or facilitates a series of wasted (or discarded) visual facets, induced processes integrated into the various phases of physical and material realisation of the work, as we shall see below. The nucleus of the entire operation, the visual gaze, substantiates as an element with a dual nature that of the artist and that of the observer, who finds his or her own genetic space within the essence of each work. From what has been briefly described, it is therefore easy to infer and comprehend the ways in which the process and the artistic product assume the same significance. In order to fully understand the complex articulation of design and artistic realisation, it becomes necessary to analyse Fanari’s creative approach in its entirety. And, above all, to comprehend that this circular propensity, which during its
development takes us from an early stage of planning (or design) and pre-visualisation of the intermediate and final objectives, to the eventual selection of materials, techniques and subsequent modifications, elements whÚs ultimate objective becomes the pursuit of an eminently perceptive essence of the work. To characterise this process, a dual desire that directly incorporates authorial conceptions, is also at play. A desire to recover, in relation to the so-called aesthetic and semantic dimensions of the work, those developmental steps and those materials that hold an entirely instrumental value. These elements function, as we will see shortly (the terracotta moulds used for the production of the shattered or crushed pottery present perfect examples), as a means of subjecting the work to various modelling procedures and techniques. The second aspect, voluntarily chosen, and one which predicts during the creative process an implication of chance, eventually culminates into a co-authorial dimension of the work, those wasted visual elements and the perceptual modifications involved in the ultimate execution of the work. These modifications relate to the singularity of the materials and to their texture, which fracture the uniqueness of the perceptive aspects of the work, forcing an element of active participation on the part of the observer. This, in turn, gives meaning to the so-called infractions, while generating an exhaustive and subjective actualisation of the work. The active participation of the observer represents one of Fanari’s main objectives, an integral part of the artist’s ultimate goal, incorporated into the production of perceptual demands and contextual reflections of the work. The artist’s creative process, as it can already be inferred, is highly conceptual in nature and fully focused on mental aspects of artistic realisation, a process that begins with thought and makes its back by means of a circular homogenised approach, without ever abandoning during its various development stages, this idealistic matrix based primarily on abstraction. This entirely mental aspect of the work is clearly perceivable when analysing the artist’s methodology through its various stages. With this principle of abstraction and visualisation in mind, Fanari develops his work with existing images or artistic creations in mind. The artist, as mentioned at the beginning of the reading, is attentive and familiar with current contemporary artistic issues, with linguistic experimentations and techniques and, above all, to the demands of reality he socio-cultural environment that surrounds him and specifically to the iconic inferences that become apparent within this context. A civilisation characterised by a pervasive inundation of images, depleted of a genuine semantic and perceptive relevance, and one that has influenced a large number of artists, beginning from the eighties, to produce artistic creations based on other existing works. A phenomenon that has persuaded artists to stop creating on the foundation of the actual materials but, rather, to rework the iconic elements and objects that are already part of the existing historical, artistic and communicative landscape. This barrage of images from television, movies, art history, web, advertising and publishing mediums, present a virtually inexhaustible repertoire of formal and expressive artistic solutions a process that has been eloquently articulated by Nicholas Bourriaud by means of the term post-production. A term borrowed from audiovisual realm, which entertains key players such as DJs and computer programmers, individuals who are able to select visual and cultural elements that are then applied to the work in question with an added context. A conscious approach undertaken by the artists, who invent new uses and provide new meanings for existing images and objects. This is mostly achieved through the use of consolidation and appropriation measures that legitimise the editing of the existing content, while at the same time harmonising, by juxtaposition, historical, ideological and symbolic narratives as well as diverse iconography. Fanari adds further scope to this context, through a number of specific elements that give life to a relatively peculiar course of action. First of all, the artist contaminates this post-productive phenomenon with what we can define as a strictly pedagogical approach, with the drive and desire to develop a perceptive element and a correlated meta-linguistic reflection. The evolution of the work begins with a collaborative process in- volving the selection and recombination of images. Fanari is primarily interested in images exposed to a dual process of mediation and