Viaggio alla ricerca della sanità
International Contemporary Art exhibition
November, 19 - 30 2021
Concept edited by Alessia di Martino, graduated in Painting and Visual Arts and Art Curator
Over the centuries it has been possible to see how the meaning of each word has changed in relation to the historical, scientific and social context in which they are widespread. Hysteria, for example, originates from the Greek Hystorion, uterus, and according to the collective imagination represents the set of very intense emotional states and theatrical physical manifestations, deriving from psycho-physical disorders on which scientific research still investigates today. In ancient Egypt and in the classical world, Hysteria was considered as a phenomenon resulting from disorders related to the female genital system that influenced delusional psychic states. This philosophy found more and more fertile ground until it declined in the Middle Ages in various beliefs related to the world of witchcraft. In the darkness of this period, a dim positivist light raged that tried to cast an anchor towards science. It was Arnoldo da Villanova, a revolutionary scientist who in the thirteenth century tried to study and define the organic origin of many disorders. Thanks to the passage from medieval darkness to the thunderbolt of the scientific revolution, the phenomenon began to be studied based on direct observation. This period was represented by personalities such as Paracelsus, Francois Rabelais and George Cheyne, who was the first to have a very modern intuition of hysteria, considering it as a social phenomenon, which affected women and men indistinctly, caused by the complexity of the modern world and by the discovery of new exciting exotic substances, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, tobacco. And what more contemporary vision than this? In my opinion he was the first who dyed the meaning of this word with a color that anticipated what would be the present contemporary social crisis. A revolutionary reading of the phenomenon was that of Sigmunt Freud who, basing himself on the theory of affective trauma of the neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, explained how it was linked to sexuality, in particular childhood, which swung between repression and the subconscious, and which will then blur the Myth of Oedipus. The Freudian study on the unconscious of the twentieth century is reflected in the collective artistic imagination, feeding German expressionist impulses. The artist who best interpreted the phenomenon was Egon Schiele. By painting mocking, pale, stunned portraits, he plunges into the depths of the ego, showing us his own existential shipwreck. The artist gives the body a new dimension, far from formalism and fueled by feelings such as love, eroticism, life and death. The key to understanding these gaunt, ugly, ivory-colored bodies lies in the eyes, a sensual weapon that hurts the viewer in silence. Through these the artist undresses in front of the public, changing skin, carrying with him that melancholy feeling in search of a new identity that is lost between me and the other. Daughters of Freudian psychoanalysis, today's theories consider hysteria as the set of somatic disorders where the individual loses his relationship with consciousness. As a result of these there have been some productions by the cultural audience, such as in 2011 the film Hysteria by psychologist and director Tanya Wexwer, who once again offers us a hysterical vision linked to the female sexual universe. Considering the phenomenon from a social point of view, I believe that in the contemporary era we are all a little hysterical, as we find ourselves daily having to stay afloat in the sea of perennial dissatisfaction, in which we barely swim. The world of art, in this sense, falls perfectly. If the goal of art is to satisfy the public, and the latter is perpetually dissatisfied, what is the way out? Are there or are there any cures for this widespread social phenomenon? Today art is out of bounds, as are the minds of each of us. We are ingredients of an ever-changing multisensory potion, for which an effective recipe has not yet been found. What is the cure for this mass hysteria? Well, it is certainly clear that it is a psycho-social phenomenon that affects more or less the minds of all of us. We must be courageous in finding a solution to this arduous battle but, as children of positivism, it is necessary to experiment, try, get your hands dirty in order to lead the viewer to an instant but profound pleasure that remains etched in the soul. The exhibition presented here is a provocation to the warriors of the sensible who want to embark on this psychosensory journey and have their say through the most powerful weapon of all: sensitivity.