“Mala Tempora Currunt” critic text by Saramicol Viscardi, 2007, eng
Political and temporal power. Minimal aesthetics and medieval suggestions. The medieval Laudes Regiae. In A.M.’s new project, past and present, spirituality and secularism are woven together in a visually austere, rigorous path of great formal purity. The message, however, emerges from an urgent need to clearly demonstrate the disturbing link between ancient history and contemporary politics, and in doing so it tears apart the hall hieratically marked by the red helmets. Laudes were chanted to Christ King in efforts to support the earthly power and supremacy of those who were appointed vicars, through the crowning and the spiritual legitimating of a power, which in fact was much more rooted in meager earthly matters. It is here where the artist draws our attention, to contemporary papal politics, as conservative and fixed on its own dogmatic positions as it is on political interferences. Meanwhile, American power, which is entirely earthly, is the voice of a new -induced?- urgency for spirituality, justice and good feelings which has nonetheless lead to a preventive war - which in many ways recalls the Christian Crusades - instigated by certain demagogy, which may have something in common with the acclamatory art of these Laudes. Various contemporary artists, with strong political opinions, have also treated these themes in their works. Santiago Sierra’s recent project Los Anarquistas, carried out in Rome on Christmas Eve, with the participation of a group of militant anarchists hired by the artist to listen in silence to the Mass officiated by the Pope, speaks of the secular power still so deeply rooted in Rome. While with La Nona Ora, M. Cattelan immortalized a Pope John Paul II stricken by a meteorite, fortuitous yet simple in its absurdity, far from the garish and imposing publicity apparatus carried out on the occasion of the subsequent actual death of the Pontiff. However, it is Morucchio’s reference to classical works of art and to historical imagery, especially from the Veneto area, which transforms his works into something beyond a pure criticism of the system. This dialogue with his surrounding context results in the production of works as contemporary as they are intimately connected to the structure itself of art history. The Main Show re-presents Canova’s Pietà, both Christian iconology and mass media message, as overbearing as it is everlasting, while in Our Ideas will Triumph, a painting conserved in the Mocenigo Museum of Venice is the crux from which the piece develops. Starting from the narration of a historic fact (the naval battle in which Mocenigo sacrificed his life in order to avoid surrendering to the enemy), A.M. reflects on the need for martyrs and the contemporary transposition, in a climate of impossibility for dialogue and cohabitation amongst different cultures, where the Muslim kamikaze of today finds himself in the memory of the Venetian sacrifice of the 1600s. The Wolf of Passau, symbol of the ars bellica, continues running in the Hall of the Fireplace, an ideal link between what we were and what we still are.