“New Looks on New Ruins”, critic text by Laura Cornejo Brugués, 2017, eng
At the exhibition The end of the new, Andrea Morucchio proposes triptych, the photographic Factory (2014), an industrial landscape of Porto Marghera (Venice), which deals with the carbon coke storage and processing area. Morucchio, who defines himself without hesitation as a photographer, is also a versatile artist whose work has been built on experimentation and overlapping of different disciplines, including sculpture, multimedia installation and performance. But over and above the expressive means of his overall artistic trajectory, there is an interest in reflection through the creation of images that pass between that analytical reading of reality-as a method of research-and the procedural and conceptual use of photography, revealing the inevitable distortions that accompany the process of seeing and interpreting the image. Morucchio cultivates a thought of multifocal photography or experimental curiosity for the perceptual processes of form in the image: dislocation of visual signs, reinvented spaces, reconfigured shapes, in which space-time coordinates become superfluous. The dreamlike perception of his photographs is a binary between the mental and metaphysical territory, and the sacred condition of space, never lacking in subjective engagement. Andrea Morucchio’s photographic work is an organic synthesis and a rewrite of a pre-existing artistic language, which in a dialogic way gives voice to the integrity of the artist, meaning the being united with its own thoughts resulting in the itegration of thought rendered as image. In the Porto Marghera series (2010-2015), which also belongs to Factory, the photographer investigates the metaphysical dispersion of urban territory and the industrial landscape. The morphology of the factory and the world of technology, which fascinated avant-garde artists, appears today as the slab of a remote revolution, the echo that speaks to us of human strength and drama of other times. Late-capitalism condemned that absorbed landscape to renew or die, and we melancholically assist the metamorphosis of the ruined monument. This poses the need to open the road to an understanding, an interpretation and a proposition of the term “landscape” in a direction still to be explored, which hides great potential as many of the artists of Land Art have already revealed, which were never on the margins of the industrial question, establishing a much more important relationship than what is commonly known between nature, art, landscape and industry. Like them, analyzing Morucchio’s photographic work is an opportunity to learn from its form to approach the territory and landscape, to reflect and reinterpret the nature of industrial landscapes through a repositioning of the way of looking at them, with the aim of enhancing the cultural value these landscapes of industrial memory possess. An industrial landscape intended as a deposit of cultural, historical, human, physical and material archeology. Morucchio’s aesthetics and enigmatism inspires redesign of its visual and anthropological identity as the very body of the image. Isolation, spectrality, and alienation become figurative, formative and critical intervention on the phenomenology of a “non place”. An industrial landscape interpreted by Morucchio as a “lieu de mémoire”, where the experience of the place takes on an uncommon and therefore private depth, and where the conjunction between differences and repetitions plays with the appearance of a distance, or the symptom of visual. In the photographic sequences of Morucchio, we discover that the spaces between the images - the intersects - are not limited to an inert role of separation but become an interjection where hybridization is a semantic investment: the memory and the unconscious, the polysemps of times and spaces, abstraction and ambiguity of the place, rhythms and silences, isolation and alter-reality. An unrealistic and metaphysical atmosphere in which he is immersed, and becomes a stimulus and a key to interpreting the territory photographically, revealing a new vision of the real that elevates the “non place” of an industrial area into a place with a full and intelligible identity. In Factory, it is not simply a matter of documentation of the surface of things, of their external appearance, but of exploring the territory as a historical platform, as a scenario of conflict, and as a configuration of identity. It provokes the interaction of the before and after, of the functional anchor and of the useless, taking note of the unpleasantness of industrial vitality with melancholy for its decadence, and the contrast of its most glorious monuments with its most humble vestiges. In the photographic works of Porto Marghera, Morucchio’s critical intervention focuses on the phenomenological reflection of aesthetics and the enigma of the border in the contemporary: the dispersal of the urban periphery and the loneliness of industrial ruin in an attempt to give them an identity, which overcomes the crisis. On their unknown, static, unconscious and indefinite dimension, Morucchio exercises an anthropological re-design, architecture, territory and landscape are now the corporeal structure of the image. Through a dialectical parameter, he opens the objectivable spectacle to a discontinuous transcendence of reality, and activates that mental and unconscious “tension” that makes us “see the world”. There are still a lot of eyes that remain blurred, blocked by the complexity of these landscapes, unable to see their radical simplicity, the beauty of these territories contained in the sobriety, functionality, the unknown landscapes that industry left us, and in the spaces loaded with aesthetic sensibility that have shaped a collective and in many cases, irrational and risky work. A blindness that is hoped will disappear in time, in favour of a look that returns to its place and recognizes its beauty, and which recalls its historical, cultural and aesthetic values, revealing the qualities that make it the owner of its own specific identity, as a cultural landscape. It becomes necessary then, to look further, look beyond, look differently. To create the tension which Walter Benjamin spoke about, with regard to Baudelaire’s production, between “a very sharp sensitivity and a very concentrated contemplation”. Ultimately, invoking a repositioning in the way of seeing, which has not happened yet. This, for now, no man’s land, dazzles the responsible artist with the role of a demiurge and leads him to sow doubts, destroy certainties, annihilate convictions to build new sensitivity and thought. Morucchio states, “It is a complicated operation, because there are only a few moves with a particular expressive force linked to the synergy of the framed elements - volumes, shapes, architectural stratifications and immaterial traces of a human presence - apart from revealing the anthropological identity of the image may have the ambition to redesign a visual identity.” Today, when confronted with the task of integrating those landscapes generated by industrial decadence in the contemporary landscape, the enthusiastic gaze that launches Andrea Morucchio really seems to possess a unique ability-for the rigour carried out in his work, as for formal and Intellectual research at the base of each project - to retrain our vision, and thus, launch the mind beyond the visible.
Laura Cornejo Brugués