2012 - Ruggero Pierantoni

"Cupressus sempervirens" - exhibition "Low tide" - Piacenza 2012
Cupressus Sempervirens

The Shadow Line

Let's see what we can do. Enrico Lombardi, painter, writer and artist, called henceforth L., asked me with infinite courtesy if I could write something about his work. I am not an art critic and such a request represented a hard task to satisfy. I am not familiar with the ‘official idiom' of such a profession, obtained only after many years of work, research and publications. So, let me start from an easy and personal fact very close to the commitment I have taken on. On April 5th, 2002 at about ten in the morning I got fired. I had to take action and on May 2nd, 2002 at 12.45 a.m. I landed at Dallas International Airport in Washington D.C. Just a few weeks earlier, in the office where I used to work, I had received in the mail a thin little book. On the cover: Enrico Lombardi "MEMORIES". Fifteen hundred copies had been printed in Forlì exactly that year, the month unknown to me. That little book remained for a while in my, otherwise completely empty bookshelf, held upright by two pleonastic metal-gray bookends. But not for long. The books of the Library came right after and everything, just like that, got off the ground: on Wednesdays "West Class-Room". One day I decided to entertain my students with the subject: "Water&Architecture", and, just to be a little "smarter" I called the lesson "A Swimmable Architecture". Suddenly I recalled that little book and above all the image called "The gaze",1998 - cm. 120x90 acrylic on canvas (1). I must first confess that I had been struck by the water falling in that image as well as I had been by the "Sun in an Empty Room" by "my dear" Edward Hopper 1963, Oil on canvas, 28 ¾x39 ½" (2). The lesson was supposed to be, and at the end it was also about the awkward Paestum mazy and underwater structure and the German freibaden, forgotten as usual by almost everyone but me. Actually, looking back on it, even in "Room by the Sea" by Hopper, dated 1951, the light comes in from a right angle, etc… But the angle is different, here is 53° and 75° in the empty room, in L. I get a good 68°, maybe Caravaggio? Shall we look at "The Calling of St Matthew", 1599-1600 (3) then? The light from the left with an angle of 78°. Yes! But what about the size? In Caravaggio we have 3,400 mm in length and 3,222 mm in height. The result is amazing, in L. we had lengthwise "only 900 mm". Let us say that in "Conference at Night" by Hopper from 1949 the angle is exactly 74° and the length 1,002 mm. You would thus say, what has all this got to do with anything? Maybe nothing, but let us go on. Meanwhile I receive other books, Enrico Lombardi : "The newfound space" by Federico Leoni and Alessandro Riva, printed in March 2002. This book was signed and inscribed as such: "To Ruggero Pierantoni/these meta-places/with true and profound admiration, signed E. Lombardi. And from that time on with a kindness and regularity I do not feel I deserve:

1) 2002 Enrico Lombardi: "The newfound space" April 20th-May 18th, 2002, printed in March 2002

2) 2002 Enrico Lombardi: "Memories" dedicated to the memory of Nella Versari

3) 2003 Enrico Lombardi: "The last Byzantium tears"

4) 2005 Enrico Lombardi: “Second drawing notebook”

5) 2006 Enrico Lombardi: "Air of Glass"

6) 2007 Enrico Lombardi: "The silent cry"

7) 2009 Enrico Lombardi: "In the city of silence"

8) 2012 Enrico Lombardi: the download of "Low Tide".

