For some years now I have been studying the ability of the contemporary human who always wants to overcome the limits (physical, cultural, geographical, etc.) that nature has assigned them or with which they have to come face to face. In the ancient world humans had to respect the limits that their Gods’ assigned them and every infringement of this norm was harshly punished by the Gods’. For example think about a hero such as Ulises who dared to venture over to the Pillars of Hercules, over the known geographical limits and for this he found death. A world vision that persists in the Christian world where going over the limits assigned by God becomes synonymous with sin.
Modernity changes all: with the great geographical discoveries the human (by now the center of the universe) overcomes the geographical limits discovering new worlds, and with scientific revolution humans overcome, instead, a magic and religious vision of the world. This feeling, this predisposition to the overcoming of limits reaches our time, for example think of globalization, multiculturalism, Internet: they are all examples of this tendency, a tendency that however we also live in our daily lives without even realizing because we do it instinctively, naturally. For example when you are really tired because you are doing a thousand things and therefore your body tells you that you have reached your limits, that you must stop. Haven’t you ever been to the physician to ask if they can prescribe something that picks you up because it is a really busy period and you cannot stop?
So, overcoming these limits is what Goethe was pointing to in Germanic tradition when Faust became to all effects a symbol of the contemporary human stretched out; to never be satisfied with any given situation but to always want to overcome them.
And this tendency was bound to be present also in the art world. I have particularly focused on painting so downgraded, diminished, marginalized in the last century for other artistic practices mostly representative of the contemporaneity. In this sense I involved Glenn Brown, Maurizio Cannavacciuolo, Andrea Chiesi, Tiffany Chung, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Alberto Di Fabio, Kepa Garraza, NS Harsha, Songsong Li, Alessandro Moreschini, Mauro Pipani, Imran Qureshi, Terry Rodgers, Raqib Shaw, Philip Taaffe, Josep Tornero and Jan Worst. They are 17 international artists with a Faustian Factor: a strong and recognizable artistic identity with an exasperated virtuosity that allows them to compete with the infinite possibilities of the computer, with the precision of photographic evidence, with video, performances. NewfaustianWorld is the world of people like Goethe’s Faust, an emblem of modern humans, who has an inner tension that pushes them not to settle for the norm but to make their own philosophy about how life is extraordinary, to accept new challenges, to go further…
In 2017, I submitted this project to 24 ORE Cultura and in November 2018 thanks to help and support of Allegrini, Diemme Attitude, Ehiweb, Rancé 1795 the project was turned into a book of which I am very happy and proud of. Not only though. Thanks to Theater 7/2 Productions and particularly to Piero Passaro who was the director, NewFaustianWorld became a beautiful documentary awarded "Best Documentary" on the occasion of 6 on Nebraska Festival, Cape Town (where we will return in March 2019 to participate in the Milkbusch Short Film Festival) and "Best Documentary Short Film" on the occasion of RAGFF Venezia 2018 where the movie was awarded by the director and actor Cesar di Parra. In the 2019 NewFaustianWorld will also feature at the inauguration on January, 19 at Augeo Art Space in Rimini thanks to Matteo Sormani.
Nothing has been simple, nothing has been easy. To reach this objective I had to overcome a whole series of limits that I never thought I could overcome. And in this sense, let me share the words by Alessandro Baricco that represent this condition and which accompanied me during the time I was working on this project: “Because despair was an excess that did not belong to him, he submitted to what was left of his life, and began again to look after it, with the unyielding tenacity of a gardener at work the morning after the storm” (Alessandro Baricco, Silk, London, The Harvill Press, 1997).