Critical text by Mariano Apa
THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE PILGRIMAGE

When we lose the centre we have no heart. By re-establishing the centre we take back the heart. When the body was a temple, the heart was the centre of that temple: “The Tabernacle of the holiness of Jehovah, the residence of the Shekinah and the Holy of Holies which is the heart of the temple”. From Francesco di Giorgio Mrtini to Leonardo, man’s body has been the measure of reality, the temple/cosmos. The heart is the “centre”, the lion, the sun and King: The analogies multiply in the light of the affermation that one moves through a passage of initiation, a pilgrimage towards the temple and sanctuary, and along this journey one discovers just how much of that Temple we are heading towards is already inside us, we are the Temple, and the “Holy” place is the place where this heart of ours pulses, beats and lives. It is not mere chance that medicine and astrology go along with the esoteric ideologies of the micro and macrocosm, in that web of silent, secret, intimate connections that constitute the invisible and concrete harmony of reality. To have a heart i sto have a Centre and so means being a Temple, a Place and a Space of meeting, of connection. The sun pulses within the ribcage just as the heart lives and burns in the darkness of a universe devoid of oxygen in the paltry galaxy lost in the turmoil of other infinite galaxies (…).

As the slowly unfolds his travel diary along the pilgrimage through which he lives in the search for self, Fabio Masotti takes us through a review of the infinite variants of that sweet and terrible singleness of scene, that architectural, cosmological centre of the body of the universe, of man, insomuchas it is also the centre and the temple of his actual, authentic reality: painting. The heart which Masotti “shows” usi s the centre of the painting space, it is the tabernacle which sanctifies the temple since it is the living body of painting. Art is both body and temple. Just a sit is space and time, scene and season. The heart of the painting is the intimacy of the language which is defined by being present within the specificità of each single piece: because the variants of the single image are also nothing more than allo f the possible images inside the meaning of the single, specific piece.

The world of affection, of sentiment: the incestuous pulsations and the prepathological stammering of the stilnovista lover become a metaphor for the androgynous search (from Trakl to Musil if you want) – without bothering Duchamp – . Masotti softens such possible cerebral indications from ideology and from conceptual archetypal archeology; in order to speak without any illusions about the bodily value of the liquid yet hard imprint of sentiment, of experience, of existance lived within that space, of that temple, of that body which i stime and place and therefore the temple and the body of our body, of our lonliness and painting insomuchas it has come out of our critical-linguistic search.

The heart is ridde like a secret in the unploghed field. The farmer knows the Seasons and he farms the rich land: he waters that ridde heart with Energy and makes it beat, so that many other bodies and worlds spring from Mother Earth: and each piece in itself is all of the other possible worlds of other endless pieces. Masotti is the farmer who ploughe his land well, he cuts plate and paper, he glues resin to wax, chalk to tempera and oil sto wood and paper and material and then he bolts and decorates the folds. All this without any definite will to use different materials, without wanting to elevate the use of different materials in praising other “fields”. It i san unrestrained, erotic taking of possession of materials as plurality of variant construction; for its plurality of directions and innovations in composition. The repetition of images eliminates their representative status: it becomes a module, a biologically progressive germination, (an ear to the rabbits of Fibonacci/Mertz, an eye to the gestaltic modulation of the tone of composition, being able to smell the pungenti irony of popularity in the social iconography from the “visual poetry” of “Kisses” to the “Broken Hearts” at school, to the cinematographic pulpings). The singleness of the module declaims the specificità of each work in trying to constitute each work as a finished “icon”.

If intimism is the decorativism of reified sentimentalism, intimacy is the high silence which comes from the depths of sentiment, the purità with which one can remain faithful to the secret of the “Song of Songs”. The intimacy of sentiment, the genuine, existential condition of truth in love, is painting purified from its narrative figuration and raised to the decantation of the image proclaiming itself. Even in the smile – which is somewhere between happiness and selfirony which slowly comes down over the knowledge of the adolescent tragedy of a “finished love”. Those small murders which some suicides turn out to be, are worthy of being listened to by a painting which is a perfect as a prayer full of respect and pity. Love, death and birth. The pilgrimage i san initiation in the knowledge of oneself: the unveiled heart is the centre of the temple of that body of painting which cuts out decorativism and cerebralism, ideologies and superficialità of manner. It i san almost homeless effort if one cannot live the intimacy of sentiment within the plurality of sentiment: strip wood and scratch crystal: will it turn back to look at you? (…)

