Ingest Both | Fashion Italia

Ingest Both | Fashion Italia

A double infinity and then another half turn. A single point of tangency. A circle inscribed in a square. The artist Maria Loboda, in the eloquently titled work To Separate the Sacred from the Profane (2016-17), erects an esoteric portal, a large circle of about two meters in diameter made with the bundles of the last harvest. This apparatus normally intended to be hoisted – and subsequently burned – along the way to a shrine for a summer purification rite, refers to the animism and pantheism of the Shinto religion, which in Japan has peacefully coexisted with Buddhism for centuries.

How to clearly distinguish the sacred from the profane? How to separate these two notions without feeling dizzy? How to separate others? With a ritual! To activate the work, in fact, it is necessary to comply with the following instructions: climb over it in its only point of tangency to the ground, then go around the circumference first on the right, then cross it again, then turn left.

Ingest Both
Ingest Both

Draw the infinity symbol one more time in full and then only once to the right. Cross the threshold of the portal three times in all and miraculously the sacred should be distinguished from the profane in the mind of those who have made the initiation. On which side, however, remains both, especially when this apparatus is erected in a neutral space? The crossing remains essential, as is the fluid exchange of energy from one side to the other.

The perfect symmetry of the eight and the liminal point of tangency where the curve approaches the straight line. When does the straight line become curved or vice versa? And, mind you, it’s not about jumping into a fiery circle. The work implies praxis, requires commitment and above all calls for involvement.

“To Separate the Sacred from the Profane”, 2016, two works by Maria Loboda seen in 2017 in the exhibitions “I Am Radiant, I Am Radiant, I Am Radiant in My Defeat” at CAC Vilnius, Lithuania, and “La Fête, la Musique, the Walnut “at the IAC Villeurbanne / Rhône-Alpes, France.


Concave and convex, life and death, yin and yang, female and male: how to distinguish them if not through progressive interpenetration and various circumnavigation attempts? The thermal death of the universe should correspond to the perfect state of entropic balance. A balancing point that still tends to infinity, to a horizon, the same painting in many landscapes by the artist Lucas Arruda.

They are simple “marine”, pacified and imperturbable or morbidly beaten. Often nocturnal, twilight, uncertain sunrises and suffocated sunsets. He is an expression – in his paintings – of the new millennium’s homme fatale, which differs from the femme fatale of the last century, while taking some lessons from it. He allows himself poetry without muscles. Sail or shipwreck in tumultuous waters. He is a lunar creature and also a gentleman. The fleeting and cutting gaze as its fiery horizons. Attention, it remains indomitable without repressing the feminine inside the shirt that tightens the biceps, indeed it accentuates it in abstract figurations, in landscapes that have been of the mind, often exhausted and tormented.

Otherwise, Patrizio Di Massimo, always a painter, offers physicality to the domestic man, prone to camouflage and also, possibly, to escamotage. It retracts into Park House’s Kitchen (2018-19) equipped with a firmly gripped vacuum cleaner, prone to ninety in an adamitic look up to the belt, covered underneath with long-leg underpants that adhere to the buttocks. There is also no denying a push on the toes flexed to stretch the posture.

While she, the companion, in an interesting state, is dedicated to a good seraphic reading crouched in the stove, obviously off. Neither of them, fatal or domestic, is more busy representing the model, the more or less ideal woman to contort in various poses. On the contrary, they are the subjects who, from their point of view, shape an impersonated femininity, somehow lived.

(Go on)

Milovan Farronato (Borgonovo Val Tidone, 1973) is an art critic and independent curator. At the head of Fiorucci Art Trust, a London institution that works to promote contemporary art in a conventional and unconventional way Venice Biennale in 2019 he was curator of the Italian Pavilion.

Opening photo: Patrizio Di Massimo, “Park House’s Kitchen”, 2018-2019.

Read the full article in the May issue of Fashion Italia (on newsstands from May 5)

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