martedì 3 marzo 2015

The Labyrinth in Contemporary Art and in the Work of Rabarama

"What is outside of you is a projection of what is inside of you, and what is inside of you is a projection of the outside world. So often, when you delve into the labyrinth that is outside yourself, you end up penetrating even in your inner labyrinth. " Haruki Murakami

At least since the days of the ancient Cretan civilization and of the famous Labyrinth of Knossos, that of the Minotaur to be clear, this particular structure is among the central ones in symbolic culture.
It is impossible not to connect the shape to the involution of the brain, fact that makes it even a more powerful symbol given this connection with a natural structure in man and in all higher animals.

The labyrinth is the place where the entry, the start, is obvious and manifest but everything that follows is mysterious. Added to this is the fatal risk of not being able to go out and get lost: there is one (only) road that leads to the solution.

With this meaning so deeply approachable to the mystery of human existence, the Labyrinth has had great luck in art, inspiring artists such as Piet Mondrian (Dam and Ocean, 1915), Joan Miro (Labyrinth, 1923), Pablo Picasso (Minotauromachy, 1935), Maurits Escher (Relativity, 1953), Keith Haring (The Labyrinth, 1989), to mention the best known.

Keith Haring (The Labyrinth, 1989)

The labyrinth was chosen for a central role in the fundamental works of contemporary culture, films and novels of huge popularity of authors such as Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose), Stanley Kubrick (The Shining), Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth ).

Stanley Kubrick (The Shining)
In the art of Rabarama the labyrinth had soon fundamental importance:

"... The artist Rabarama, that towards the end of the twentieth century and early twenty-first, represents with her sculptures and paintings the man in his labyrinthine size. Onto her works are drawn mazes of the mind to communicate the alienation of the individual , as a clear sign of a mental suffering in contemporary society. Are represented human figures totally covered with mazes in relief, studied in detail in the wake of the graphic thought of Haring. Man himself bears the traces of its historical-archetypal, and through the intricate maze of his own mind becomes, suffering, himself a maze. The vision of Rabarama is revolutionary in that sense, not only because it leads to the appearance of the maze to the representation of the housing through which move towards the path of initiation and the wandering, but also because it is the man himself, with his labyrinthine mind, to represent the archetypal symbol of the meander.
So the sculptures of Rabarama are covered with mazes, as in "Labirintite" or the work "Giro di Vita", or "Inter-corso", and many others. ". Abstract from “Labirinti: da Cnosso ai videogames”,  Di Marco Maria Sambo ,  2004 AlbertoCastelvecchi Editore  

(original text) “...l'artista Rabarama, che verso la fine del secolo XX e gli inizi del XXI rappresenta, con le sue sculture e i suoi dipinti, l'uomo nella sua dimensione labirintica. Sulle sue opere che spesso comunicano l'alienazione dell'individuo vengono disegnati i dedali della mente, come segno evidente di una sofferenza psichica nella società contemporanea. Sono rappresentate figure umane totalmente ricoperte da labirinti in rilievo, studiati nei minimi dettagli sulla scia del pensiero grafico di Haring. L'uomo stesso porta le tracce del suo percorso storico-archetipico, e attraverso i meandri intricati della propria mente diviene, sofferente, egli stesso un labirinto. La visione di Rabarama è in questo senso rivoluzionaria, non solo perché conduce l'estetica del dedalo verso la rappresentazione dell'involucro attraverso il quale procedere verso il cammino e l'erranza iniziatica, ma anche perché è l'uomo stesso, con la sua mente labirintica, a rappresentare il simbolo archetipo del meandro.
Così le sculture di Rabarama sono ricoperte di labirinti, come avviene in “Labirintite” o nell'opera “Giro di Vita”, oppure in “Inter-corso”, e in molte altre. “

Rabarama, Giro di Vita

The labyrinthine theme engages in the poetic of Rabarama, in the tragic tension between the fate (on a genetic basis) and the free will, adding to that the huge dilemma, precisely labyrinthine, of finding the solution.

Even in the later stages of the evolution of Rabarama, when the artist declares the possibility for man to be free from genetic predestination thanks to the “travel” into the interior-self and at the same time towards the other actors on the stage of existence (other human beings, nature), the labyrinth continues to appear in her works to witness both the past of her artistic path and the persistence of the mystery and mystique in this journey of liberation .

And the theme of the maze also appears in her latest work "Alone" (bronze sculpture hand-painted) where the almost erotically ecstatic loneliness of a female body is accompanied by a painting in spyrlas between the folds of which appears (according to the light) the maze:

Rabarama, Alone

A final question, again with Murakami:
"And a when I start having thoughts like this, the blackberries I think about it, the less I can tell how much of the vividness is real and how much of it my imagination Has invented.
I feel as if I've wandered into a labyrinth.
Has That ever happened to you? "

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