Vibrations in the Vision: Raffaele Sicignano

Below written blog post is from the critical text “Inscape” by Dalmazio Ambrosini, for the catalog of “Vibrazioni nella visione”, an exhibition curated by Municipality of Trescore Balneario, Bergamo

"Those who seek the exact vision of the world do not always arrive at a convincing result. Painting is cruel, and in most cases it inflicts experiences of shock, but those who have clear eyes sooner or later manage to grasp a fragment of the truth in the successful work. In a shift towards contact with the enigma: the image tends to infinity and leads to the absolute, but those who have clear eyes sooner or later manage to grasp a fragment of the truth in the successful work, in a shift towards contact with the enigma: the image tends to infinity and leads to the absolute. [...] If the world is enigmatic, the image is also enigmatic. [...]Although we are not able to perceive the universe in its totality, the image is able to perceive that totality (P. Celan, The poetry of Osip Mandelstam, Turin 1993, p. 49).  We try to make visible the mystery of a loved place or of a lightning vision, with the flows of lines that set in motion signs and withheld energies.  

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Obviously I am referring to something that goes beyond the mere figuration of nature, to a product obtained by means of a gesture aimed at grasping the essential, with all the shades of the ultra-retinal spectrum.  

It is a projection into the landscape to capture the forces of the earth.  In the paintings, intended as frames of an ongoing process in space, a complex scanning of movements is stirred up, in the same way as the movements within musical compositions.  We see a rhythm that continually moves something, between the forms of the interior landscape, between life and the sky, between the silence of uninhabited places and the irruption of external presences. 

We become spectators of the atmospheres spent in the solitude of those who have recorded the profound vision through the medium of painting, or with the long times that allow you to dwell more on the things looked at, to be able to see beyond the misty veil of appearances, inside the flow of the days of installation (both en plein air and in the dark room of consciousness).

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The visions fixed on Raffaele Sicignano's papers are based on the balance of chromatic weights - in an "other", almost sacred space - in which it is possible to let things perceived or intuited be.  

Each painting is a synthetic fragment of long periods spent trying to penetrate the mystery of a place, with its sounds, vibrations and enigmas.  Years of constructive coexistence with the exterior / interior landscape and with a healthy obsession are needed to finally reach the long-awaited vision.  

A vision simplified to the maximum - perhaps only temporary since everything becomes -, cleansed of all sentimental redundancies, cleansed of all conditional concessions, to leave room for the truth of the spirit of the mental place.  

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With the work, what Heidegger calls "free donation of places" is realized, that is a way in which it is possible to have a profound experience of the elements, their rhythm and hidden truth. This happens in the acceptance of the impermanence of the world and of the continuous flow, between becoming and disappearance.  

The practice of artistic research is to delve into the mystery of every place on earth, to understand the dynamics set in motion between the individual and the space (which contains or welcomes).  

Art and a lucid eye help to bring out the truth of things. 

Furthermore, investigation through gaze, analysis and deep emotion, through sacrifice and determination, patience and luck, to arrive at the exact vision of the truth of a place.  

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Sicignano traces the image as in a state of trance - on the other hand acts as a mediator - as if he were projecting something that is given to him by the landscape, a gift that occurs in a state of suspension from time, a gift that the artist gives  other users in search of ecstatic visions.  

The works are built between horizontality and signs that tend to vertical movements, both ascending and descending, within and beyond the sounds and silences, to arrive at a chromatic coagulation, with all the subtle conjugations of colors, between the moving light  on the things of the earth and the absolute white that remains in the soul of the places.  

The free donation of places means continually making space in the vision, in the expression on the border between informal and figuration, to say the unspeakable event of being here, in this moment, in a certain place, and perhaps even beyond,  in the imaginary space of visionary prophecy, but in the first place the images of Sicignano well represent the desire to rebuild an "other" space, an artificial paradise, almost a lysergic trip, an escape from the ugliness of a Lombard landscape heavily soiled by warehouses and surveyors' houses. 

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The creative vision that hovers in individual memory is an attempt to suspend, an instant determined by the superimposition of innumerable images, absorbed by the retina and deposited in a space of infinite combinatorial possibilities.  

An interior landscape, changing and protean, continuously unfolds between the living of experience and the significant entities that intimately unite places with personality.  

The Anglo-Saxon term "Inscape" - the Irish poet Gerard Manley Hopkins was the first to use this term to evoke the "internal point of view" - opens up to a complexity of images collected from the external landscape, filtered by the uniqueness of the  subjective gaze, which make the individual experience unique and exclusive.  

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This journey into the world leads to the most sacred and inviolable intimacy, in the chosen landscape, which is the soul: "There is an interior landscape, a geography of the soul; we look for its elements throughout our life.  Whoever is lucky enough to meet him, glides like water over a stone, to its fluid contours, and is at home "(Josephine Hart).  

The interiorization of reality spreads to reveal morphologies and distances, the whole of the world and its conformations. It brings into vision a territory hidden from common sense, the unknown and fascinating one of human passions and the relationship with existence.  

The imaginative suggestion lets itself be permeated by the shore. The chromatic intensities of the light dissolve in a reverberating tension, which passes through the ethereal decline of moods: gradation, dense emotional refraction, organic decomposition of every single perception in the rapture of the moment.  

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Emotions they remain in the amalgams of the pigments, in the superimpositions and assimilations of the coloristic mixtures, led to the light of forms glimpsed, just finished in a life.  

The alteration is entirely interior, a sign and research that refers to the spiritual experience of life. An ordinary estrangement opens up to dimensions of the mind, dreamlike frames. He composes nebulae in which the forms are in a mediation between memory and the lightness of the gaze.  

Each image of Sicignano is a projection, as in hypnotic psychotherapy, a construction of mental feelings of imaginary places, to induce a journey, as if it were a reinforcement of the ego.

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Here processes are enclosed within an inner refuge, in an intrapsychic basis, the starting point for subsequent explorations.  

The consolidation of an inner refuge is represented by the access to a place experienced as such by the need to imagine alternative loci to the reality of industry and commerce.  An "beyond place" artefact brings a find into play.  Finding a restorative and self-healing vision. Re-access to forgotten inner resources, inaccessible to use, belonging to a series of regenerating archetypes.  Mantras useful for reactivating unattainable forces through purely procedures of the sacral, reconstructing an intimate space, experienced as an introjected illusory base.  

Discovering that you have a place within yourself that allows you to express yourself freely. The path that leads to the discovery or construction of a memo-visual place is an experience of reality substantially distant from the "real" world, but the fury with which this conviction is defended by Sicignano is indicative of the degree of rooting of the image of the self and of the flexibility with which this image can be modified and updated by new experiences and integrative forms.  

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It is spontaneously as it is present in a nutshell, by means of a maieutic projection from predominantly unconscious parts of the mind.  

It is also a glimpse into the awareness of unexpected resources, which autonomously intervene in the fulfillment of profound needs. Opens to inner silence, helps to free the mind from useless deleterious thoughts.  It expresses energy in the form of luminous signs. On the other hand, we are living through a difficult time, the recession is upon us and all the illusory fictions are collapsing.  

We need a return to simplicity, to essential dryness, to the comforting power of an interior landscape, to the vision that manages to make vibrate, even for a single moment, whatever substance of the imagined emerges and elicits what inside." 

To learn more about the Italian Artist Raffaele Sicignano, you can read the Story of the Artist. 

To see his profile page and his collection, please visit Raffaele Sicignano's Profile Page.