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Hell and Paradise

by AdminAg

Demons in the Mirror

Written by Artemide De Blanc
Photos by Davide Conti

At first glance, looking at his allegories, Pasolini comes immediately to mind.
“In fact, as a child, I loved him so much for the intellectual freedom he had”.

And then Dante’s circles, the Bible, the light of 16th-century painting: Davide Conti dismays you, drags you away. He uses art (studied at the academy in Bologna and then cultivated all his life with multiple paths of study), photography, graphics, to take you, like Charon, on an inner journey.  He manages to make redemption and sin, hell and paradise coexist.

“They are two aspects that are part of our unconscious: when you throw light on hell, it is no longer hell. You have to look at the dark parts and illuminate them. That’s what I do. I use the archetypes so that everyone, when faced with one of my allegories, sees something of themselves’.

Do you make us re-think?

Yes, I use archetypes, matrix figures, which have the function of moving something inside. The aim is to provoke reflection.

Are we that sick? Is our society in such bad shape? 
I often configure in demons the symbol of our fears: until we illuminate them and accept them they frighten us and lead us astray. They hold us in their grasp. For example, one of my works depicts a demon holding a leash on wrapped men, a metaphor for what ‘packs’ men, keeping them apart.  Or the girl hanging upside down: here the reference is to the Tarot arcana, the Hanged Man, which means waiting until the time comes to act. On the body, time passes, like melting wax.

You remind me of Picasso’s Guernica….
Well, war before it is outside us, it is inside man. We are inside a great Matrix. The more a person looks inside, the more he drops the veil, making a journey of knowledge. In short, to defeat the monster you have to look at it.

You did an exhibition (and a book) called Licence to Excess. Many see only an erotic meaning in it….
Actually, it’s not like that! I talk about going beyond the limits to get out of our comfort zone, a bit like a divine estrangement. To explain it better, it is like entering formless matter and giving it form. The message is esoteric, philosophical, to read it only as erotic is really limiting… it is clear that something important is happening in the world, codes are changing. The vibration is changing. Big things are happening, madness is manifesting, illusions are falling. Everything is so amplified that it is very clear to those who have an eye capable of seeing beyond what is tangible. Everyone sees in my representations what they need to reflect, to go beyond.

Bodies are often bound. Why?
This is the Japanese Shibari technique: a complex practice, which has meditative and aesthetic purposes unlike western bondage. The ropes symbolise bonds, but also surrender to the other. Or the mutation into a butterfly, as in the case of the girl who sprouts a pair of wings. In each work, the meaning changes, but the complexity of the technique is such that I have to use a master of this discipline. It’s like making a film, it’s a journey.

By the way… if you were a film what would you be?
I believe Jesus Christ Superstar: it tells an ancient story but manages to make it read in a contemporary key and with new codes.  I find it wonderful for the energy it exudes.

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