This is what the situation is right now. I have not yet seen his paintings in person and for sure this is a fact that could be rightly and very much criticized and what will follow here will be judged by professionally more learned people with due strictness. I, nonetheless, continue in my work convinced that some of my observations might keep their value in spite of the fact that they are based on very small, digital or printed on paper reproductions. The "Aura" experience which is irreplaceable and that cannot be simulated will take place for sure and it will be very interesting. But only when the preliminary, humble and relatively less exciting work will be, if not be concluded, at least roughed out. I would like to state right now my opinion about the fact that whatsoever reason has prompted L. in painting these objects, situations and spaces as he has been doing, belongs to his personal domain and should fundamentally interests only him. Instead, how he did it, the technique and the form of those painted things involves everyone: they are everyone's private matter. In fact whosoever, on a substantially only visual base, is prompted in trying to understand "the reasons for their existence" will have a lot of work to do and, at least, a few information would be of help in such a hard task. I believe this should basically be, no matter how the "critics" do it, the aim of their task and that it should be done to the best of their ability: that is, to create a bridge, for those without the necessary information, between the visual aspect of artistic productions and their meaning. Meanwhile we let the water run. It is, nonetheless, quite peculiar that these places are visited by a waterfall, coming from who knows where. With no doubt, from a higher place. Is it standard, is it a catastrophe or a game? Is it work or a show? On the "Third Day" even him said: "let the waters under the heavens be brought together into one place and let the dry land appear…and it came to be so…" Here the situation is everything but biblical, and then again, what we call dry does not seem to have a place of its own, actually, those areas, those spaces we would normally expect to be "dry" are instead "flooded". Primo Levi maybe? I do not think so. Nonetheless, if we give them enough time, Tides will come back. It would be enough just to wait for the right moon. Before moving away from that light/shadow oblique cut, we notice a little detail that L., like Tom Thumb, has dropped in the woods, just to let us get lost or lose himself with no notion on how to get back home. Here is a small element. Both in Caravaggio and Hopper, that "shadow line" coming from the door and the window jambs projected onto the partially lighted wall, has its own very private history. As far as Caravaggio is concerned, we could be quite sure in asserting that it is a natural light, coming from the sun and vaguely from the street. What is absolutely certain is that the stroke is initially extremely clear and the transition between the wall in the light and the one in the shadow is cut as if by a knife. But, if we continue to follow the light to the left, inevitably moving away from its source, that border rapidly dimmers, up to its complete disappearance "after" the good looking guy. The reason why this happens is obvious, it is clearly the sun which gives light, but not only the sun, it is the sky as well. If the total luminous flux is 100, then 78% is in the solar disc and 22% in the sky vault. During the day the light comes from a "point", the sun and, from a "surface", the sky. Whereas the sun "rays" do not interfere with one another, those instead, coming from different points in the sky, have a tendency to collide and the shadows, gradually become less and less clear. If it were night and the only light would come from the moon, we would in the end have 85% of the light coming from the moon and only 15% from the night sky. Wasn't it Giovann Battista Pirenesi who stated that "it is better to draw shadows at night, instead of daytime, because it is at night that they are clearer?".

In L. and in particular in the painting called "The Gaze" the light, reaching the water before it falls, swells and stretches onto the liquid, right in the moment when it leaves the flat and vertical surface of the wall. An awkward effect, indeed, obviously not common in nature, where the Niagara are not lighted by windows. But who knows, they could even be.

In order to have more elements to discuss, let me go back to the catalogue "Air of glass", printed in the month of April 2006. Which elements? We are more or less in the same position: walls. To a superficial reading of the images presented in this book and in particular in: Knossos 50, 2005, 60x40cm, or else, even more typically in Knossos 44. Alone, 2004, 80x50cm, they show, along with other details, the characteristic of immaculate surfaces, ageless, with no signs, with no histories. All the surfaces, even when they tend to evoke a sort of "proto-industrial" nature, do not show any biographical sign. This lack of specific indications spreads effortlessly to archaic smokestacks, "Silos" or buildings only vaguely inhabitable. It is only natural that, on these surfaces, that seem to suggest, without admitting it, to be abstract, shadows runs through them without leaving a trace and that, the "celestial laws" can, therefore, freely draw complex equations which will never need to be cancelled or swept away. I intentionally quote this condition of purity so that I can speak about a series of pictorial details I found unpleasant and irritating. To a better understanding of the strong dissimilarity that the images presented in "The city of silence" show compared to the ones in different publications, let us spend a little more time with "Great Abstraction" 2002, 150x100cm, acrylic on canvas. To an immediate reading we can appreciate the fact that it is not a "great abstraction" at all and L. had already shown us, in the past, his ability in dealing with much bigger sizes.

