16 Aug Gianluca Capozzi: The Severed Garden
IL GIARDINO RECISO / THE SEVERED GARDEN
15.09.2022 – 12.11.2022
Corso San Maurizio 73/F
Curated by Andris Brinkmanis
The square overlooking the harbor – this is perhaps the best way to express it – was like a palette on which my imagination experimentally mixed things; irresponsibly, if you will, and yet just in the way a great painter looks at his palette as an instrument.
/W. Benjamin, Minutes on an experiment with hashish, “September 29, 1928. Saturday, Marseille”/
With his solo exhibition Il Giardino Reciso (The Severed Garden), Gianluca Capozzi (1973, Avellino) returns to Turin, at the metroquadro gallery, with a new constellation of artistic works, assembled in dialogue and under the curatorship of Andris Brinkmanis (1978, Riga). The title, loosely inspired by a late poem by Jim Morrison, also recorded on a posthumous record with instrumental accompaniment by his band, here takes on a more connoted meaning.
Capozzi, starting from his research on psychedelia, a theme that has interested him for years, and drawing inspiration from South American magical thought, Eastern thought, and the discoveries of quantum physics, builds complex and well-articulated pictorial universes, though not immediately decipherable.
Starting from the observation and deconstruction, of the supposed objectivity of rational logical thought, Gianluca Capozzi, through his artistic intervention, enacts a kind of decomposition of the real and the visible. Overlaying multiple visual and temporal registers, the artist projects us to the deepest part of reality, for the knowledge of which, following the logic of Buddhism and other esoteric cultures of his interest, we already have all the innate tools, but which we no longer know how to access, which we no longer know how to use. We perceive nothing but an insuperable constitutive opacity. We remain locked in autistic domination of our Ego, disproportionate individualism, chronic neoteny, identity politics, ideologies of pleasure, memory, and thought — and all this leads us to develop a series of destructive attitudes toward ourselves, and other life forms, and the environment in general.
The crumbling of the perception of reality, which we see in some of the works on display, precisely, comes not only from his theoretical reflections but also from experiences with expanded states of consciousness through deep meditation and other practices, following which it is possible to access more subtle planes of reality, to see how our daily life is basically nothing more than a kind of Chinese shadow theater. A projection, as in the cave described by Plato himself. A thousand veils cloud our vision, from which we no longer know how to free ourselves. Our memory by collecting various imprints, traumas, wounds, pleasures, and emotions into a vast whole, builds what we define as the “Ego,” which is then further conditioned by social and political factors. This, also becomes almost the only tool through which we navigate and read reality. Thus, we learn membership in a defined language, state, nation, gender etc. And we hold on to this construct until our demise.
As Capozzi proposes instead, “New findings in quantum physics show us how reality is not what forms consciousness, but how instead it is consciousness that forms reality. How we live in a kind of entangled network of potentialities. The quantum world appears classical, not because of the macroscopic nature of the measuring apparatus, but because we, as observers, are part of the world we observe. The observer in some sense is the observed. To understand this complex thinking, one proposal would be to use the de-coherence method.”
Painting, here, not surprisingly still turns out to be the most effective medium to be able to represent and make understandable phenomena of such complexity and richness, as these remain beyond the reach of current technological means and our linear historical logic.
What, then, is the Garden that the exhibition is about? If for Morrison the garden with the cut flowers was the one resembling a cemetery, for Capozzi perhaps it means just the opposite, as it remains pregnant with the possibility of flourishing again. Although currently severed following the dominant aesthetic, social and political canons, this Garden can flourish wildly again as soon as it is left intact or unconditioned for a period of time.
Thus, it is not intoxication that is the phenomenon that fascinates the artist, but the expansion of consciousness as a kind of means of being able to find ways of a new awareness, such as can enable us to get through that “visual noise” to which we are constantly subjected. Thus upon awakening, perhaps, the opacity of contemporary capitalism, may appear less dense, allowing one to see clearly the mechanisms of its workings and leaving the possibility of turning away from them and its ideology as one possible world, finding alternatives that do not belong to that rhetoric.