Martina Corgnati – Towards the moon

Astounding, sensual, sensitive. Practically legendary. On the polymorphous, changeable panorama of contemporary art, ConiglioViola has carved out a unique, unmistakable position, thanks to its disinhibited and honest approach to the crucial question of pleasure. Unlike a great many of the artists of its generation and the previous one, who have turned the spotlight on horror, pain, death, politics – or in the best of worlds a parody of the above – ConiglioViola has never evaded one ofart’s most traditional responsibilities – that of beauty:excessive, at times ecstatic, at others audacious. But beauty nonetheless. In doing so ConiglioViola has always followed its instinct; with generosity, courage, almost with abnegation,even when that instinct has landed it in serious trouble.On this uncertain, jolting path, art always was and continues to be the lens that refracts that instinct towards the open ground of aesthetics. But the original ray has always remained the same: motivation, sensitivity, insight, talent, intuition.All in all a powerful, luminous impulse that has pushed the light, bulky ConiglioViola towards many emerging trends a little ahead of time, namely at exactly the right time.We can therefore say that while their strategies are may not be all that different, the tactics at play here are diametrically opposed to those of Warhol: rather than taking on universal – or at least widely held – taste as if it was their own, ConiglioViola sees its own personal taste as universal. This is done candidly, with the best of intentions.Because in any case there is no such thing as pleasure if it is not shared, or at least has the potential to be shared.How is this possible? How do these works manage to beat once so full that they attract all passing winds– like a high pressure ganglion – and so empty that others will always find a place, their own space for enjoyment and identification? For one thing, thanks to legend, the ever-empty, ever-full dimension par excellence that ConiglioViola sees as polymorphous and omnivorous, just like its own projects to date, open and crucial at this time of resumption of transmissions.In the legend what comes to life is a visionary, unpredictable beauty – that we already know “will be convulsive, or not at all” – administered by ConiglioViola in a precise,calculated dose that can be dubbed aesthetic awareness; and always in the context of an intense and adventurous pleasure to see, to listen to and sometimes to participate in.It is a beauty that is never exclusive: over the years in order to destabilise the barriers of an art system with snobbish, elitist aspirations, ConiglioViola has paraded,one after the other, an impressive number of tricks,disguises and secrets taken from interactive, musical,theatrical, scenographic, graphic and erotic worlds; not to mention a genuine armed attack on the Venice Biennale,sought-after and reviled temple of art for a century,but which up to that moment had never come under cannon fire from a piratical barge captained by a rabbit that was cute but aggressive, complete with eye patch.A Dadaist, nettlesome provocation? No, or at least not only that. ConiglioViola is not truly Dadaist although sometimes even they might have thought so. The Dadaist attack takes place with an eye to the end of art, due to its being hackneyed, stale, passé. ConiglioViola, on the other hand, aspires to an art of wonder that does not chase its own tail like a dog, and that is not afraid of getting burnt as it rises daily from its ashes, just like the phoenix.Indeed there are undoubtedly more phoenixes than dogs in our Coniglio’s family tree. And maybe a few backward, disturbed siblings like Paul and Elisabeth locked in the glass tower of their desire, removed from time and from the future.The latter, it should be said, have a few years under their belt (eighty, to be precise), but remain interesting due to their solipsistic narcissism, and their capricious and exclusive passion played out in a game of mirrors that is increasingly inward-looking and claustrophobic, if fragile.Perhaps the two therefore merit a fairly prominent place in our Coniglio’s family tree, which has indulged in conjuring from its magical top hat reflective and metamorphic ghosts, or castles of Chinese boxes, wild landscapes of ladders attacking high clouds, animated and classic paintings, trompe l’oeil – a family portrait in an interior, Botticellian births – used like temporary, luxurious boudoirs. But, as can happen, with the passing of time an unexpected and beneficial mutation has occurred – thanks to the phoenix? – a providential, opportune pair of wings has sprouted on the rabbit’s soft back, enabling it to fly outside, in the open, acting in first person beyond the wall, in the air on the streets of fire that sometimes cross the world. Or sometimes even to fly away, carried by the wind, vers la lune, an ample, magnetic moon as full as destiny. And after that? We have no way of knowing. In any case for the moment the sky does not end. And the flight continues.

Martina Corgnati

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