Giorgio SEVESO

There is no portrail, neither allusion, nor evocation. Silvia’ marks, instead, are traces. They are inner concequences which take shape and body similar to the output of small seismographes engraved upon the structures and colours. They are the remains of memories.
In the author’s soul the silent mark fixed ber gesture spings in the nearby space to record the echo of an emotion, to softly witness an alert and emphasized sensitivity.
Our artist, while painting, seems as if her consciousness was suspended, as if she, her soul eyes shut, was looking at her inside while ideally filtering through material eyeloshes a dream and the quitessence of memories.
Each of these objects/imagines is, therefore, like a slightest scenery of the feeling her fingers produce almost unconsciously.
It is nearly a “écriture automatique” which pours out from an interior need, an unconscious command of fancy and combinatorial memory.
These images as to their look and rhythm actually look like a writing: when cuneiform, flying signs, together with elementary scribbles differently mixed and composed similar to archaic Sumerian and Hebrew, sometimes shrill , sometimes dumb stand out of the folds and backgrounds. On them the painter ”writes” the rhythm of a difficult, inaccessible, blocked communication……
Here, as well, there is the trace, the mark left by a sentimental event which having no slavish semantic role, only lives on its emotional essence, on its real value as iconoclastic sign.
At this point, today the ripe path of S.B. now winds in the collection of prints and paintings of the background, objects and inclusions through metal threads and pieces of sickle, vegetal seeds and servings, scratches and wood muscles. Getting through different moments and period she has always found in any time a very personal, inward way of interpretation and transfer of the contemporary art lessons inside her own expressiveness.
It is a proceeding which considers many other interests and curiosities of the author beyond painting and artistic expression. This proceeding is mainly lived on her soul signs, shapes and colours of her interior poetical memory aiming at fixing, at stopping, at deducing from the daily dripping the rooted places and traces of any lyric poetry. Pretences, them, to figure her own faucies and expressed by through and almost alchemic gesture meant to work out the emotional material lived with the simplest “naἲvely”, charmed eyes and heart.

These tender, naïve, different expressions of Silvia Battisti could also suggest a sort of described vision that means a contemplative poetry played in a true simple and instinctive way. A permanent sometimes ironic melancholy and existential restlessness are present for instance in the cycles of the “watches” used as conceptual catalysts of the phenomenal reality we are plunged in and as a grotesque overturning of their gravity. It is a kind of sentimental spleen, of meaningful, silent images which somehow change and reshape the aesthetic creativity and invention. All signs and shapes are no more themselves, they instead assume the value of a thin, emotional sliding from the detail to the general and they gradually swell up a soft metaphorical meaning.
This happens because that creative melancholy is based, as I said, on the lyric, natural simple power of expression the author gets from the depths of her heart and sensitivity. What our artist means to tell us by her repetition of same subjects (the coloured scratches due to Renoir, the catalysts watches, the broken glasses that cover and protect her father’s letters from the front, the alphabetic signs of her hieroglyphic writing…) is eventually how the depth and poetical content always result “ simple”.
There is no need to translate them, it is just necessary to feel them.
The more familiar, linear, without artificial complex, the more lyric and speechful they appear.
Actually this was the inward ambition of that Bauhaus Silvia, when young studied and loved so deeply. The definite freedom Paul Klee left us. Truth and genuineness, memory and moved feeling are what feed our painter’s imaginary. She, like a careful and meticulous alchemist does not spoil even the least impulse, instinct or casual intuition. Thanks to these, in the wide creative metaphor of the sign, our present reality in spite of its contradictions and inconsistencies appears so sweet and so cruel as well, so “simple” but at the same time so complex and unreachable so far that it seems that, as in this case, only thanks to the tools of poetry can be entirely understood.


The noisy silence of the signs
In this contribution, you won’t find anything about Silvia Battisti’s biography, and neither any references to her background and education, you can read everything about that in other parts of this catalogue. What I am going to do is to describe what can happen when you’re observing the paintings of this artist.
At first sight, it is easy to discover a first level in her works, a first “superficial approximation, because our eyes glance the material that is rich, sensual and corporal. Our eyes get imprisoned by it, while our hands feel an almost fysical desire to stroke it.” The dimension of this artist’s works is not immense, which makes us imagine even more that we can control the feelings that these small “canvases” we can take in our hands evoke in us.
Then, however, if we are so lucky to have some peace and quiet inside us and around us – which is almost impossible in our frenzied life, but sometimes necessary – a little doubt will gradually emerge, and force us to stop, go back and look at these works with more attention. We will then discover that exactly this surface, that had attraced us because of its riches, will become irregular, perforated and interrupted, influenced by thousands of small signs that pause and find obstacles, unexpected diagonal and vertical cracks. Horizontal cracks, never, as they could, with their quiet, lead us back to where we started, and thus reassure us.
On the rectangular canvas, unforeseen dimensions reveal themselves, almost uncovering deep abysses before us, as if the initial certainty of beauty was nothing but something transient and extremely illusory. The artist knows this exactly, she knows the traps and introduces them to us, so we also get the possibility to feel the ecstasy of the first illusion that is not separated at all from the extremely hard reality. The first silence being torn apart, we will realise a distant cry that comes closer and closer getting louder and louder.

And we will see the precise signs that cross and pursue each other, almost as if they were searching for a new alphabet with which it will be tried not to communicate a new meaning of life to us, but the old one, the one that always existed, the one that we all, day after day, have lost and maybe will only find again if we paused, just like the artist did. She paused to meditate, reflect and dream, perhaps about how much our language lacks significance, and how much of its fundamental function it has lost, because we recognise the signs, but we don’t attribute the same meaning to them anymore.
While we, through wars and the horrors that they bring along with them, could find ourselves confronted with a pessimistic view of life, of man and his brutal behaviour, the artist surprises us again, almost appearing to show us, through her great humanity, not exactly a road, but in any case a path that could still bring along a slight optimism.
Have a look, for example, at “The song without voice”, or rather at “The red of the infinite”, where we almost still can hear the Italian poet Leopardi’s voice from far away composing his infinite. Before our eyes we find a very low wall, that much is true, but this wall is so complicated and sombre that it seems to lock us into a claustrophobic room from which we can only escape because it stops, and does not manage to fill out the whole surface. On the other side of this wall our eyes see a red, intense and passionate sky that stimulates our thoughts and brings along new dreams.
So the works of this artist doesn’t seem to make any noise, because it has always been only in silence and a reduced dimension, as the philosophy of zen teaches us, that we can hear the voice of those who, without making any noise, guide us with new signs through the search of our own soul. Then it is our turn to interrupt all the noise around us because, as Shakespeare suggests, “the only intelligent Love is to listen with the eyes” (sonnet 23).
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