Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Alighiero e Boetti at MoMA New York

I recently visited the Alighiero Boetti exhibition at MoMa in New York: Game Plan.

I was immediately taken aback by the impressive embroidered maps exhibited in the Marron Atrium, and I was fascinated by the somehow QR-code lookalike tapestries that look incredibly au-courant.

The Marron Atrium at MoMA

The scale, detail and quality of the handicraft made just that room worthy of a visit. But as I knew nothing about the artist, I felt compelled to read the information boards to better contextualize what I was seeing, and I was slowly drawn into his world as I moved through the galleries.

Mappa by Alighiero Boetti, London Art Press 

It turns out that Alighiero Boetti was a kind of a binomial man: an Italian conceptual artist with roots in the Arte Povera movement who “twinned” his name to be known as Alighiero e Boetti: two selves combined in one id, deeply absorbed in a permanent dialectic exchange between artistic musing and rational thought. For reasons that are quite personal, I felt a strong connection with this artist who abandoned business studies in the late 1950s to explore his artistic inclinations.

Alighiero Boetti, Self-portrait  -  Art Blart

As I am very passionate about exploring rational approaches to creative activities (and vice-versa), the work of this man resonated immensely with me, especially his drive to experiment with every material, with every shape, with every combination of form and emotion.

Work Samples - MoMA

So what did I learn in this visit?

Aside from the visual richness and artistic complexity of his pieces, I was reminded that if we let ourselves experience the emotional stimulus of the challenges that are presented to us on a daily basis, we can increase the possibilities of finding new and potentially better ways to deal with them.

And if we just embrace the opportunity to think beyond the mental field that time imposes on us, then we might push a little bit further our own actions. Alighiero e Boetti were able to de-contextualize objects in their creations to later re-contextualize them: it is a difficult thing to do, but not impossible, and just having a chance to see their work makes it seem possible.

If nothing else, he was at least able to show us the value of not being afraid to fail better every time we do what we have to do.

Very inspiring and strongly recommended ...

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