Pandæmonium

A Pandemonium is a chaotic and disorderly situation, a set of confused sounds mingling with distorted voices, a disorienting tumult of disheveled images that stir and crowd into an anarchist disturbance that generates perplexity and uncertainty. Pandaemonium is the name that John Milton chooses for the capital of hell in his “Paradise Lost”, this fortress in which Satan and all evil spirits gather and prepare an army which sets out to destroy the earthly world by its corruption. Already in the title of the exhibition, the artist demonstrates having wanted to sketch and evoke images and characters that reflect the deep tension of a free spirit that does not let itself be restrained by the threads of the constituted world but seeks her own space of independence, to not to be compressed into a limiting and paralyzing schematism.

 

Placed in the historical context in which the author creates the installation, however, the term pandaemonium creates a subtle assonance with a topical word: the word pandemic which does not share anything with pandaemonium etymologically but which resembles it so much in the sound. The link between Pandaemonium and pandemic is wanted and researched and widens the very meaning of the exhibition by opening it up to other content and arouses equal and opposite feelings: the pandemic like pandemonium creates confusion, generates fears, subverts the order of things, disorients and shocks; however, the pandemic hampers human confusion and, to those who have lived it, it suggest more images of loneliness and deserted cities than the chaos of the hellish capital.

 

In the installation, the Pandaemonium comes to life thanks to the juxtaposition of objects and deeply heterogeneous images which find their only link in the representation of superstitions, anxieties and fears, which become the story of a popular culture with a precise setting in time and space but which concretize the fears of human beings of all ages and all cultures. The exaltation of demonic chaos also occurs through the use of profoundly different materials, from charcoal, to ceramics, wood, to textiles, which merge into an organic result that does not create disorientation itself, but through what the material, and the image it creates, evokes.

Each raw material has behind it its history, its link with the culture and the tradition of origin, a specificity; and the combination of materials creates a multi-sensory effect and a variety of weights, lights, smells and textures. The use and conversion of lived objects and concretely belonging to this world to which the artist is inspired and resuscitated in his works make this exhibition even more a tangible story of a past which returns with force as preserved and inherited baggage. Custodian of this substrate, for the artist it seems to be the woman, whose intimate personal story appears indirectly in the embroidered sheet, in the lace, in the collar. Even in the simplicity of lines and shapes and in the marked spontaneity of the installations, reinforced by the use of materials taken as well as the forest and the river offer them, the exhibition succeeds in realizing this idea of ​​anarchist disorder, of agitation, the disorderly and chaotic confusion that the “Pandemonium” recalls. The images possess not only a strong visual power but also an intense evocative force which seems to trigger a noisy confusion, which is realized in the noise and the tumult. In this sense is the presence of the bells is symbolic, almost an invitation for those who observe the installation to materialize this noise, to provoque the chaos.

The artist's gaze on the fears so concretely materialized, and which take shape and life in the singular works, is nevertheless deeply ironic, almost defusing; so lace adorns an otherwise terrifying demon and shooting stars temper and mock the terror of night and darkness. The artist's hand therefore intervenes on these fears, and it does so with power, with an almost cold feeling of detachment which becomes a kind of invitation to go beyond the limit imposed by anxiety, agitation and fear. disturbance of the soul, an exhortation to go beyond the border engendered by irrationality and by what escapes human control. The individual works then acquire an apotropaic quasi-value, like that of a gargoyle standing on the edge of a cathedral to ward off evil spirits. So here is the Pandaemonium exhibition takes on another meaning, completely opposite to its more direct and immediate meaning, or the concretization of demons, fears and the power of the irrational, and becomes almost a tool to suppress and exorcise the worries of the present time.

Alessia Di Stefano

Tr. From the Italian of Beatrice Celli