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SAI L - RY TS MON ET

Va g i t o t o G e n i u s The Birth of an Artist t e x t b y C l a i r e Ta n c o n s

Engulfed by the wind, a sail screeches. Expelled from the lungs, a scream hits a wall. Sunlight irradiates gold and silver paper, LE D light streams from a projector. The sail is a sign, the scream a signal. The first indicates the entrance to an exhibition. The second sets into motion the mechanism of a video installation inside that exhibition. Wrapped inside the same iridescent paper of which the sail is made, silver on his body, gold towards the sun, a man stands on the shore, part shipwreck survivor part decoy duck. Everything seems silent on the pebble beach. No sound can be heard on photographic paper; only light may be recorded. The image just described is a photograph hanging on a wall in the exhibition space.

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The man is the sign and the signal. He needs wind in his sail as he does air in his lungs, to screech and scream, radiate and reverberate. His breath ebbs and flows through his body and is sometimes expelled. His light burns inside and sometimes outside. An artwork might be born. Or an artist. Between the sail and the shout lies the space of a strange vessel: an art exhibition by Ryts Monet, moored for a month-long display. A reflection on the nature of the artistic gesture is at the very core of Ryts Monet’s practice. His work is an experimenting with art and nature, in their ecological and phenomenological as well as philosophical and spiritual dimensions. Artistic gestures materialize through natural elements in a constant feedback process. In Ryts Monet’s work, the space between art and nature is interstitial; the difference between the two infinitesimal. The experience of Ryts Monet’s work is multi-sensorial, with an emphasis on the visual and the acoustic. Sight and hearing are the senses most deployed. The sixth

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sense of spiritual perception might also be awakened in the process, and thus Ryts Monet’s audience enlightened. If there was a specific sensorium to Ryts Monet’s phenomenology, it would be one of edgy, overlapping

crossover

neuronal

connections

that

would allow for the sonic perception of the interstitial and the infinitesimal. Inside the exhibition space, the sail has been folded, its motion and music recorded and featured on a video projection. In the photographs nearby, Ryts Monet conjures up metaphors of sailing and flying. The gold and silver paper within which catastrophe survivors are wrapped in order to recover warmth acts both as sails and wings, man-made and natural instruments to master the water and air elements. Ryts Monet says that the sail outstretched represents his potency (‘potenza’) compressed, his castration. Midway between Ulysses and Icarus, the artist is looking for his lost powers, like a god-like figure.

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Studies for cone Phosphorescent varnish and pencil on paper 21 x 29,7 cm 2012


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Originally conceived to remain outside the gallery and be manned everyday by the gallery owner Caterina De Cesero in a caretaking and nurturing relationship demanded by the artist for the duration of the exhibition, the sail only flew for one day. This was because of the impossibility to pay the five-figure permit fee charged by the city council at the time of the Venice Architecture Biennale; thus, the alternative devised by the artist is indicative of both the internal and external limitations imposed upon his practice and his very being. Where can the artist fly without fear of his wings being clipped? Is the gallery the refuge or the cage? Earlier in the month, before Ryts Monet set sail towards the Giudecca, he had called at the island of the Forte Marghera 1 . In this natural environment and with minimal human intervention, he attached a couple of hundred tiny golden bells to the branches of trees like so many sensors in a mechanical device. Calculated according to meteorological coordinates to emit sound and light that could be perceived on the other side of 1 O l t r e l a s c o m p a r s a d e l l e l u c c i o l e , v. I n E s t e r n o 2 0 1 2 ( O u t d o o r s 2012), Forte Marghera, project curated by Matteo Efrem Rossi

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the bay from the fort itself, the acoustic canopy is a clin d’oeil to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1975 ‘Fireflies Article’, also known as ‘The Disappearance of the Fireflies’ and a recurring reference in Ryts Monet’s work. What may lie beyond the disappearance of the fireflies? How may we move beyond the death of Pasolini? These are ongoing issues in Ryts Monet’s work. While Oltre la scomparsa delle lucciole (Beyond the disappearance of fireflies, 2012) is the title of the intervention at Forte Marghera, restare vivi come le lucciole di Pasolini (“stay alive like Pasolini’s fireflies”) is a scribble in capital letters on a notebook sheet, taped to the wall of Ryts Monet’s studio (or at least it was until mid-July 2012). Beyond the ephemeral artistic gesture is the constant exhortation to oneself. The performance on the pebble beach, where Pasolini grew, is at once a homage paid to the dead artist and Ryts Monet’s birth rights; the photograph, Pasolini’s will and Ryts Monet’s birth papers. Carried out at Casarsa della Delizia, Pasolini’s hometown, the

