Giovanni Caleca Kedalio

For A True Art ↔ FATA. The⎮temporary⎮manifesto of Kedalio

Beloved and less-loved friends, let me introduce Kedalio to you in a few lines. Kedalio is the signature I affix to my works of art. But it is also something that reminds us of a trademark,…

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For A True Art ↔ FATA. The⎮temporary⎮manifesto of Kedalio

Beloved and less-loved friends, let me introduce Kedalio to you in a few lines. Kedalio is the signature I affix to my works of art. But it is also something that reminds us of a trademark, the name of a rock group or the title of a story I am writing or a film I am making. Anyway, Kedalio is above all a creative experiment that embodies my ideas of art and life.

Firstly, the idea that the artist and his work ought to be true, namely, in line with an inner truth. Art can be figurative or abstract, sore or joyful, immediate or conceptual, classical or rock, elitist or popular… but it should never be false. False is the art that is aimed at satisfying the tastes or expectations of the “world”, i.e. prostitute, feelingless art. False art is much worse than fake artwork. The former affects culture, the latter, at worst, can only affect the wallet of some reckless buyer.

I don’t mean this is a new problem, every age has had its own hired artists. Surely, though, modern art and its founders have unintentionally created the conditions for a large number of consecutive distortions.

In representational arts, abstraction and its variations have complicated aesthetic judgment by disobjectifying it and by putting it all on the observer’s shoulders; the centrality of the artist and his life as to the work of art have not acted in a better way, as they mixed the cards in a game that was to become a true “gamble”.

But the main question is another. A philosophical matter, more general and tricky. The following equation has asserted itself as the headstone of all that is called “modern”: “art is all that men call art…”. It is perfect, even winning as a tautology. As an ontological answer to the question of what art is, however, it is like a black hole in a blank space. On this derelict scene, where the possibility of any judgment (whether aesthetic, moral, political, sentimental, subjective, objective …) is neglected, two wicked pagan deities have banqueted: science-marketing, namely the theory of trading in the indifference (irrelevance) of the object of exchange, i.e. the product; and science-communication, namely the theory of communicating in the indifference (irrelevance) of what is said, i.e. the statement.

The operation is simple and, at the very end, also rightful, given the assumptions: convince more people as possible that such a thing is art (which automatically makes that thing art) and sell it dearly (which is acceptable, since you are selling art). Ironically, the art seller becomes an artist himself, as he is the one who creates art by creating approval. What is therefore necessary is to recover the possibility of a “judgment” over art.

“Art is all that men consider to be art …”: this small change to the terminology used by Dino Formaggio recovers, on one side, the essentiality of an active relationship between the end user and the artwork, whereas on the other hand it claims back the end user’s right to “recognize” the work of art and its worth.

Art, any art, would come back to be a discovery in the world or a revelation to the world, but certainly not the product of advertising alchemies. Of course, this is how the tautology cracks and the question “what is art and what is not?” returns. The doubt, the risk of ill-judgment, of aesthetic, moral, political and cultural dictates, well, they all come back. Anyway, if I had to choose between the statements “everything is art” and “something is art, something is not,” well, I’d choose the latter: at least I know that if something is not art, something else certainly has to be such.

At this point I do not actually mean to propose any evaluation criteria or standards of judgement. If I can give my personal opinion, I feel pretty close to those who, like De Chirico, states the essence of art to reside in a metaphysical inspiration that he places beyond all that which is human, or those who refer to art’s ability to give rise to feelings, or, else, those who find “amazement” or “expressiveness” to be the significant element.

Of one thing I am sure. There is no art, whether small or great, without the free spirit of the artist. There is no art without the powerful inspiration of a muse. There is no art without freedom and sincere inspiration.

Maybe I have been somewhat too serious. If so, come on then, let us put it this way!: hurrah for The Rolling Stones, Francis Bacon, John Waters, Mina Mazzini, Lou Reed, Bach, Caravaggio, Mapplethorpe, Oscar Wilde, Pasolini, Patti Smith, The Band, Bob Dylan, van Gogh, Franco Basaglia, Alda Merini, Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe, Dante, Billie Holiday… (GIOVANNI CALECA)

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