The power of art lies in its ability to leave the confines of time and enter forever into consciousness. Art draws from the contingent and sublimates it, leaves the mental walls and ascends into the places of the imperishable.
In the shot Gli Italiani si voltano, shot in 1954 for the weekly photo magazine Bolero Film, which Germano Celant chose to open the exhibition Metamorfosi dell’Italia organised in 1994 at the Guggenheim in New York, Moira Orfei walks swathed in a white dress in the centre of Milan, amidst the admiring gazes of the men present who are milling about.
An image that makes us realise the power of art: as a photograph, that portrait stigmatises the customs of the 1950s-60s, throws us into an era and makes us breathe it. It contextualises it. But if we read that photographic document as a piece of art, it becomes an eternal archetype, it leaves the confines of time to remain fixed in our consciousness. Here, art manages to fly above the boundaries that segment the life of fashions, styles, customs, attitudes. The same happened with Marilyn, who emerged from the time capsule, from her name and surname, becoming eternal, eternally present. Here too, art drew from the contingent, sublimating it, something that had the characteristics to live in the ‘timeless’. Because art does not address the ego, but the soul. It communicates a universal language that breaks through mental walls and descends into the places of the imperishable.
With this beautiful thought we begin 2024, proud to have the word Art in our etymon and in our hearts.