representation. An image that already exists, thus subjected to an active process of visual selection and mediation by an artist, concerning primarily real elements and above all exhibiting some form of realistic mimicry. Fanari chooses a series of images or engravings, from which he extracts minute details instrumental to the realisation of the overall design and reassembles them, giving rise to a new artistic vision. As the artist himself clarifies, this creative process began in 2010 with etchings from the repertoire of Carl Wilhelm Kolbe (a proto-romantic artist from the 1700’s), work that Fanari discovered while pursuing a thorough research of so-called bold views, in the creations of Hendrik Goltzius. Kolbe’s images are idealised representations of landscapes, natural scenery of a boldly realistic nature (both when the work is considered in its entirety or relating to specific scientific and botanical aspects), but absolutely idealised, a kind of Arcadian depiction of23 nature, freed from any contact with reality. Kolbe creates an ideal image of nature, a fertile display that bestows upon the observer a feeling of sublime wonder, while at the same time combining elements of reality to achieve a conceptual representation (a landscape or still life portrayal). This is a representation of an ideal vision of man and the natural environment that surrounds him, the subject chosen as a means of conveying an inner choice or a personal vision. With Kolbe’s portrayal in place, one most certainly valued over time, Fanari intervenes with the added layer of selection and recombination of images (the creative process detailed above), thus activating a sort of double mediation process, which results in a supplemental depletion of natural connotations, in favour of an acutely sensory creation. This also brings into focus the famous waste, a visual element of distortion contrasted to a linear fruition of the work, and an ostentatious interpretation that the artist induces with persistence at every stage of development. At this point the perceptual device comes into focus, structured around a frontal perspective of the work and a two-dimensional support. The use of monochrome tones is justified by the artist’s acute desire to liberate the portrayal from realistic implications and to accentuate the reduction of the perceptual effects of the work, once again a focus on an entirely inner vision. The image must be perceived in its two-dimensional perspective, in its epistemological essence. From here takes shape the process that the artist defines as volumetric, a translation of elaborate work carried out on paper, into voluminous dimensions. An element of physical or material thickness is given to the image, while imperatively preserving the frontal vision of the work.
This course of action also calls into question a clear conception of the drawing, as seen in relation to its double significance (the graphic and design elements) and relative to it dual role of conception and execution, enclosing the work inside the lines which, on paper, crystallise its volumetric pre-visualisation. A drawing understood in its fullness, the preliminary study and fragmentation of the subject, an intentional and graphical proposition, consciously concealing the gap between line and project, structure and intention, vision and expertise. The translation of the
(as the artist describes them), which are always a possibility when the work is viewed in a 360-degree perspective. These distractions offer multiple points of view and naturalistic interpretations, but most significantly distract from a thoughtful and active perception of the work. In the so-called bronze folio resulting from the amalgamation of different images, dissonant and sometimes inconsistent with each other, Fanari imposes a frontal view and establishes a process of obliteration of the original elements (landscape, still life) through a series technical procedures such as the use of monochrome patina and of natural colours matching those of the metal used. This neutralising process is dependent upon the creation of the previously described perceptive element, enabling and generating a basis for active contemplation. The heavy material, stripped of its camouflage appearance and of its historical and artistic significance (a context in which it is no doubt perceived as a noble material), is used and influenced to be perceived as a so-called drawing pad, giving life to a fertile disorientation of the subjective vision. These metal creations are often exposed to additional alterations, modifications to the integrity of the material’s surface and textures intended to supplement the conceptual perfection of the work. Through a process that entails the carving of the bronze sheets, enabling the passages of light and introducing a spatial-temporal dimension distinct from the rest of the work, the observer is forced to make a perceptive effort towards the work and influenced to create a homogenous sensory map of its appearance. The eye reconfirms the integrity of the image, reassembling the articulation of solids and gaps, intensifying the active perception, which in turn is under the influence of a passive contemplation. The shattered ceramics personify the epitome of Fanari’s poetic inclination and experimentation. This work represent a true testimony of the artist’s desire for expressive production and therefore serve an integral aspect in the realisation of the perceptual device, of the materials and of the technical procedures, which