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Attributions to thought

Interview with Luciano Caggianello

1.   Please tell us something about your background and your art journey so far

My name is Luciano Caggianello, more than an artist and a designer I like to call myself a creative because I have worked and interacted in multiple professional environments capable of unleashing the charismatic intent of producing a new idea (Advertising, Illustration, Graphics and Design (industrial and car -design) ). On the other hand, in the artistic field, the path has led me to evolve various representative and visual themes, allowing me to validate even an articulated and rewarding national and international exhibition itinerary.

I obtained a diploma in Applied Industrial Physics, a degree in Architecture, a degree in Design as well as two diplomas in Conservative Restoration (wood and stone materials). I also attended the Academy of Fine Arts and many other environments, ateliers, courses and people related to specifically creative and artistic sectors.

The influence of my training but also the ability to experience a reality, or perhaps an artistic function, in a context of images and communication certainly exists within a mental conformation and precisely within those multiple perimeters I like explore many different topics. Although I am not a revolutionary, I try to challenge some models of communicative precariousness by recovering the notion of meaning and the prerogative of a functional thought. All the sedimentation of my background represents the enzyme of creativity, identifies and personifies the "cultural peptin" suitable for breaking down a generalist approach into an effective mode of functional contribution of thought and concept.

In recent years my recognition has essentially become a work of prevailing perceptual and conceptual synthesis which associates and re-elaborates all the didactic, cultural and intellectual interactions also coming from my various training fields (from Applied Industrial Physics, to Architecture, to Visual, Communication, Art). Furthermore, this approach, identifying the artistic objective of a thematic-conceptual planning and of an experimentation inserted between concrete "poverism" and digital art, turns out to be much more referred and pertinent to concepts of presentation than of representation.


Finally, as an author, I have also published some books (“Intermediario Immateriale” 2003, “Parole altrove” 2014, “Aporia e Metamorfosi dell’Arte” 2019, “Fenomenologia del Quotidiano 2020, “Pubblicità  .jPig” 2021) which have mainly served as an aid to the reflection and deepening of my personal conceptual and philosophical research.



2.          Describe what a normal day looks like as an artist

Even though I develop a consistent itinerary, there is never a standard day. In fact, even if my approach is based on creative methodologies, I do not establish a precise and strategic work routine, especially behavioral or habitual. My mind has become accustomed to receiving stimuli in the most disparate contexts, my ideal environment is the one close to perimeters of metamorphoses, stories, alternative visions, as well as a concrete existential phenomenology within which I also try to exploit all the obstacles and errors in which I can stumble upon, because sometimes lessons, new and phenomenal inspirations come from mistakes. My internal background is not exhibited predominantly except in the expressive and contextual will of the concept. Obviously, after having grasped my intuitions, I process them and rehabilitate them in the studio, adapting them to a specific medium, in order to direct them towards their definitive argument. Being able to use different expressive means (digital, sculpture, installation or painting), I interpret the work by thinking about the support that manages to synthesize, interpret and enhance it better or more effectively than others.


3.          Can you tell us more about the theme in your art and your inspiration?

My creativity and my artistic process are influenced by everyday life as well as other intellectual cues such as Philosophy or even History. I believe that the research I carry out can be defined as "metallurgy of thought". This metaphysics of thought leads to the elaboration of synthesis concepts, intellectual experimentations, verbal innovations, visual alternatives, to then reach, after this inner wandering, the awareness of a precise meaning. In fact man, even if delivered to a limitless experimentation on himself, always accesses the inevitability of a concrete behavioral reality and must therefore provide an interpretative key.

Even if my approach is based on creative methodologies, I don't establish a precise and strategic work routine, especially behavioral or habitual. My mind has become accustomed to receiving stimuli in the most disparate contexts, my ideal environment is the one close to perimeters of metamorphosis, stories, alternative visions, even errors as well as a concrete existential phenomenology. My inner background is not predominantly exhibited except in the expressive and contextual will of the concept. Obviously, after having grasped my intuitions, I elaborate and rehabilitate them in the studio, adapting them to a precise medium, in order to be able to direct them towards their definitive argument. Being able to use digital technology, sculpture, installation or painting, I therefore interpret the work thinking of the support that is able to synthesize, interpret and enhance it better than others.

Furthermore, since I have discovered that in life those who are unable to convince desperately try to amaze, my approach aligns itself with the issue of persuasion in the most polite way possible without the need to shout, trying to propose my beliefs (which are not certainties, and I to clarify it…..) in a perspective that aims at a complete sense.

Furthermore, I wanted to express another consideration regarding the Title concert, because it is often not secondary to my artistic theme but vice versa supports many of its arguments. The issue of the title sometimes appears to be a topic of marginal interest because it seems to compensate for the sole and simple descriptive function as a minimal support for the work itself. Therefore, whether landscape or still life, countryside or mountain panorama, the title does not incite any overt declaration of merit or added value. In these contextualizations it must be remembered that there have been cyclically "artistic seasons" within which it was preferred to reset this identifying aspect by not attributing it a close contribution to the teaching and support of the work: it was the season of the "untitled". Conversely, when the caption explicitly intends to enrich, contradict, reveal or counterbalance the state of being of the work, then the title assumes the indispensable role of captivating ferryman in the viaticum of his emancipated path.

