Beyond Myself

Mirko Canesi

Beyond any aesthetic or apparently simply decorative consideration, Mirko Canesi’s work is centred on action. It is an analysis of the human perception of aggression, that of the artist on Nature and how he tends to ‘humanize’ that which surrounds him, as though it were an extension of himself. “Each man kills the thing he loves…” sang Jeanne Moreau in the famous Querelle de Brest by R. Fassbinder, Man kills what he loves.

In the same way the Native American Indians assert that Man kills what he does not understand. For Canesi aggression consists of the human being’s limits in understanding what is far away from him and different, in his incapacity to go beyond himself.
The idea comes from research into painting on various surfaces: from multimedial with grafic tablet and optical pen, to organic supports: plants, leaves, bark; all rich in sap.

Special colours are used when necessary, composed of natural and non-toxic substances, such as resin and coconut extract. The action consists of painting on smooth and living surfaces with an act of force, here is the reference to aggression on a living being which suffers it.

A consideration ‘humanely’ defined, although almost hidden or rather which is not carried out following common violent stereotypes. ‘ I do not pierce or tear, or mistreat the plant, and I cetrainly do not cut the leaves, rather do I worry about representing aggression from a human point of view. An aggression against Nature, but also against myself, painting figures using micro brushes in minute detail on moving and irregular supports, taking care of the perfect symmetry of the composition. A meticulous and patient approach which I carry out with the necessary attention, a ‘sacrifice’ for both, united in a creative process’.

The subjects represented are similar to digital prints, harking back to Mediaeval and Cinquecentesche representations; for the most part heads of demons, small dragons, fluorescent insects in the vivid colours associated with poisonous species. An aesthetic choice which reinforces the idea of the parasite dangerous for both plant and Man.

‘…to paint on a living structure representing the moment of enduring aggression is like descriving an attempted murder, where the important role is that of the intention and the abuse. It is not bodypainting or a tattoo carried out by consenting beings. The artist actor comits the violence and the plant suffers it. Or at least suffers it according to human experience. I do not want to abuse Nature by appropriating it for myself, but rather to favour my awareness by sacrificing it’.

Nature for its part reacts to these actions by modifying its forms and in the end the painted leaf falls. The regenerative process takes over…The action of abuse, the unusual and fatuous act of painting that which need no embellishment as it is by its very nature ornamental, shows us how ephimerous is the result. Like a Mandala, when the plant decides to let the leaf go the work ceases to exist in that form. Man remains alone in his conviction his fixation on “forever young” where eternal youth is a value to be pursued, however the real necessity lies in accepting mutation.

Alessandro Turci

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