Cari amici dell’Arte,
Faut-il mourir pour Savoir?
Moths gathered in a fluttering throng one night
To learn the truth about the candle’s light,
And they decided one of them should go
To gather news of the elusive glow.
One flew till in the distance he discerned
A palace window where a candle burned –
And went no nearer; back again he flew
To tell the others what he thought he knew.
The mentor of the moths dismissed his claim,
Remarking: « He knows nothing of the flame. »
A moth more eager than the one before
Set out and passed beyond the palace door.
He hovered in the aura of the fire,
A trembling blur of timorous desire,
Then headed back to say how far he’d been,
And how much he had undergone and seen.
The mentor said: »You do not bear the signs
Of one who’s fathomed how the candles shines. »
Another moth flew out – his dizzy flight
Turned to an ardent wooing of the light;
He dipped and soared, and in his frenzied trance
Both Self and fire were mingled by his dance –
The flame engulfed his wing-tips, body, head;
His being glowed a fierce translucent red;
And when the mentor saw that sudden blaze,
The moth’s form lost within the glowing rays,
He said: »He knows, he knows the truth we seek,
That hidden truth of which we cannot speak. »
To go beyond all knowledge is to find
That comprehension which eludes the mind,
And you can never gain the longed-for goal
Until you first outsoar both flesh and soul;
But should one part remain, a single hair
Will drag you back and plunge you in despair –
No creature’s Self can be admitted here,
Where all identity must disappear.
Extract – The Conference of the Birds – by Farid Ud-din Attar (Penguin classics) translated by Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis
à lire: vivre après
EXPO Like a Moth to a Flame – in Officine Grandi Riparazioni Torino (Italy) till 14th January 2018
Come una falena alla fiamma is an ambitious project, signed by three outstanding international curators, for the first time called to work together and interact with Turin and its important artistic heritage: Tom Eccles, Mark Rappolt, and Liam Gillick.
With over 70 works of contemporary art and hundreds of artefacts coming from many collections of Turin, Come una falena alla fiamma provides a reflection over the importance of private bugs and individual obsessions and on the way in which, over time, these find their way into society, becoming part of the town’s cultural life.
The title of the exhibition originates from a work by the British artist Cerith Wyn Evans, a neon light circular text, In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (2006) hanging at the entrance of the OGR exhibition. The title of the work is a palindrome, that is a phrase which reads the same backward as forward, saying the same thing with no preferential direction. The phrase contains a riddle: what “goes around at night and is consumed by flames? A possible solution is a moth. Wyn Evans named his work after the title of the last film by Guy Debord (made in 1978, released in 1981 and later broadcast by the Italian TV) which is the starting point of the exhibition at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. More political in nature, this part of the exhibition continues by exploring themes linked to the rebirth and renewal, among which the destruction that may accompany them (be it necessary or pointless). Overall the exhibition, attempts to test Nietzsche’s notion that to endure the idea of recurrence one needs: freedom from morality; new means against pain […]; the enjoyment of all kind of uncertainty, experimentalism as a counterweight to this extreme fatalism; abolition of the concept of necessity; abolition of the ‘will’; abolition of ‘knowledge-in-itself’. » As is well known, in Turin Nietzsche was overwhelmed by insanity: in realising a portrait of the town, the works displayed at OGR draw a map of the way in which generations of artists and collector have seen, built and rebuilt the world, to avoid this fate.