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Notebook

Notebook, 1993-

APPROACHES - In The Words Of . . . .

From: Ferrier, Jean-Louis, Director and Yann le Pichon, Walter D. Glanze [English Translation]. Art of Our Century, The Chronicle of Western Art, 1900 to the Present. New York: Prentice-Hall Editions. 1988.

Achille Bonito Oliva

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An Art Without Ideology
1980 - Manifesto


To do art means henceforth to control the levels of the cortical matter of art. After the self-flagellation of these last years, the artist has rediscovered his own specific role as well as the pleasure to exercise creative activity without obligation to invent something new.

To requalify the role of art means for the artist to reconquer its own territory, to transfer its own practice within specific frontiers of an operation that does not measure itself against the world, against its own history and against the history of its own expressions. The artist of this generation rediscovers the privilege of enclosure in the sense of reserve, concentration, and focus point of a biology of art. Behind this experience broods a great humility that consists in beginning anew from the narrow and laborious territory of a manual production, not limiting itself to thinking or indicating but devoted to a uniting, to visible facticity--as it appears in the terminal of the work--and to a mental index. The mentality that licensed techniques and materials is being replaced by a mentality licensing the tangibility of a product. The missing pride of the conceptual artist's work, the elitist behavior of the artist who was playing on the amazement of the public and on the element of surprise, are being replaced by the humility of creative, accessible, and real work.

Art becomes again direct expression, leaving behind it the feeling of guilt for being permanent, which was a symptom of contact with the world. The artist becomes again maniacal and Mannerist in his own mania.

The opposition moved toward the perspective of a possible reconciliation with the world. The dialectic was the symptom of an ideology that thought it could continue using its old tricks in the face of a henceforth impregnable reality. The young artists have ceased to practice such tricks because there is no longer any direction toward which they can steer the creative experience . . .

The Transavantgarde is born precisely from this condition, unfolding like a fan, open not only toward a mythical future but also toward the renewal of a minor past, namely, a past removed from the rhetoric of the great traditions. This "minority" is one more value that is recovered by the new art mentality, which moves with feminine gestures and with a feminine and subterranean sensitivity.

Transavantgarde artists who practice this other-than-art feeling belong to this generation and are part of a great creative expansion.

Achille Bonito Oliva, La Transavantgarde italienne

[An Exerpt From: Ferrier, Jean-Louis, Director and Yann le Pichon, Walter D. Glanze [English Translation]. Art of Our Century, The Chronicle of Western Art, 1900 to the Present. New York: Prentice-Hall Editions. 1988. p. 757]




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