typically only fulfil a purely functional purpose and therefore something discarded. The ceramics are created using terracotta moulds, which server as models for bronze fusion, for the so-called bronze folio. For the realisation of the latter, the artist uses clay to create the model for the fusion, instead of resorting to wax, as is typically the case. The clay, a medium seemingly unrefined yet equally full of life and characterised by an aura of poor and ancestral malleability, allows the artist to compensate on behalf of the creative process, that modelling effect, a process which would have otherwise been lost during the production of the work. During the planning of the work, concerning both theory and practice, an expressive gap or potential loss comes into focus, which the artist is able to resolve through the noble use (as previously explained) of the same model, at the same time rendering possible a meaningful autonomy of the work. This strong conviction on the part of the author also translates into an expressive principle, which aligns itself with a number of the parameters used to characterise aspects of expressive contemporary experimentation and, above all, with the principles that help define the multifaceted linguistic universe of contemporary art. A universe that must be considered under the influence of that phenomenon which produced, starting from the historical avant-garde of the early 20th century, a process of dematerialisation of the art in relation to time and technology, spanning this century and arriving at the present day. This process has called for the redefinition of the term visual art, as depictions and representations testify less and less to artistic purpose of the work for the benefit of other more complex elements. This explosion of the classic repertoire (strictly speaking about painting and sculpture), which reached its pinnacle through the course of the 20th century, came into focus while an equally influential crisis materialised a crisis which entailed that an artistic creation should pursue and entail something more substantial and diverse than common life. This phenomenon was originally defined by Yves-Alain Bois under the influence of Walter Benjamin, and above all Georges Bataille the so called conquest of horizontality. In this context, major and minor arts, works of art and handicrafts, assume a homogeneous existence. Likewise, the project can already be considered an opera. The modelling phase, a preparatory requirement in relation to the implementation of the entire project, contains within it a complex architecture and articulated dynamics. It requires a rigid capacity for design and pre-visualisation and it displays an elevated ability to manage complexity. In the case of the ceramics, the crushing or fragmentation of the terracotta originates in a fortunate event (an accident that occurred during transport) that was eventually incorporated into the artist’s expressive approach. The operation also embraces the contours of the performing medium, as Fanari purposefully intervenes with calibrated hammer strokes in order to orchestrate the articulation of solids and gaps, of light, darkness and shadow play, creating a harmonic syntax, fluctuating from the costruens to the destruens. The use of ceramic glazing crystallises the formal content of the work, while the use of monochrome shades aligns itself with the same ambition expressed by the bronze leaves, a desire to create an anti-naturalistic representation, a detachment from any decorative elements and any residual artistry for the benefit of a concentration perceptive. The interplay of solids and gaps, the infringements of texture, the glimpses of light homologous to the re-cut sheets of bronze create a luminous modulation and a dialectic spacetime relation, which force the observer to assume an active attitude towards the creation of a perceptive pathway, a plausible sensory roadmap. A passage in Fanari’s expressive universe is personified by paintings from the series îHidden Landscapes, works on canvas, a focus on modulations of black, which translate perception through a distillation of thought and approaches, a superior contemplative design as compared to multi-dimensional translations. Once the selection and assembly phases of the engraved images is complete, the resulting design is mechanically imprinted onto the canvas, instead (as pointed out by the artist) of the drawing. The next steps of the process, directly realised by the artist, were planned and anticipated, by means of a so to speak mental storyboard. A planned process, executed according to the goals of the overall project and in line with its ultimate vision, especially in respect to the inclusion of an aesthetically perceptive device, an isotope that induces a participatory reaction from the observer. During this process, the artist himself becomes an instrument alongside the typical execution elements of the creative process however, the involvement is not meant be interpreted in an authorial sense. Fanari imposes upon himself a strict self-discipline which provides an inevitable mediation aspect to the process (the use of a physical intermediary during the production process, or immanent as in the case of the incisions) between the design and the completed work, between the process and the product, elements which force the artist to assume a position of artistic director who coordinates the work as a whole to ensure that it retains its unity and stays true to the original vision.
