Interview with the artist Riccardo Buscarini, who connects paintings by Max Ernst and Giorgio de Chirico with contemporary performance art at the booth of Nahmad Projects at miart 2017 art fair in Milano, Italy. March 30, 2017.
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For Miart fair, Nahmad Projects is excited to showcase a new performance by Riccardo Buscarini: We, Dreaming. Dreams have inspired artists across centuries, and will be the fil rouge connecting the performance to the surrounding oneiric paintings by Giorgio de Chirico and Max Ernst. The performance will be interactive, visitors may join the artist in bed, where the artist will recount dreams derived from the content of de Chirico and Ernst’s paintings.
De Chirico’s Piazza d’Italia con Arianna, executed in the early 1970s, demonstrates the influence of dream language on his compositions. Dark arcades circle a classical sculpture. What appears to be an empty Italian town square gives way to a vast expanse, only a steam train barrels across the horizon. The sun makes dark shadows and the sky is a dense succession of yellow to green, an empty cosmic space without sun or stars. Elements reappear in his paintings as a recurring vision. The same arcades appear in Il grande metafisico (1971), a stunning return to his Manichini figures, which formerly belonged to de Chirico’s second wife, Isabella Far-Pakszwer. As in a dream, Sole sul cavalletto (1968) upturns natural law. The sun sits upon an easel inside a room, and the moon outside is black, like a light switched off. The artist spoke of the inspiration of the poet Apollinaire on this series: “… the suns and stars had returned to earth like peace-loving immigrants. Without doubt, they must have turned themselves off in the sky, because I saw them light-up once again at the entrances and gates of many of these houses”.
Together with de Chirico, Ernst combined familiar elements from the world with his subconscious. Where de Chirico carefully defines objects in sharp detail, lending them “uncommon” reality, Ernst’s objects are ambiguous, their power subversive. Monument Aux Oiseaux (1927) is a significant example of Max Ernst’s use of “dream” associations. The painting was exhibited in historically important shows, such as Max Ernst: Ses Oiseaux at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, in 1928. An abstracted bird, morphing into a humanoid shape occupies a landscape in flux. Is that a head or a breast? Is there one bird or two? Ernst was fascinated with birds as a symbol for the creative unconscious, freedom, and sexuality. He created Loplop, his alter-ego and the presenter of his interpretations in the 1920s, who would first figure in a painting in 1928. The part-human part-bird in Monument Aux Oiseaux has the attributes of Loplop and significantly prefigures this development.
Breaking expectations of the familiar art fair experience, We, Dreaming will provide a unique perspective on the paintings exhibited in the Nahmad Projects booth.