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Gardaland Rollercoaster


SAI L - RY TS MON ET

performance and photograph establish an affiliation between Pasolini and Ryts Monet, whose hometown is Lignano Sabbiadoro, connected to Pasolini’s across the Tagliamento River. But Pasolini’s fireflies are long dead. How may they be resurrected, or where else may they be found? A feeble firefly on the beach, a survivor unlike Pasolini, whose dead body was found on another beach near Rome: Ryts Monet thus offers his experiments as possibilities. It was on a different beach on a different island in a different part of the world altogether. Neither was it in Marghera, in the park of the ex-military wasteland where Ryts Monet set out to restore their luminescence, nor in Venice whose waters and canals have long been too polluted, nor indeed in Italy at all, since it lost the last of its senses - along with its languages - some sixty years ago. It was on a beach on an island, on the other side of the ocean, that I last saw fireflies as well as phosphorescent plankton. But it doesn’t matter where my eyes could still be lit up by that natural spectacle.

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That beach, that island, other beaches, other islands, might soon resemble Italy. There are no known plans to reintroduce fireflies to Italy, and the world might have given up on protecting that rarefied specie altogether. Maybe fireflies could be raised in Gardaland, the amusement park on Lake Garda where Ryts Monet was born again, albeit through a mechanical rather than a natural operation, his neonatal scream induced by riding a rollercoaster rather than coming out of the womb, as if the sound of the installation at Marghera had come from the lips of bells rather than insects’ abdomen. Gli ottovolanti sono macchine sceniche per la produzione di vagiti (Rollercoasters are stage machines for the production of neonatal screams, 2012) 2 is quite a sight, and sound. It is suspense designed by darkness, the gestating environment recreated by the artist in order to transfer his experience and try out his experiment. The setting for the experience, the recording of 2 Gli ottovolanti sono macchine sceniche per la produzione di vagiti was first shown on June 15, 2012 at Punto Croce and on June 23, 2012 in Ryts Monet’s studio at Fondazione Bevilacqua La Mas a – Carminati, as part of the Art Night.

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Rollercoasters are scenic machines for the production of neonat al screams Audio system, mp3 p l a y e r, s t r o b o l i g h t , phosphorescent paint 2012


Work in progress (Beyond the disappearence of fireflies) Digit al print on dibond 5 0 x 75 cm 2012


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Sail 2012 Details of the installation


Sail Inst allation view 2012


Cube Pencil on paper 2012


SAI L - RY TS MON ET

his scream on top of a slope in the rollercoaster at Gardaland, is near a water source; the setting for the experiment is a metaphorical recreation of the womb before the waters break and the baby is born. As for Oltre la scomparsa delle lucciole and Sail, water once more plays an important role in Ryts Monet’s work, the outcome of which is always a birth: either that of his artworks, or his own. Art in a post-fireflies era, however, cannot be one of natural birth. Art in the age of aborted natural reproduction

becomes

man-made

reproduction

of

natural phenomena. Fear not a Frankenstein’s monster. Ryts Monet is invested not in sciences but in art. Though the use of the mechanical and chemical principles of metaphorically represented feedback, at the experience level, by the loop of the rollercoaster, Ryts Monet’s experiments are low-fi. A notebook sketch gives away the elements of his mechanism: “a black curtain at the entrance to darken the room;” “a CD player or other device for playback of my shout emitted during a loop

