that progress over time as a real physical place where she can take measurements, and can play constants formed by her ability to choose and study her materials, experimenting with them and using them not only to create the skeleton of her work, but also to make a statement, to reveal that, among the crevices and folds, the statute of a world can be read and the protocols of thought alternate.
For the work that unfolds from the installation on the ground up to the wall the elements that, beyond the mere representation, compose the actual concrete image, are the symbols of visuality through their own values: light and shadow, opacity and purity, real and virtual, strictness and cleanliness, impalpable lightness against the gravity of the matter. Principles that do not escape the cataloguing into up, down, left, right. When the horizontal plan of the floor meets the elevation angle towards the wall, a mechanism of the parallel and perpendicular diagram is indexed in such a way that the raising along the upward axis lies within the system of grids, lines and curves in progression. This paradigm during the Seventies was criticized by the New Left formed, among others, by Max Horkhmeier, and by the Dialectics of Enlightenment by Theodorn Adorno (1), who stigmatized such attitude as a control of the power, generating totalitarian and fascist political systems. Now, in a time when language cataloguing is disappearing, and registers are no doubt less politicized, yet not less civilized, these trajectories form the basis of a representation of wandering and uncertainty, stigmata of the contemporary society which art not only takes into account, but also acts manipulating its signs and readjusting positions. Annalù constantly proclaims her radicant root (2) by building an artistic work that, the more it sediments gaining strength and awareness, the more it is revealed in the liquidity and impermanence of the installations and sculptures representing it.
In her work there is something classic – as it spans through the history of art – and contemporary – mixing rituals, symbols, phases and recurring cycles, desire and need, time lost and retraced, ideological openness and learning of a renewed spirituality -. It transpires from this process a kind of celebration of human passions, the exaltation of a thirst for knowledge, the complexity of the divide between good and evil and the ethical problems. One can feel amplified the obsession of an idea that does not dissolve by accepting cross-references but, instead, turns all single stories into the strength of a whole production, unfolding under the sign of a unitary project. The final result, the finished work, her creations, have the same importance as their conceptually recounting passages, explaining the visual impact of what in philosophy is explored through words.
Thanks to its evocative nature, the work gives home to things that are not simple chords and intersections, nor anatomical shapes, clean surfaces merged into the resin, coexistence of overlapping planes, movement and waiting, lightness, time. The comparison is based on the dichotomy of the elements that, interlocking with each other, constitute the “bachelor machine”, the work in its entirety, the coordinates of which belong to the male and female principles, that androgyny preserves and elects under one sign and one body.
Moreover, the work conveys an interesting erotic charge, which, is also attributable to the Grand Verre (the Large Glass), a pleasure reflected in the eye of whoever stands in front of the work and draws strength from it, as neither the production nor the process lack the need to communicate with the viewer. In the installations there is a sort of slowness, as if the transit were the intermediate stage of the journey, long, or infinite, time between departure and arrival. A favoured time of attention and reconnaissance, a time that cannot be defined either internal or external to the work, which projects and listens, in its central role of sight and enjoyment.
This liquidity is possibility and failing, intercessions of continuous weaving of links between plasticity and flowing, systematically dismantled and reassembled by the mechanisms of perception and desire. It is a kind of a shop-window animated by passing reflections, in harmonic dimension, mixing reverberations and reflections of the surrounding world to embellish its edges. Tension exists between fullness and emptiness of the chromatic fields, between material layered on double surface and marks engraved to give constructions life. The failure separates planes and ideally reunites them into the vision of a desire for a result never achieved and always pursued with perseverance, powered by need and necessity. Where the material is cut, separated and overlapped, the image rejoins it. The issue of visible and invisible finds, in this case, a spiritual component, enriched by suggestion as soon as a shadow comes into play, fragmented by the flickering matter that disappears and by its multiplying into a modulated and calibrated performance.
The search for the elements and structures, best suited to express the artist’s concept of the world, have led her to select an almost “ascetic” vocabulary. Each of the components of the whole work is chosen primarily to erase whatever is arbitrary, so as to move closer to the Universal, without any mediation. In this way Annalù fulfills the esthete’s expectations and feeds and satisfies the more conceptual matrix of her work. The installations can become a true place for objects, issues, bodies, or can form programmed lines, made sensual by their smoothness, by the pleasant feeling of looking for tactile impressions, all stretched toward the epiphany of their essence, the unveiling of their own truth. In order to reach this level, a removing process is required, starting with the weight from which matter must be taken away, playing a subtraction that makes the work of art clean, almost surgical, even though it is made of heavy structures or contains the path of fluid elements, or may reveal the repetitiveness of combustion, or is filled and brightened by the color of pigments. The tangible capability of her work instantly hits the viewer, along with its sense of light, a light getting lost into the depths of the well of thinking, or multiplying itself in the mirroring of elements. The work forms a unitary and ideal space, concretely limited by the materials borders, but nevertheless spreading as a vision a bit to the stomach, a bit into the head, assailing all the senses.
