Testi critico Ronchi in inglese - Monica Spada

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“Before the form” 2001                                                               back

Let’s try to imagine something more radical than the atrophy of memory? Then, to the image of an absent-minded man wandering in a world he no longer recognizes, replace that, even more disquieting, of an entire humanity which has lost even the form of its own being. The amnesiac, in fact, no longer recognizes “his” world. He, for instance, sees a house, a face, an animal but he is no longer able to find any traces of familiarity with them. Those things, stand there, in front of him void of any meaning. He is nonetheless able to abstractedly recognize them as “a house”, a “human face”, “a living being”… He, in other words, knows what they are: faces, houses, animals. 

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He is aware of the differences between these species. The knowledge deposited in the common language supports him in his existential loss, giving him a primary orientation criteria. In the world-non world told by Monica Spada’s paintings even this residual knowledge has gone missing. Here, a stupor, that can be defined either pre-human or post-human, takes place. It is as if the loss of memory has been so final as to undermine that residual skill the amnesiac still owns to recognize things. Here we no longer know what a face is and what is not, what is human or animal, animate or inanimate. The use of the word “deformation” does not give justice to the disquieting metamorphosis of these figures since it presupposes the previous knowledge of a “regular” form. In fact, a world must be “given” in order for its laws to be disobeyed. The complete forgetfulness so characteristic in Monica Spada’s ‘painting’ makes us contemporary of that critical phase of the universe creation when things were still in gestation, thus still undecided and dubious about their form. Their limits and borders were still uncertain and they were still lacking the names which would identify them once and for all. Therefore what interests Monica is not mutation, but that line of indiscernibility prior to the apparition of “this” or “that”; a line that Indian philosophy is used to identifying with the double negative formula: neither this, nor that. On that line, everything comes together in an embrace, not out of love, but simply because the destinies of the beings have not yet come apart and taken irreconcilable paths.

Rocco Ronchi

Translation Angela Lombardi
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