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on the rollercoaster;” “loudspeaker (Marshall);” “strobe LE D light and phosphorescent acrylic paint on wall.” The parenthetical mentions, “turns on with sound” and “reacts to light,” indicate how the various devices and elements interact in this mechanically engineered, self-sustaining, artistic ecosystem. Another notebook drawing, this one a scheme, outlines the various links in this chain reaction, as reduced to the elements alone: sound, light and energy, but also life and god. Possessed by a Promethean fire, Ryts Monet is nonetheless attracted not to the great Olympian gods but to the lesser divinities that preside over the mundane affairs of the living, the pagan deities that are the personification of natural phenomena. Vagitano, “the god who was in charge of making sure that the baby makes his first cry to allow for the expansion of the lungs and breathing,” as the photocopy of a text on the wall of Ryts Monet’s studio informs us, is thus the godhead to which Ryts Monet keeps entrusting his life some thirty years after his birth; Vagito, the communication mode

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he has chosen even though he has now mastered language. “Tutte le lingue del mondo non sono sufficienti per comunicare se non siamo in grado di vagire pubblicamente” (“No language in the world is sufficient to communicate if we are not able to cry out in public”) reads another note in the studio. The expression of an urge constantly reaffirmed, yet the product not of a primal impulse but of a sophisticated reflection upon the superstructures that constrict life and restrict creation, Ryts Monet’s intimate cry is nothing short of a public outcry as well. An ominous sound precedes the liberatory scream expelled by Ryts Monet at the top of the rollercoaster loop: the sound of the painfully slow dragging up of the rollercoaster cars, clenched against the tracks. An intertextual reading of Gli ottovolanti sono macchine sceniche per la produzione di vagiti and its pendant piece Il Lavoro rendere liberi (Work sets you free, 2012) summons up a somber memory of wagons leading their passengers not to a new birth but instead to their

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premature death. The Italian translation of the German phrase Arbeit macht Frei, the sign cast in iron letters above the gate to Auschwitz I and other concentration camps, it was rendered in small weather-sensitive synthetic crystals and glued above the archway at the exit atop the stairs of the Bevilacqua La Masa studio residency at Palazzo Carminati. Primo Levi recounts seeing the sign illuminated at Auschwitz I I I / BunaMonowitz. In If This is A Man (1947), Levi wrote of the sign that “its memory still strikes me in my dreams,� and that he still had a visual and acoustic memory of what happened to him there. Il Lavoro rende liberi is not quite the neon sign expected at the entrance of an amusement park, let alone a concentration camp. Beyond experiences in the realm of the supernatural and surreal, dreamlike consciousness and daytime nightmares, what binds the amusement park and the concentration camp together is the mechanization of one form of human relationships or another. Festivals and fairs, once live

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performances, became mediated through mechanical apparatuses and kinetic devices that replaced embodied motion. The circus became a carousel, the street spectacle a movie theatre. People in flesh and blood turned to ashes. At a funfair I recently visited, I saw eerie reminiscences surface: carousels painted with circus images. Others emitting scented smoke. The relationship Ryts Monet establishes between Gli ottovolanti sono macchine sceniche per la produzione di vagiti and Il Lavoro rende liberi, is in keeping with concerns already identified by Pasolini in his ‘Fireflies’ article, only amplified. If it is implemented, Ryts Monet’s next project will be dedicated to Lucina, the divinity invoked at birth, also known as Candiflera, as candles are lit to wish her good praises. For this project, Ryts Monet envisions making phosphorescent candles, whose light - once the wax has been entirely consumed - will come not from the flame, but from the phosphorescence of the leftover. Then Vagito will be called upon. The light might never

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die even though the cry does. More so than to Vagito, the personification of a natural element, it seems as if Ryts Monet has entrusted his life and work to the hands of Genius, that other deity which presides over the life of man (Agamben, 2007), faith in which allows the dissociation from the Ego, and thus the birth of art. An artist is born. He is the sign, the signal.