Masotti softens the corners of the task of “making”: just like two large breasts, the blood pump fills up and the “maternal” figure of the hearts comes out. The module is a “maternal” heart, structured inside the physicality of sweat, of the body which is built in the linguistic manipulation of materials. The heart vibrates in form and colour: and in sound. A heart/gong opens the space for the “representation”. It is the formo f colour, it is the sound of the magnetic field of the series of hearts which pierre the wall. The room becomes a non-clerical nave, the sacred space where the theory of the blood red rosary stands out (after all we are in May) like a Via Crucis made of light and love: “Sacro Cuore” by Joseph Beuys, like in the performance for the Cross (in the auditorium in Aachen in 1964, for the “washing of the feet” in Dusseldorf 1971) or for his poetical intervention in the “santino” of the “SACRO CUORE”: “Der Erfinder der Dampfmachine” 1971.

If using acrili paint arouses the surface of horizontal lines the thypographic vertical columns mime the beating of the pulsanting heart. The painted lines can be volumetrical background painting delineated by the cut line: the incision on the tarsia assembles plates and copper painted materials. The artist fundamentally opts for a Baroque or minimalist inlay, in a volumetrical stratification of materials which breaks down the qualification of surface. What remains of previous cuttings are reused in new collages. Either a bolted plate or cut up cloth mimes the ancient shroud. A ship’s rope, a tow-rope weaves around a body of the line which holds the boat/heart. Its entanglement of knots is a maze inlay: it is a journey blocked by the lack of harmony of the labyrinth. The inlay can also live alongside painting, in this way the heart acquires the dyptych story both forward and back, day and night. The inlay of a plate can become the naturalistic inlay of flowers squashed onto the surface and outlined and perforated in a geometric reduction of their own figuration. The coloured plaster and the acrili enamels form a black alchemist’s mirror through which, among Etruscan and obscure Bruges Liturgists, Masotti fills the mistery of the reflection inside the obscurity which has been scratched by informal striations, the footprints left by the reflected soul. Or we can see a heart with a halo of iron, nails which stick out into the void and go back to the cotton spider’s web which ties all the points of connection from nail to nail, from part to part: not a painted line nor an inlay but the physical body of a rope/line which weaves through the heart of passion, a true “Sacred Heart”.

So the inlay and weaving become a brocade embroidery and an Arabian inlaid embroidery. From the horror of the void an unrestrained eroticised linearism emerges which turning on itself fills the space, as if by paradox the void fills the void. The void is turned into a significant filled space when a topographic indication from a geographic map plays chessboard to the figure of the heart: the journey is the modulating of the chessboard to live both a victory and a defeca in the game of chess, the right to live, or the defeca of death: the knight who comes from the exotic geography of Jerusalem does not meet death, and only plays his last game with death, a game of chess, and he decides on how far to lenghten the season, and what we can have in return. To travel and lose oneself in the streets of the heart, i sto find oneself “out of breath”. Walking on a pilgrimage with one’s heart in one’s hand smiling in happiness at the conclusive meeting which makes walking itself a pilgrimage.

Travelling in Art for Masotti has been and continues to be a continual wonderment in finding materials and instruments to invent figures somewhere between abstraction and iconological representation of the image. Lidia Reghini from Pontremoli has already confirmed that Masotti succeeds in “assimilating and retransmitting the elements of the vision within a new synthesis which rather than through abstract figurative typology, will be espressed through the extension of a more global discussion of Art (…) Masotti’s work”, Reghini continues, “is understood not a single entity but rather as a continuing and tempting interaction of molecular parts”. These “molecular parts” have pervaded the complete cycle of works of his belve “Via Crucis”. Masotti enters through shards of images into the depths of the body reaching the centre of the temple, and if the body and temple is (male and female) the face of the picture, then the picture has a heart whose “centre” and “sign” of the body i salso the temple. One may conclude by remembering Reghini’s analysis which reads: “it is as if the artist wished to plot the traces o fan archaic form. These traces which is scado, is projected onto the moving surface of the picture, to then be violently overturned to the foreground, directly in front of the observer. This essential image of memory is what remains of the shattered unity that the artist strives to piece together not in terms of true likeness but in those of meaning”

 

Traduzione Paola Romagnolo