Locandina della mostra Santissime, Galerie de la Gènie de La Bastille, Paris

Vernissage 21.11.2023
La galerie du Génie de la Bastille
126 Rue de Charonne, Paris

“In the magical world the soul can be lost…”
Ernesto De Martino
“Lest they trample them [the holy things and pearls] with their paws and then turn to tear you to pieces”
Matthew 7.6

“Santissime” is the exhibition of five Italian artists, not by chance Tuscan, which evokes right from the title a complexity, a duality suspended between invocation and imprecation, characteristic of the ancestral cultures in which the sacred image is adored, but, if necessary, also punished as in the case of famine or drought.
Holy are images,liturgical objects, and in the popular language even some unmentionable parts of the body. The etymology of saint (from the Latin “sancire”) is also double and revealing, like the etimology of sacred, it comes from the Indo-European root sac/sanc: “to separate”, “to divide” but also, unexpectedly, “to recognize reality in something”.
Holy and sacred things are therefore inviolable, they present an uncontaminated appearance but at the same time, to manifest themselves, the sacred things need to becomes incarnate, they need bodies and things and their being exposed to time and decay.
The encounter with the sphere of the sacred can be violent, disturbing but always vital and transformative and necessary in an increasingly regulated society which removes death and everything it cannot control.
The “holy” things, evoked here, give us the possibility of reading the world and of being able to imagine it, even without us…
…The works on display outline a landscape with figures strongly rooted in the imaginary and history of the Tuscan landscape in its ideal dimension, between altarpieces and rivers and hills, between painted majolica and the red clay that veins the earth. But of that same landscape and of that ideal, which from objects of observation become a point of view from which to observe the world, the five artists seem to investigate the progressive destruction, the change and the alterations, the underground and remote corners…”
from the text by Meret Kossak