References A g a m b e n , G i o r g i o , R e m n a n t s o f A u s c h w i t z : Th e Wi t n e s s a n d t h e A r ch i v e ( N e w Yo r k : Z o n e B o o k s ) , 2 0 0 2 A g a m b e n , G i o r g i o , “ G e n i u s ” i n P r o f a n a t i o n s ( N e w Yo r k : Z o n e B o o k s ) , 2 0 07, p p . 9 - 1 8 C r a r y, J o n a t h a n , “ 1 8 8 8 : I l l u m i n a t i o n s o f D i s e n ch a n t m e n t ” i n S u s p e n s i o n s of Perception: Spectacle, Attention and Modern Culture (London and Cambridge: M IT Press), 2001, pp149-280 L e v i , P r i m o , S i c ’ e s t u n h o m m e ( P a r i s : J u l l i a r d ) , 1 9 87 P a s o l i n i , P i e r P a o l o , Th e F i r e f l i e s A r t i c l e , w w w. a u t o d a f e . o r g / c o r r e s p o n dence/textes/pasolini.htm and working notes from the artist. O l t r e l a s c o m p a r s a d e l l e l u c c i o l e , v. O u t d o o r s 2 0 1 2 , Fo r t e M a r g h e r a Contemporary Park, project curated by Matteo Efrem Rossi. Gli ottovolanti sono macchine sceniche per la produzione di vagiti was first shown on June 15, 2012 at Punto Croce and on June 23, 2012 in R y t s M o n e t ’ s s t u d i o a t Fo n d a z i o n e B e v i l a c q u a L a M a s a – C a r m i n a t i , a s part of the Art Night.

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Biography

B o r n i n B a r i i n 1 9 8 2 , h e c o m p l e t e d a t h r e e - y e a r d e g r e e i n Vi s u a l A r t s a t t h e I U AV U n i v e r s i t y o f Ve n i c e , a n d a M a s t e r s i n M u l t i m e d i a Vi s u a l C o m munications at the Faculty of Art and Design at the same institution. In 2 0 1 0 h e w a s t h e a r t i s t i n r e s i d e n c e a t t h e C l a u d i o B u z i o l Fo u n d a t i o n i n Ve n i c e . I n 2 0 1 1 h e t o o k p a r t i n t h e r e s i d e n c e / w o r k s h o p h e l d b y A d r i a n P a c i a t t h e R a v e E a s t Vi l l a g e i n Tr i v i g n a n o U d i n e s e . I n 2 0 1 1 h e t o o k p a r t i n t h e 1 5 t h Ta l l i n n P r i n t Tr i e n n i a l a n d a p e r f o r m a n c e e v e n t a t t h e O s l o o F l o a t i n g P a v i l i o n f o r t h e D e n m a r k P a v i l i o n a t t h e 5 4 t h Ve n i c e Biennale. Ryts Monet is currently an artist-in-residence at the Bevilacqua La Masa F o u n d a t i o n , Ve n i c e , w i t h a s t u d i o i n P a l a z z o C a r m i n a t i . He has recently been selected to take part in the 2013 residency program of the Institute of Contemporary Art and International Cultural E x c h a n g e i n To k y o .

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Exibitions

Personal exibithions 20 1 0 3 6 5/20 1 0 Ryts Monet, c u r a t e d b y C h i a r a D i S t e f a n o , i n p a r t n e r s h i p w i t h R e p l a y a n d F o n d a z i o n e B e v i l a q u a L a M a s a ; C i n e m a Vi s i o n a r i o , U d i n e 200 9 Fastfood, c u r a t e d b y C h i a r a D i S t e f a n o ; K o b o s h o p , U d i n e .

Collective exibithions 20 12 Open studios ( a r t i s t i n r e s i d e n c e ) , Fo n d a z i o n e B e v i l a c q u a L a M a s a , P a l a z z o C a r m i n a t i , Ve n e z i a . 20 11 Condensation, c u r a t e d b y D a n i e l e C a p r a a n d E l e n a Ta m a r r o , N u o v o Museo of Claujano, Udine Nopx Artb ook Competition, c u r a t e d b y N O P X , N O PX A r t G a l l e r y, To r i n o Al -Bunduqiyya 3 0 11 c/o Osloo Floating Pavillon, c u r a t e d b y C e c i l i a Tirelli and Al-Bunduqiyya, Danish Pavillion, 5 4^ Biennale internazionale d ’ a r t e d i Ve n e z i a , Ve n e z i a Artisti per una cultura resistente, c u r a t e d b y P a o l o To f f o l u t t i , G a l l e r i a

