International Contemporary Art exhibition
Concept edited by Alessia Perone, Art Curator, graduated in Sciences of Cultural Heritage and in History and Criticism of Art
“The Nothing is the void that surrounds us, it is the despair that destroys the world. The Nothing spreads because people have given up their hope. But there is a world, Fantàsia, the realm of human fantasy, where every element of it, every creature of it emerges from the dreams and hopes of humanity; therefore, Fantàsia cannot be it and will never have borders!”
Michael Ende, The NeverEnding Story
The fables are tales of pure fantasy, full of mystery and enchantment, which are found in every country’s culture; in them nature comes alive with magical presences that do not hesitate to reveal themselves. In addition to interpreting enchanted and dreamlike places, which attract the eye of the observer and invite him to free himself in an idyllic environment, it is fundamental to take a critical perspective: one finds there the pleasure of narrating the existential condition of the human beings, often representing their inner voice and experiences, trying to pass down wisdom or moral truth, embodying the intention of the human beings to change and improve themselves. Who has not ever shed tears at the end of a wonderful story, leaving those characters with whom extraordinary adventures had been lived? Who has ever imagined to be one of the protagonists of the narrative? There is a tendency to confine the fable to childhood and pre-adolescence: in reality, it is the imagination that derives from certain stories that gives shape to sensations and emotions which do not appear clear and defined at first. The relationship between written text and the creation of images was firstly found in Aristotle, who approached the term phantasía (fantasy) which comes from phàos (light): and this is how “imagination” was given a meaning, namely as a “faculty that allows everyone to think and process ideas through images”, exactly what we need to make the fable. By realizing the unimaginable and the unthinkable, the power of the fable has expanded considerably, and it is capable of taking a shape through the arts. For instance, artists such as Giotto or Van Gogh represented several times in their works great starry skies, whose as in the stories, symbolize the universe, the place of the divine and a metaphor for the spirit. A kind of imagery based on a real and mystical equilibrium, deriving from feelings and sensations: on these emotions, a personal aesthetic vision of the fable is made up in our unconscious. A painter like Marc Chagall was at the peak of his success when his paintings were sought and later appreciated by art critics, to the extent that he was able to illustrate the stories of the writer Jean de La Fontaine: literature and art thus found themselves going alongside on the same track by producing results with a great innovative scope. Today as then, artists of all contemporary movements celebrate the extraordinary optimism of the fairy tale through a variety of works, from paintings to sculptures, illustrations to photographs, and much more; moreover, they have revolutionized the way of seeing and interpreting fairy tales and, through art, they have transformed them into an extremely powerful message capable of changing the surrounding reality. Going further the literary genre, they have conceived the fairy-tale as a medicine made to heal their wounds, inflicted by the future’s uncertainty, with the aim to escape from a life that does not give any kind of positive emotions. Imagination can be the only means that empower us to face the problems in the real world: we must have the courage to dive into it and let ourselves be carried away. Only in this way we could awake our creative thoughts and build a new fable, a new universe of values. Albert Einstein once claimed that “knowledge is limited, imagination encloses the world”, a statement which turns out to be increasingly true nowadays. The fable can teach us to read again with an open mind and to find a way back to the time when every day was a new discovery. Imagination is at the heart of everything. Every artist goes beyond the mere appearance and keeps his enthusiasm alive, transforming art as a means between reality and fantasy. The world of imagination is open to anyone who wants to fantasize about their dreams, to create perceptive and sensory images, a compelling and intriguing story that gives vent to one’s desires, trying to dream when you were a child, by getting into that dreamlike world with fantastic stories . We need to live like in a fairy tale, to let ourselves go, putting aside the known world and entering into a new one full of love and hope.
Imagination helps to grow! So, close your eyes, fantasize and express yourself freely!