The title conveys an emphasis and dominance through a sort of alternative DOC, which we could translate as a Designation of Cultural Origin, suitable and effective in preventing the automatism of thought from arousing any concern. There is, in fact, discontinuous communication, perhaps even contradictory, between the verbal and the visual, so much so that the transparency of the word and the opacity of the image, the sound of the verb and the silence of the icon become concrete.

The work often does not inaugurate an external or internal dimension, simply a projective framing beyond the dimension of itself, beyond the visual feature of its material purpose. The title then serves to surround and direct the reception which becomes something external, but still transcendent, it is a sort of virtual frame to support the presence in a metaphysical dimension. The title proposes, and sometimes certifies, a different spatial location, a reversal of perspective capable of transforming the action of looking into an act of understanding. The title represents a ready-made of "Duchampian" memory through which the meaning of the work rests, not so much in its intrinsic quality as in the operation that supports it.

The center of gravity of this trigonometry, between the work, the visual and the conceptual, is located outside the image and in the announcement of the title we obtain this perspective reversal capable of transforming looking at the work into being looked at by the work. The artist proposes to assume his role as author, while the viewer, as an artistic stunt double, becomes co-author since his gaze becomes the inscription in the other's perimeter producing a copy of a vision already consumed by the artist same.

In conjunction with this "mutation" of the title, the work ceases to oppose that insignificant tinsel, which subtly underlay the undisputed charisma of the work, and ends up neutralizing this incurable controversy. Thus a path with no way back is obtained, because in this new configuration, the "untitled" would appear as an empty absence, a gap and a voluntary lack, which could not direct the viewer's gaze and intentions. The untitled would be just an empty frame that would give up the quoted sense of a strongly identifying instance and would abdicate the very role of the artist.

The final locution of the "untitled", comes to occupy a position without merit as it begins a journey without really completing it. Contrary to the rules of grammatical relationship, the title is not the premise of the work but it is the work that entitles the title, i.e. the work often arises together with the title, above all in conceptual art (or visual poetry) where the title is often the work itself.

The title thus intervenes to sign the definition of the work which is certified by its simple being such, preventing a different name from producing the same result, perhaps even casual, and identifying the thing. It becomes a form of awareness, not so much of the presence of the object (being there of the thing), as the presence of objectifying consciousness (having been there), formulating a new category of space-time and its modality of fruition.


4.          How does your art life impact other parts of your life?

Art reveals itself to be increasingly relevant and interchangeable with reality, and is therefore a concrete aestheticizing materialization of the human being. The obvious fact that the artist becomes the master of ceremonies of an alleged future is certainly ascertained and documentable, just as the inadequate support of evolutionary thought by the common man is proclaimed. However, the factions are not so clear-cut and distinct, there are no pure and impure people, but perhaps only those who intend to overcome banalities and proceed on an evolutionary path and others who are not interested. There are the narcissists, the speculators, the storytellers on the one hand and the rebellious, the avant-garde polemists, the lack of connoisseurs on the other, and both "factions" would take a wise action in wanting to add adequate support to the semiotics of art and everything that surrounds it (aesthetic value, cultural aspect, significance of signs...). 

A certain common feeling indicates the dematerialization of art. Instead, the opposite seems evident, that is, the widespread transfer of art into reality, which is therefore revealed to be located in museums, galleries, but equally in the debris, on the walls, in the streets, in the banality of everything, sacralized in its concrete form of process and form.

The aestheticization of the world is generalized, as is the bureaucratic materialization of the social. Therefore, since ours is a dominant culture that must re-simulate many diversified components, adequate aesthetic storage would not represent a threat but a promise of project completion.


5.          Could you share any difficulties and hardships you had to face in life and how or if you managed/overcame them?

I try to overcome the difficulties and obstacles with which we all have to interact through itineraries of rationality rather than relying on metaphysical or improvised criteria.

I am looking for a synthesis thinking that some solutions cannot always adapt to contemporary patterns. I'll explain. Common thinking leads us to believe that what comes later is better than what preceded it, but often this approach is just a cumbersome burden on our culture which considers itself modern for the mere fact of banishing the old and at the same time for the continuous reporting of incessant news.

However, "novelty" is not necessarily new, it is often only temporally placed in modernity or rather in current affairs, understood as an everyday space, and therefore does not mean that it has a cultural, pedagogical, educational and perhaps artistic heritage. The new and the innovative, in the always unhealthy human cultural system, become temporal attributes and certainly not discriminating parameters of logic, function, discernment and beauty. The new, for some presumed creators of culture, simply and unfortunately becomes what has been developed today. In fact, ideas, whether intelligent or stupid, often have no time and remain so in their condition and status, with the only difference that ineffective ones absolutely cannot be redeemed. Never.