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L i p a n j e P u n t i n , Tr i e s t e Come closer and see into the trees find the girl if you c an, b i - p e r s o n a l e x i b i t h i o n c u r a t e d b y M a r i o L u p a n o , A r t N i g h t Ve n e z i a a t I UAV U n i v e r s i t y o f Ve n e z i a , To l e n t i n i g a r d e n s , Ve n e z i a . Neohespheria, c u r a t e d b y Va l e r i a P a r u z z o , O s v a l d o G a l l e t t i , A n n a R o m a n z i n , p u b l i c s p a c e i n Vi a C a r l o A l b e r t o , Tr e v i s o Baton sinister, c u r a t e d b y B j a r n e M e l g a a r d a n d N o r w a y ’ s A r t P r o g r a m m e , P a l a z z o C o n t a r i n i - C o r f ù 5 4 ^ B i e n n a l e i n t e r n a z i o n a l e d ’ a r t e d i Ve n e z i a , Ve n e z i a Doodles, c u r a t e d b y G i u l i a S c a r d e l l a t o e B a r b a r a P u g l i a ; C e n t r e f o r c o n t e m p o r a r y a r t A + A , Ve n i c e Mediterranean Design Awards 20 11, c u r a t e d b y I C U B I n s t i t u t d e C u l t u r a de Barcelona, Design Hub DH U B (Catalan Design Museum), Barcelona 1 5 Tallin Print Triennal, c u r a t e d b y E v e K a s k , E h a Ko m i s s a r o v, R e e s S i m o n , K U M U A r t M u s e u m , Ta l l i n , E s t o n i a 20 1 0 Temporary Show Room (Überluxus), c u r a t e d b y F r a n c e s c a N o i a , L i g h t b ox S p a c e s , Ve n e z i a Fahrenheit 3 9, c u r a t e d b y C u l t . A s s . S t r a d i v a r i , G a l l e r i a N i n a p ì , R a v e n n a Lidris, c u r a t e d b y E v a C o m u z z i a n d G a l l e r i a C i v i c a o f M o n f a l c o n e , R i v i gnano, Udine Hearth, c u r a t e d b y M a n u e l B a r e l a n d A r t P o r t , A r t Po r t , P a l a z z o l o d e l l o Stella, Udine Open studios, ( a r t i s t i n r e s i d e n c e ) , Fo n d a z i o n e C l a u d i o B u z i o l , Ve n e z i a Zooart, c u r a t e d b y A s s . C u l t . A r t . u r, F r e s i a g a r d e n s , C u n e o In-b ook / Out-b ook / If-b ook, a n a r t i s t ’ s b o o k s p l a t f o r m ( c o l l a t e r a l e v e n t o f 5 3 ° F e s t i v a l d e i 2 M o n d i , S p o l e t o ) p r o j e c t b y S t u d i o a ’ 87 e Vi a n d u striae, Public Library G. Carducci, Spoleto Artpage@Homepage Art Music Festival, c u r a t e d b y C h i a r a D i S t e f a n o , Cormor Park, Udine Still dreaming ( a r t i s t i n r e s i d e n c e ) Fo n d a z i o n e C l a u d i o B u z i o l , Ve n e z i a

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Direction Caterina De Cesero

Ryts Monet SAIL

Te x t b y C l a i r e Ta n c o n s

30.08.2012 - 30.10.2012

Design D a r i a To m m a s i

Opening hours Tu e s d a y - S a t u r d a y 1 5 - 1 9 or by appointment

Editorial coordination Supermarket Publishing

© the author for the text © the artist for the images

GALLE R IA U P P G i u d e c c a 177 5 + 3 9 3 4 6 77 8 8 9 9 9 info@galleriaupp.com w w w. g a l l e r i a u p p . c o m

Th e a r t i s t w o u l d l i k e to thank for their collaboration Manuela Astore Emanuele Basso Rachele D’Osualdo Silvia Romanelli Paolo Rosso To b i a To m a s i

Profile for Ryts Monet

Claire Tancons: Ryts Monet SAIL -Vagito to Genius, The Birth of an Artist-  

Claire Tancons: Ryts Monet SAIL Vagito to Genius, The Birth of an Artist exhibition catalogue EN

Claire Tancons: Ryts Monet SAIL -Vagito to Genius, The Birth of an Artist-  

Claire Tancons: Ryts Monet SAIL Vagito to Genius, The Birth of an Artist exhibition catalogue EN

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