galleria tiziana di caro
galleria tiziana di caro
Group show
from 21/06/2023 to 09/09/2023

Galleria Tiziana Di Caro hosts the group exhibition entitled “La tecnica del pensiero” [The Technique of Thought], which opens on Wednesday 21 June 2023 at 7.00 pm, with works by Vincenzo Agnetti, Carl Andre, Tomaso Binga, Henri Chopin, Betty Danon, Maria Adele Del Vecchio, Amelia Etlinger, Teresa Gargiulo and Maurizio Nannucci.

The exhibition investigates an artistic production specifically relating to the use of mechanical and technological supports, in order to represent poetic elements, with a special focus on production with the typewriter. This idea that refers to the medium is intimately associated with the experimentation on language taking place in various fields even before the concepts of “concrete poetry” and “visual poetry” were theorized. Some experiments with language were carried out in the Fluxus experience, but also in the field of minimalism and American conceptual art in general. For many artists, as the title of the exhibition suggests, technology has implications for the theme of thought and consequently of image, sign and sound, always supporting a poetic yearning.

In his extraordinary reflection on media, Marshall McLuhan gives us an especially insightful view of the artist involved with the use of technology, which in the strictest sense concerns the theme of this exhibition.

McLuhan, in fact, warns on the danger of using new technology, as it exerts, on each individual, an attraction, a seductive power which leads to a “narcissistic torpor”. The artist saves himself from this perverse system. McLuhan emphasizes the artist’s awareness of the present and his vision of the future. In this sense, the artist is able to interpret the implications that technology enacts, without being deceived by it.

And it is moving from this idea that we chose to invite the artists to the exhibition, each of whom offers a different outlook in the treatment of the medium, in the formal result, and in the experimental attitude.

Henri Chopin offers an extreme narrative that goes beyond poetry, sound and any traditional expression related to the visual arts. In his manifesto written in 1967, he challenges the power of the WORD, and all of his work was aimed at the deconstruction of language, considered a repressive and despotic entity. In his dactylopoèmes, Chopin disputes every form of oppressive system, transforming the typewriter into an artistic means fit for the production and dissemination of nonsense.

Before starting to sculpt, Carl Andre was already writing poetry. His typescripts represent both an introduction and a significant commentary on his thought and sensitivity. Andre breaks down texts to reorganize them following a personal and precise logic that has nothing to do with the simple meaning of the text, but with the formal structure it generates. More than the sentence, the words themselves are at the center of the poems: “In my poetry, I don’t try to find the words to express what I want to say. In my poetry I try to find ways to express what the words themselves have to say.”

The political act of speaking and imposing oneself is plentifully articulated in the typecodes of Tomaso Binga, on which the artist began working in the second half of the 1970s. One day, by chance, she superimposes two different graphemes of a typewriter, thus generating a different sign. The latter is no longer recognizable and takes on a new and completely different meaning compared to the symbols from which it derives. Although unfamiliar, each of these new symbols is revolutionary, because it represents the recovery/invention of the linguistic archetype through technology.

In her work “How to Train My Ear”, Teresa Gargiulo uses some typewriter graphemes in order to investigate what she calls “experimental phonemes”. Punctuation is used as musical notation, arranged on the stave to create twelve different compositions for voice.

Like Gargiulo, Betty Danon too uses typographic elements to draw something other than the symbol that each grapheme represents. Her experience with the typewriter remains associated in particular to her Migratory Code. When Rolando Mignani saw these codes for the first time, he remarked: “What? You do such works and you don’t realize how important they are?”. They are ‘migration’ works in which the signs (brackets) lose their original meaning to migrate elsewhere.

Maurizio Nannucci quickly moved away from academic practice to devote himself to an experimental production associated with the relationship between art, language and image. In his work, the word tends towards the sign and the meaning, taking shape in a physical dimension and, in the case of his neon works, also chromatic.

He started creating his dactylograms in 1964, working with an Olivetti ‘Lettera 22’ typewriter, implementing an investigation focusing on the word as a geometric entity. His works are examples of concrete poetry in which the graphemes are used as single elements or as words, following a geometric and at the same time linear and minimal trend.

The works of Maria Adele Del Vecchio belongs to her Malinconie [Melancholies] series, and focuses on a typewriter correction tape that the artist once borrowed to create a work addressing language and how much this can be influenced by whoever uses it. When she took the correction tape out of the typewriter to put a new one in, Del Vecchio decided to keep the used small object because of what it held: used by many people, that little device contained leftovers of language, the scraps of written speech, hidden shreds of experience, unused but still active and disseminating, once the tape is unrolled and read backwards.

It was 1968 when Vincenzo Agnetti exhibited for the first time the ‘Macchina drogata’ [Doped Machine], an Olivetti ‘Divisumma 14’ calculator whose number buttons were replaced by the artist with letters, as if words could result from mathematical operations.

Any visitor could experience the ‘Macchina drogata’ by changing their role, thus participating, more or less consciously, in an operation of language criticism, in which the mathematical code is replaced by letters and words.

With this idea Agnetti stages an action of “static theatre” (a show without movement, without characters and without text) which is placed in a complex area because it is at the mercy of a technological experience, aimed at an artistic rendering and at the criticism of language.

“I don't care how great poems are anymore. Words typed out on a page are meaningless”. With these words Amelia Etlinger introduces her poetic. In her production the lyrical matrix has a deep strenght, but as for most of the other artists, the use of the typewriter had a strongly experimental value, where the use of the word assumes a function which is primarily related to the “sign”.

Each of the experiences described above is characterized by precise individual aims that generate original and diverse results, despite the use of the same medium. They stand, each in its uniqueness, as subversive experiences, which are detached from or follow along with the ordinary production of each artist. They creep into a context, yet distance themselves from it, without ever ceasing to confirm the thought expressed by McLuhan, according to which the artist does not allow himself to be numbed by technology, but rather dominates it, turning it into a magnificent tool of thought.

La tecnica del pensiero - 2023