Interview with Ferruccio Ascari
January 1981 November 8, 2015
The opportunity for the artist to establish, every time he gets involved, the law that determine the game itself is also the possibility of making art getting into a system of signs in order to switch from one significant direction to another one. When I use in my work, in addition to the image, writing, or sound, or bodily movement, and so on, I do this: I move into more possible directions, and the change of the dominant one it’s possible because this game now has no more fixed rules, it changes continuously, it takes place through formal dynamism.
How your collaboration with Gustavo Frigerio began and how it affected the outcome of the final work?
I was working on a project for an environmental installation: my intention was to transfer a number of signs and drawings through the light and movement in three-dimensional space; that’s why I had started working on some slides without using the camera, working directly on the film, manually. With a system of oscillating mirrors I was exploring the possibilities, even the chromatic ones, of movement of the light sign in space, in this case in an environment entirely white and all dark. I met Gustavo Frigerio by chance: he told me of his dance studies in the United States, and I described to him the work I intended to complete. His interest in my work seemed to me from the first moment of on extraordinary nature, in the sense that interest for him meant to literally be among those signs, move between them, redesign figures over the existing ones, in complicity or fight with them. The first movements of exploration of a curious body became also gestures of defence, or aggression: the body after the request for recognition launched a network of meanings through the maturation of understanding of a space that, of course, pre-existed. The space began to qualify as a territory almost cultic and I began to perceive the time of this work as time different from the uniform becoming, from the current time. The body became the measure of things that I had invented in that space and even of my own ideas.
What relationship is established in the practice of your artistic work between the logical-analytical moment and the intuitive-subjectivist one? And how this issue also involves your work as a painter?
I answer starting from the second point of your question. The painting occupies certainly the biggest part of my time, but to produce different signs in different ways, inventing objects, and following their movements in three dimensions are not only complementary ways in my production; there is no open conflict between modes of painting and those of a practice, for example, of writing or technological media. But above all you ask me what is the relationship between the analytical moment and the intuitive one in the artistic creation. For me the approach of art is not far from that of any other act of knowledge; it is a way, albeit special, to suppress the distance that separates an object from consciousness in order to blend with it. But here, as in the act of love, is the movement of Eros that joins things that are separate and opposite.