Annalù’s work is able to excite. And as in the contemporary process mechanisms typical of Duchamp can be recognized, I would like to quote a totally provocative statement by Marcel Duchamp, intended to highlight the vital relationship between the work and the viewer in the duration of a work of art: “No painting has an active life of more than thirty or forty years… I don’t care if it’s true, it helps me to make that distinction between living art and art history. After thirty or forty years, the painting dies, loses its aura, its emanation, or whatever you want to call it. And then it is either forgotten, or else it enters into the purgatory of art history”. This process is ruled by the urgency of the artist, who moves on a freer track when creating works for a personal exhibit project, or along two vectors when requested to create installations intended to inhabit a place, celebrate a theme, embrace a community, remind of an anniversary. Here we meet the Site-Specific and Time-Specific practices. Site Specific means works created for one place, designed and built around a site, conceived inside a map where the supporting surface inhabited by the work of art is an intrinsic and fundamental element and a necessary device. As for Annalù’s elaborate, powerful, complex sculptures, the work indulges in an environment laden with history and religion – here comes an Immaculate Virgin Mary or a Christ crucified – compositions orchestrated by different elements and changing materials such as resins, cement, dust, energy, ashes, molten bronze. Through these ephemeral materials, the works of art compare and convey micro-codes and pieces of information, which multiply functions, omissions, doubts. The Time-Specific is a contemporary practice, spread inside a social context where everything is documented and recorded for a society whose memories have a low rate of analysis. The artist has the task of collecting and relocating all the signs she finds in the world, often carrying out an archive work for a memory technique that survives the work itself, as its existence will continue beyond the physical life of the work of art. If there are artistic practices that relate to the functions of the sign, to the lies of a dream, or to the conquest of a doubt – the unexpected and unsolvable doubt of art – Annalù’s work can channel them through a research, by using materials intended to vanish and annihilate, as well as to last and be strongly present, and entrusted by the Venetian artist with the principle of connection, the task of responsibility, the function of communication. Annalù constantly converses with the caducity of the transient and physical climate where her sculptures live, with shreds, tiny and traumatized by a secret past, for an allegory of the fugacity of human condition as a constant osmosis between far and near, balancing between presence and memory, recognizable and unrecognizable, temporality and timelessness of the cosmos constellations, as well as of the atom particles.
It is a work based on itineraries scattered with incidents and small clues. The artist leads us towards battles characterized by resistance, by something always avoiding half-truths as they do not say enough, to forms that exist and have only internal armours – those of theories and philosophies on which they are based – but unstable bodies, falling and going up again. The artist drowns and leaves us drowning in the opacity, in a meaning that must be instantly translated into yet another meaning, but never losing sight of the supporting structure: “As the nervure bears the leaf from within, from the depths of its flesh, the ideas are the texture of experience, its style, first mute, then uttered. Like every style, (ideas) are elaborated within the thickness of being” (3). The main tool of such artistic practices is, in itself, a declaration of mystery, a manual composition containing the imprint of a very conceptual matrix.
In Annalù’s artistic experience the plastic element, the work, wanders until it reaches a sort of extension through the trace, the meaning of the work in the world. Then that plastic event, that can be identified as sculpture become static object-matrix, is not the ultimate goal, but fulfills the total meaning of its itinerary and purpose in the trace, vector bearer of the geometry of translation, in the journey made not from one language to another, but within a single language. The project to give movement to the static and inertia of matter has developed in Annalù’s works, both site specific and time specific ones, along with the real action, by giving movement to a matrix sculpture, a powerful and independent sculpture that leaves a trail of belonging while moving, nomadic, within the homeless and universal domicile of the art.
- Max Horkhmeier, Theodorn Adorno, Dialectics of Enlightenment, introduction by Carlo Galli, (Italian translation by Renato Solmi, Biblioteca Einaudi, 1997)
- Nicolas Bourriaud, Pour une estetique de la globalisation, 2009, (The Radicant. For an aesthetics of globalisation) Postmedia Srl, Milano, 2014, (Italian translation by Marco Enrico Giacomelli)
- Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Le visible et l’invisible, (Visible and Invisible) Gallimard, 1964.
Annalu’ Works 1994/2014 – Monography – Silvana Editoriale curated by M.Cavallarin