This aspect therefore makes an idea discontinuous from life, so much so that if it were similar to it, it would not be able to grasp any difference in method or concept. The distinction between idea and reality is certainly clear but equally linked to convention parameters, and if on the one hand a convention tends to "discipline", on the other it tends to rigidify and above all marginalize. However, it is not always clear that overcoming, or replacing, an idea can necessarily be better than the previous one, because often such a choice generates only that alternative that causes less damage.


6.          Tell us about your best experience in the art world so far.

Unfortunately, at the moment I cannot provide confirmation because the era in which talent was clearly sufficient to emerge is over. Furthermore, with the advent of social media, society has been inundated with artists, or presumed to be artists, while instead I think that art should not be democratic. In fact, if owning a microscope doesn't make us scientists, knowing how to open a tap doesn't make us plumbers, a book doesn't make us an intellectual, then even a little imagination doesn't uncover an artist. Therefore art should also be more selective and understand that being an artist means following a difficult, intense and complex path. It requires dedication, passion, talent, creativity (...not to be confused with imagination), in-depth study and also culture. I don't think just being capable and skilled in the technical field (as useful as it is to learn the rules) is essential. Those who think that it can or should be decisive would be better off being a craftsman and not an artist.



7.          Share your worst experience in the art world.

I suffered an embezzlement by a gallery owner from Genoa who closed the gallery and made himself untraceable and never returned the works to me. But I was at the beginning of my career and also very naive. Beyond this single vicissitude, however, there have been multiple approaches from gallery owners and dealers who, in the name of an alleged market trend, would have wanted me to "package and produce" works according to these criteria and not therefore reasoning and interpreting my purposes, my desires. and my artistic desires. Obviously I never accepted these solutions or "compromises" as they often liked to define them.

Furthermore, many gallery owners have expressed and are expressing doubts about my artistic "coherence", that is, they say that I am too eclectic and difficult to label since, in their opinion, I do not have homogeneous works. Personally I believe that those who express this so-called "artistic coherence" trade the multiplicity of creativity for an ironclad conceptual and expressive homologation. It is no coincidence that the artists best known and appreciated by critics and the market are those who have perhaps expressed their only concept through an embarrassing quantity of works that are clones of themselves. These restless and weak cultural assignments live and unfortunately feed on the unlimited inability of these professionals, who through their questionable selections try to outline absolutely fictitious social and cultural paths.



8.          What practical advice can you give to fellow artists?

Giving advice (whether practical or theoretical) seems useless and inappropriate to me.

In an unforeseen and unpredictable existence, who can say they are prepared, or even just equipped, for something and therefore suitable to advise?

We have studied, we have stored techniques, we have taken advice, but then in an unexpected moment any solution assimilated from the explorer's manual, any trick learned as a young or old scout, becomes empty, proves to be ineffective, above all because you find yourself facing an event that, although it cannot be rationalized as a single entity, it must nevertheless be experienced, broken down and overcome in a solitary gestation, which does not allow for exceptions and delegations.

Everything else appears to be just vacuous didactics, fake retrospective, obsolete tutoring, fake security, perhaps philosophical etiquette but always to be taken in small doses. So to avoid ridiculous attitudes of presumed wisdom, it is better to remain silent and invite everyone to greater existential complementarity.



9.          Is the artist life lonely? Please share your thoughts and experiences.

It is certainly a fairly solitary life, physical but also mental and psychological. An almost irrevocable, impalpable, complex solitude that passes through dreams, memories and emotions becomes an identity of knowledge. It is a path of reflection and in-depth analysis that derives from the vastness of a language and a perceptive code, subjecting itself to reality and daily existentialism.

Almost a sum of moments that take the form of a tomb alcove of forms, words, transmutations that archive and summarize the events. Experiences and gestures that operate in preordained patterns of thought and seem to find comfort in habitual behaviors but which instead absolutely must be faced and evolved.

In fact, we live days, which I define as anemic, in which it seems that the moments must be pushed within indefinite boundaries or perhaps just noted, described and scribbled down. Days of obtuse arrogance and prevaricating ostentation, absolutely unavailable to provide any possibility of reaction or reply. This is a sort of solitude between the margins of a fictitious sheet of paper that can be overcome and redeemed through a solid and profound cognitive manifestation. But ultimately solitude should not be a revelation because it is precisely through it that sensorial acquisition and a comparison of identity are obtained.


10.        What are you working on at the moment and are there any upcoming events you would like to talk about ?

I always work on that internalized instance of well-being and almost suspension. Sometimes I feel like I'm suspended in a pneumatic void within which I lack a place that I'm not even looking for anyway. In fact, my Hamlet-like doubt does not materialize so much between being there and not being there and the relative contingent essentialities, but instead between life and apparent life, where the latter would seem only the reverberation of a symbolic existence, the frame evaporated upon subtraction. of identity, the cancellation of the existential trace now stripped of all vitality and amazement. And in that very moment you discover how to configure real life and its empathetic avant-garde capable of involving you in its expectation and resolution.

And on the other hand, "real life" always represents that exercise of presence in which you have to chase the moment because even the present ages at an impressive speed and the presence, so that it does not become blurred every moment and irremediably already expired, must incorporate a solid, fruitful and instant awareness.



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