The discipline calls for a rigid configuration that extends to the modular nature of the execution. The pictorial work is executed in different days, separated by a suitable passage of time (not consecutive), a reflective process which allows the artist to remain committed to the dialectic project realisation. The discipline also imposes a sort of self-castigation technique, which obstructs the technical expertise from attaining an upper hand, therefore disallowing the deterioration of the intended mental outcomes and perceptual modulation. The syncopated approach of the execution, articulated by the need and drive to stop and restart the work, nullifies the artist’s virtuosic anxieties, neutralising the drive towards decorative refinements and aesthetic perfectionism in the realisation of the work. The result is an indistinct image, obtained by means of a skilful modulation in the application and distribution of the material, which maintain a continuous vibration in respect to the work, a deliberate approach that brings into focus the virtue of the medium. This modulation produces an effect that intrinsically implies that the artistic representation in question can only achieve its full integrity by means of a co-authorial participation on the part of the observer. Due to the very nature of its design, the work leaves ample space for the observer, who is entrusted with a fundamental role, one that calls for the completion of the expressive value of the painting. Only through movement and adjustments of position relative to the canvas, is the observer able to define his or her perceptual setting and to bring into view the expressive elements of the work a process in which the semantic definition is entrusted to its kinetic principles. The painting represents a true and genuine perceptual device and, at the same time, an indispensible tool in the metalinguistic analysis of perceptive and expressive processes. In the context of the overall design of Fanari’s work, these paintings represent a successful undertaking of evocative production. A subtle and modulated form of perception that requires that the observer actively engages the use of his or her perception processes, analogous to a so-called literary fruition, thus highly subjective and sparsely utilised in the context of a circadian rhythm of existence. The series of works titled the îTree-Dimensional Project was founded in a desire to close or resolve the ideal circularity of the expressive project. This so-called circularity, in its initial phase, consist of engravings on paper, which through their artistic implementation bring into focus a new visual form, one that is further translated into a multi-dimensional, volumetric creation (ceramics, bronze and aluminium), arriving thus at a material conquest of the work. The paintings, evocative instruments, serve as elements that are intended to be clearly emphasised in the process of perceptive construction. The perceptive variance in these works (equivalent to the incisions in the sheets of bronze and the fractures in the ceramics) is obtained thanks to a perceptual disturbance of stereoscopic vision (3D prints). The active participation of the observer, in this case, is inherent in the nature of the work, genetics. The observer must be a willing participant in the use of the required visual aids (3D glasses), thus allowing for voluntary and conscious adherence to the process. In understanding the decisive factors that substantiate the scope and rationale of Fanari’s expressive project, one must also analyse the technical and operational components of these works. The artist has recovered the ancestral roots of the stereoscopic process, thus freeing this process from its sensationalised characteristics (to which we are so accustomed today thanks to the overload of 3D cinematography), experimenting voluntarily with a complex process of artistic execution. A process that also requires, in this case, a precise and articulated design as well as an originally defined vision. A first level of problems came into focus based on Fanari’s drive and desire to realise a three-dimensional photographic work, one that could be enjoyed in its entirety without the help of visual tools such as 3D glasses and which did not produce an irritating disorienting effect in relation to the geometric planes of the work. Through an empirical experimentation of post-production processes, the artist eventually attained an objective image relative to its artificiality. An image of a multisensory nature, which retains the subjectivity of the painting, the objectivity of the photography and the processual dimensions of cinema, all integrated into a harmonious visual flow. The achievement of these results is the product of a long process of experimentation that eventually awarded the artist with a concrete advancement of the formal technical repertoire and, above all, solidified an increased awareness of the expressive potential of diverse artistic forms of vision, ready to be applied to various aspects of their work. This represents a further dimension in Fanari’s work, the metalinguistic aspect of his processuality, the contemplation of actions still on-going upon completion, without separating theory from practice, the continuous propensity for asking how to achieve and why to undertake the action and most significantly, the understanding of the expressive processual medium as a pedagogical tool, during which one learns while doing.
With these processual peculiarities in mind, the artist strived to purify the stereoscopic vision from that hyperrealism quid, leading it towards a direction characterised by perceptual intensification in relation to the object or device represented. We thus arrive at the elimination of the innate artifice connected with the mathematical formulation of the perspective that produces a false representation of true visual depth. The intent was not to conceal the visual planes intrinsically linked to the genetic nature of the stereoscopic vision, but rather to accentuate, rendering them thus imbuing the primitive image with its own expressive autonomy and, above all, with an intense perceptual sense. The final outcome is to obtain an intensified perceptual reality, which at the same time allows for a more accurate and intense realisation in the primitive execution of the image and, at the same, time an amplified activation and a more intense perceptual involvement. Above all, we are presented with an engaging perceptual experience, freed from decorative and aesthetic distractions.
Lucca, april 2013