The body and vulnerability are strong links of humanity which banned by the globalized trade of the present enter by right
among the materials used for art in creating OAC Communicating Artistic Organisms of nomadic ethics and emancipating the journey of modern man
Always, in the places of the earth, billions of BODIES touch each other, they get confused. They mix and mingle. Tactile volumes placed in a perennial communication and exchange that accompany the evolution of humanity.
The French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, in the precious intuition of the Corpus, leads us to grasp with extreme precision how the experience of the body in space-time hic et nunc is always a crossing over the limit, to the extreme that nothing closes, in which the very identity of the world takes place, the absolute identity of that original opening of the self to the other from itself (singular-plural), in a constant fluctuation between inside-outside in a space that cannot simply be called “intimate” , collected, concentrated.
The one is also irresistibly, invisibly, always “many” since all bodies weigh on each other and against each other, heirs of the world of gravity. The body has always existed only according to this materiality, this sense, at the limit, at the outer edge; let’s think, to simplify, of the vision of water and rocks, which are interdependent and that make each other, build each other up – water and rocks, waves and rocks, one adapting to the other and slowly shaping them, traces of this remain; traces remain in the world of bodies as matter mixed with itself and with something else, in a disturbing proximity.
The thread of the discourse, in its winding, rotating, curling up, is played from the beginning to the end on the metonymies of touching, as the philosopher Jacques Derrida himself wanted to underline to his friend-disciple Jean-Luc Nancy. The Body which is neither signifier nor signified, must contact another to prove its existence. The making-space, the making-off of bodies through con-tact (where thinking touching cannot and must not mean touching) makes it possible to burden oneself with new burdens: that of e-motion, such as moving towards, out of itself, common to all bodies.
But let’s take another step towards the anthropological reasons for the research.
Besides and together with the body, what distinguishes the individual and makes him incredibly human, emotional and aware of himself and of the surrounding world, even beyond the impulse to survive, is his own intrinsic root of VULNERABILITY. Human beings are constitutively vulnerable. It is in a specific way, because it is not only biologically or psychologically: the human being is intellectually and morally vulnerable, that is, in its most proper and most intimate nature. And it is precisely being vulnerable that, paradoxically, has made the human individual extremely strong and resilient, capable of producing quality, well-being and security in one’s existence at ever higher levels.
A promising sign of the raising of the level of this sensitivity, which introduces the theme of vulnerability in the perspective of a more advanced conception of human dignity and the common good, can be seen in the Barcelona Declaration of 1998, drawn up with the help of twenty-two experts, belonging to various disciplines in the bioethics field, at the instigation of the European Commission and through the coordination of the Centre for Ethics and Law in Copenhagen.
In this text, not only vulnerability is mentioned for the first time as an integral part of the regulative principles of universal bioethics (autonomy, integrity, dignity, vulnerability). It is also explicitly linked to the recognition of the constitutive finiteness of the human condition and to the demand for an inescapable appeal to the moral responsibility of the human community.
The signal that comes from this integration, not without a certain boldness, is certainly encouraging. Encouraging because thinking about the present we tend more and more to associate the concept of vulnerability with something extremely weak and not very resistant; however, being fragile is something that goes far beyond the mere opposite of “strong” and “indestructible”. Fragility is rather the ability to be vulnerable and sensitive beyond measure: it means understanding the multiplicity of emotions, choices and tensions to which man tends on a daily basis and feeling them on his own skin.
Man is not made of steel, he is not indestructible and impenetrable, but he is made of glass: he staggers and can break, splinter, get hurt and ruin himself a little. Often we are not ready to denounce the fragility of things and of ourselves, and we prefer to keep it hidden, because we are increasingly pushed by everyday life to associate it with a negative conception, as factors of degradation of the person and of the community, therefore, from marginalize and cure.
This society, despite all its undeniable progress, fails the challenge of vulnerability: not only because it fails to generate resources-of-meaning for a life that appears imperfect and fallible, but also because it also manifests itself as inadequate for the care and protection of the most fragile and weakest people: as if they were fatally poorer in dignity and more reasonably expendable.
The recent passage through the shocking pandemic of a substantially unknown virus has shown – beyond all predictions – how much disorientation, how much uncertainty, how much helplessness our civil societies, even the most technologically and economically organised, have been able to exhibit in a few weeks and to take leave of our delusion of omnipotence.
This awareness is perhaps the best part, at the moment, of the new anthropological sensitivity that is maturing in this confusing and contradictory change of era. The collective awareness of the very special profile of the constitutive vulnerability of the human being – his disposition to be wounded even in the soul by the prevarication of the other and by his own impotence – is a new trait of our cultural evolution.
Everything suggests that the necessary rediscovery of human vulnerability, initiated by anthropological reflection and imposed by the current situation, must play a central role, and not a marginal or accidental one, in the recomposition of a humanistic and civil project – economic, social, political, cultural – up to our constitutive exposure and disposition to be humiliated, and even overwhelmed, in our dignity as human beings.
The works and the sensitive link with the place that receives them.
The time seems to have come to imagine an artistic act which, in total counter-trend, by emphasizing its own aesthetic and ethical resources, exposes a social system limited to disarming the body and its fragility in the state of exception, inside the cathedrals contemporaries of vulnerability: prisons, asylums, hospitals, barges….
The site-sensitive research project Corpus-et-Vulnus focuses on the very fragile condition of human reality.
In the depths of ourselves many shadows stir. Footprints, lives that go up and down on the steps consumed by the daily passage. And in these prisons, asylums, hospitals, boats…. that I find the same steps, the breaths, the trampling towards everything, towards nothing, but clinging to life, to the hope of my OAC (Communicating Artistic Organisms). This link in hiding, in concealing one’s intimate form in the silence of degradation and all that had been there, preserves the mystery of a deep complicity and solidarity between the nature of the ACOs and that of this space.
The place that hosts the OACs is a space understood not only as a physical space but as a mental space, sought out of a conventional space, by a custom. Identified precisely to consider art from a different perspective, where the problem of a space that is not only formal, aesthetic, but ethical, political, within which the devices will be placed to subject the gaze to an impact, can be addressed.
A potential experiential field, a meditative space in its limpid nudity, for the user to meditate starting from the vibration of the pre-existing elements, from the sensitivity and energy that this unique and non-interchangeable space expresses.
Space, therefore, understood as freedom, as opposition to convention, as a shelter from the intrusiveness of superficiality and from entertainment which impose an intolerable degradation and submission on art.
Exhibition equipment like bunkers to defend an ideal, a poetic fantasy, an idea of a secret; in any case, all that is vital is in a manual and immediate gesture enclosed in a series of OACs which in any case try to make the hand forget itself. A hand that moves away until it separates from the re-created body and that runs around the world to bring back the original aesthetics of vulnerability.