“Sampling Canova” critic text by Marco Baravalle, 2006, eng

"Emerging Code" lends itself to a double interpretation. The first, and most direct one being the attempt to clarify its relationship with the original work by Canova. In this case we can stress how the development of Canova’s work, from plaster to marble, is in fact a path from material - which instigates violent emotions - to sentiment, and finally to thought: a true and proper process of abstraction, so manifest in the combination, which A. M. choses to set up, of the photos of the Possagno plasters and his sculptural installation.

One could compare the frontal bidimensionality of the pyramid of the monument to Maria Christina of Austria, with its door suggesting the dark and subterranean space of the Ade, to the bidimesionality of the Offshoots, with their gashes that, in the same way, suggest to us the existence of a space, though by no means supernatural. And so on. The second possible interpretation, perhaps not so direct, but nonetheless evident, is the one that choses to emphasize the postproduction quality of a work such as Emerging Code.The key would thus not be a critical reading of the artistic reworking put in practise by A. M., but rather the fact that the artist has chosen pre-existing pieces as the point of departure for his own work. Since the debut of the readymade, the artist who no longer creates ex-novo has become one of the constants of contemporaneity, a possible common denominator from which to perceive the art of the last century. The artist is ever increasingly appreciated for his skills as a sampler, as a recombiner of cultural production, be it artistic, popular, or media based, etc.

This perspective, thus does not look toward, if not as an academic exercise, the historico-artistic and critical reconstruction of a d’apres. The history of art risks being interpreted as a confused and indistinct mixture of forms from which to draw upon without much care. And yet, no one intends to affirm that one singular truth of a work exists, this is decided neither once and for all nor for everyone, not by the author or the critic, nor by the public. All of these components continuously reshape the meaning of the work. Every work can be taken up, reworked, modified, destroyed, put back together again, mocked and, at worst, betrayed. The problem arises when from the possibility of betrayal, one passes to the ideology of betrayal, of which the most fatal effect is that of the total emptying of sense and of the depletion of every critical inclination of the work of art.

Emerging Code cannot be explained as détournement, since détournement was a situationist invention used as a weapon against the alienation of capitalist society, a weapon which A.M., nonetheless, knows very well given his parallel production characterized by the confrontation of social themes and by artistic dynamics more markedly relational - see. Petrologiche -. All the same, Emerging Code cannot be fully understood in its critical relationship with Canovian sculpture. It is postproduction and appropriation, but it is, at the same time, sculpture - though bidimensional - to be read through the traditional categories of material, form, volume and colour.

Emerging Code is sampling and reworking, but all the same, one can sense its formal relationship with its historico-critical antecedents, from Canova, to Informalism - understood in its material declension -, to Lucio Fontana who, through his razor slashes, wished to suggest a three-dimensional space beyond the canvas, just as the gashes in A.M.’s iron are not empty, but teeming with the life of the incandescent glass pushing to break out, seem to give ideal depth and solidity to the space before them, thus making the spectator conscious of that very spatial substance.