“To Guard Against the Present Pestilence” critic text by Maria Livia Brunelli, 2007, eng
A soft, white enveloping light penetrates the endless parataxis of windows. Hieratic, evocative, flickering, a series of opalescent helmets transports us into a Gothic atmosphere. The sensation the observer feels within Andrea Morucchio’s exhibition is one of reunion with a lost sacredness. A sacredness of medieval flavour, which smacks of archaic values of forgotten fidelity and choral convictions. The overbearing music penetrates the ears deafening them, creating a padded, atemporal space of perpetual suspension. After the audio and visual plunge which confuses our temporal coordinates, stricken, we drift, investigate, explore the new world trying to understand the strange objects that delineate this exotic universe. And it is precisely when we are convinced that we are in a different dimension, that the cardinal points reveal themselves to be forever the same. Medieval man turns out to be evolutionistically identical to modern man. We are what we are, as we were, forever limited by the same reference points. The glorifying pompous music is but a different screen, not cathodic, yet equally strong, from which power watches over us and guides us. The helmet, rare, unique, precious, a superb product of human genius and creativity, when worn, is not unlike the modern “tanks on wheels” which emphasize the status symbol of their owners through their power/exclusiveness/cost. From this perspective, it is not a far stretch to see the wolf engraved on the Passau blade as the prodrome of the trademark/logo/signature. Yet we quickly realize that there is much more... We realize that the man who signed his work was conscious of his own ability and his own value. No longer one among the other producers, but a single man, fully conscious of his individuality, thus a first bearer of that humanism which now permits us to see the art of a single man as genius. Abandoning, but not completely, the vertigo of transcendence and of the ineffable, which still watches over us, leniently, from the omnipresent monogram of Saint Bernardino, overcoming us through its representation in the monumental fireplace of this immense hall. A monogram which now reveals itself in its dramatic topicality, magically in tune with the hidden message of the artist’s installation. This space was in fact sculpted by the faithful of the year one thousand, who erected the building as a defensive bastion against the plague. But a plague, Morucchio whispers in the ear of the faithful of the year two thousand, awaits us always in whatever time we hide disguised as demagogic poison.
Maria Livia Brunelli