Marco Giordano “Suono Nudo” at Tarsia, Naples
We want to be stones in a field
by Giulia Gregnanin
“Do we have to be humans forever? Consciousness is exhausted. Back now to inorganic matter. This is what we want. We want to be stones in a field”.
The works in Marco Giordano’s solo show Suono Nudo at Tarsia, Naples express the drive to the artificial articulated by the filmmaker Richard Elster in Don DeLillo’s novel Point Omega (2010). In dialogue with the young filmmaker Jim Finley, Elster – as a prophet of a new post-Anthropocene cosmology – reconnects his discourse to the notion of ‘point omega’, a term coined by French philosopher and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin referred to the highest level of transcendence. In line with Elster and DeLillo’s notions, transcendence corresponds with inorganic matter. In this scenario, humanity – after having exhausted all resources – is moved into the ineluctable reorganization of power, action and control, towards extreme annihilation that corresponds to the trope of the “stones in a field”.
Inorganic fragments are lying in a space occupied and managed by the organic (both the plants and the human element that takes care of them), like stones in a field. The sculptures renegotiate their presence according to their relationship with their surrounding ecosystem. They renegotiate it to the point of cutting out autonomies that are not commonly attributed to the object, such as sexuality.
Eight ceramic sculptures (all 2019) hint at phallic, vaginal and anal forms. They are dangling from the ceiling on thin chains with small, black bells hanging at their base. The work’s mobility, given by the hanging system that permits the occupation of the aerial space, unifies with their sonority: the bells jingle vividly when people bump into them, as the ancient tintinnabula of Roman period. Between the phallic forms and the little bells, the tintinnabula has the function of a proto-alarm, warding off the misfortunes of the places where they are installed.
Here, these original attributes are reworked in favour of an erotic occupation of an audio-visual space. The genital profiles, with their sleek and polished surfaces as though design objects, remind one of dildos relegated to private erotism. The dildo is a universal erotic tool which stimulates and penetrates any orifice and breaks with the phallocentric and heteronormative system that conceives the encounter between penis and vagina as the only tolerated sexual act, argued Paul B. Preciado in his Countersexual Manifesto. The dildo is “mechanic, non-violent, silent, bright, slick, transparent, ultra-clean, safe”. It is a simulation and an inauthentic, whose independence from the human makes it a technology of resistance towards the regulatory structures that control the bodies.
The field is also populated by other stones. A selection of sculptures part of the series asnatureasintended (2016) is placed between the vases and the plants that characterize Tarsia’s project space. They are representations of Giordano’s face in baked and polished clay, made by friends and acquaintances in a private session of live modelling. It is a sort of multi-hand portrait in which not only the artist’s features are fixed, but also the unconscious self-projections and the interpretative models of each author. Weeds emerge from some of the holes on each of the heads. Commonly known for their parasite nature, weeds are paradoxically autonomous and functional in keeping the work alive and in continuous change. Activation is a pivotal element of Suono Nudo: during the opening night, each sculpture is activated by a performer who reads a poem by the artist.
The sound element explodes into a voice that is both individual and collective; a “naked sound” that, as a sprint towards the orgasm, develops intensity whilst muffling to silence. There is no single united standpoint as a standard sexuality does not exist – the exhibited works seem to communicate. It is in the interstitial space of the limit, and in its crossing, that the omega point manifests itself and we all are all rendered stones in a field.
at Tarsia, Naples
until 30 April 2019