Leaving a mark in the soul

Stripping oneself of every superfluity in order to look at others and in others with different and authentic eyes.

A performance that left a mark in the heart and soul of all those who participated. An almost cathartic experience. Because stripping oneself of the social mask, letting oneself go and laying oneself bare before others can do this. Whether it be joy or liberating tears, we are not alone in manifesting feelings, but in two or maybe more. And sharing may be one way of becoming truly conscious of what we are and what we really want to be.
The author of these individual transformations or liberations was Maria José Arjona, an important Colombian artist invited to Lucca in October 2014 to participate in the international residency organized by “Lu.C.C.A. – Lucca Center of Contemporary Art” in collaboration with “prometeogallery di Ida Pisani”, coordinated by MVIVA, a consolidated project that has reached its third edition and has seen the previous participation of Thai artists and Korean artists, always with the main partner support of Perini Journal, the magazine dedicated to the field of tissue published by Fabio Perini S.p.A. “Perini Journal”, underscores Maura Leonardi, the PJL’s editor-in-chief, “has traditionally served as a trait d’union between the world of paper and the world of art, two similar universes that thanks to the creativity and sensitivity of artists, find expression in the spirit of unique works”.
Finding the essence of people and things. This is the aim that “Espiritu”, the performance curated by Maurizio Vanni and Ida Pisani held in the former Church of San Matteo in Lucca, set for itself. The venue was not chosen randomly: strongly spiritual, impregnated with the penetrating scent of incense and deliberately bare, but for this very reason capable of conferring deep inner sensations. “A mood”, says co-curator Maurizio Vanni, “an official stand, a peremptory decision, a tale in a performance that exalts the preponderance of the senses and of the right-hand side of the brain. This is ‘Espiritu’. The spiritual dimension is inside of us and we are inside the spiritual dimension of every thing”.
Conceived to be completely interactive, the performance developed by Maria José Arjona cancelled the sense of sight in order to look for a more pure and direct dialogue with the audience. The four remaining senses were the only channels through which to “perceive others”. “Revealing the form of others”, explains the artist from Bogotà, “perceiving him or her in the purest form, not through the eyes but through the spirit. The performance wants to delve into the essence of things, into that substance that allows people to be together beyond the identity tied to the image itself”. Touching, smelling, feeling and living the presence of the audience, that has become an active part and the main resource of the work, meant being at the center of a collective experience in order to “find ourselves through others”.

Michela Cicchinè

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