In interiore hominis habitat veritas Augustinus

The entire painting is a sort of collection of all that visual material commonly defined as "a perceptual bag of tricks" so familiar to students of visual perception: a light that seems to come from inside that instead, maybe, comes from outside, misleading axonometric projections, misleading perspectives, illogical back-lightings, straight lines non aligned among themselves but pretending not to be, reflections not grounded by the general ecological system and so on. We will get back to this once we try to understand more about what "The rhetoric of Space" by L. is about. From the sample painting I have chosen, let us single out a very simple element: the formal perfection of the surfaces. It goes along sharp borders, extremely clear right angles, apexes and edges that seem to come from the essay "Geometry of Shadows" itself. But, here is "The last outskirts "4, 2008, 50x35 cm. and "The last outskirts", 2008, 50x35 cm. or even more oddly "From empty rooms" 3, 2008, 50x35 cm. Of course the technique is different: "acrylic on paper mounted on wood" and not "acrylic on canvas". A very meaningful difference but the fact that, for instance in the painting "From empty rooms" 3 on a wall carefully kept in darkness, a sort of Parthenon does and does not appear, cannot be attributed to a technical responsibility: a series of 8 pillars, may they be "Doric-ionic"? The pediment is too high, very much archaized, exactly like how Inigo Jones could have drawn it, just to show that he had understood it before Vitruvius….and so on. "Ah! Those Etruscans!" Or else, but this would be ridiculous, in spite of the fact that it could be absolutely feasible, Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange from 1805. With no desire to insist on the mysterious fatherhood of this awkward architectonic object, we cannot avoid mentioning the neoclassic façade of the Royal Theatre of the poor Marie-Louise with that big semicircular "livornese" full-length window. But the insignificance of the related apparition on the wall has much closer associations. In fact, the "ghosts", the signs on the wall, may have they been broadened by thousands of years of rain, or else, may have they been scratched just a moment before, on a new but already dead poster, refer with some persistence to the typology of the facades from the late Gothic period: mullioned windows, tabernacles, cathedral doors and even real or painted perspectives (which is exactly the same). One can easily recognize the background in "Roman" arcade of the "Saint" of the reliefs by Donatello, or else, some architectural solutions in the virtual architecture by Cavallini or Giotto and likewise. Maybe, the most exciting and pictorially most evoking, are those large surfaces of meaningless buildings, with no windows, in which the parts where the bricks have not yet or will never be plastered, visually stick out of the concrete frames giving them that look of absolute decadence, abandonment and solitude that only certain neighborhoods in cities in the Middle-East or Greece can have. As a matter of fact some other kind of strange adventure seems to have taken place. Meanwhile. In the painting "In the desert garden", 2008 (4), an irresistible "goût orientalist" seizes us. The presence of an object, sufficiently clearly hexagonal or octagonal, in the lower part of the painting, a fountain may be? a bulwark? a reclusion wall? The night shadow of trees that want to be neither cypresses nor cluster pines, an Eastern overflow, makes us dream of Isfahan (5), of night gardens, of deserts, of moons behind solitary ridges. And then, the private, portable "cypress" turns into an low and wide Islamic dome, its walls covered by ceramics, that easily finds its home among a roof of mosques, framed by ancient smokestacks/minarets of an unlikely and forgotten "Industrial Revolution". Nonetheless, with all of this, I still prefer "my" clear surfaces, the sharp edges, the Pythagorean shadows, but much more is ahead of us, and in my opinion a lot more interesting. Somewhere before I have already mentioned "The Rhetoric Of Space". Literary and Artistic Representations of Landscape in Republican and Augustan Rome", 1988, Princeton University Press by Eleanor Winsor Leach". The aim of this book is to analyze how some remarkable Greek-Roman painters, from the Augustan time, used to communicate with their onlookers, clients, fortuitous visitors, politicians, men of church and so on… The basic idea is the study of the "complicities" of knowledge, experience and language between who creates the image and who must, wants or pays to look at it. This is the least likely place to start talking about a book of more than 500 pages, so allow me to mention it in a terribly allusive way. For instance: in the past, both who produced images and the so called, "beneficiary" knew what gravity was, they were aware that faraway objects seem smaller, that light does not go through opaque objects as well as the fact that a wave must at some point, sooner or later, fall again, that details, due to atmosphere, fade with distance, etc… Now, going back to Leach's book, what the artist shares with the audience/beneficiary is the spectrum of information, let us call them "ecological", they both have. Feeling quite guilty about leaving aside the above mentioned book, let me return to the topic at hand. If, during the time Eleanor Leach wrote and thought about, this "common Feeling of Nature" was still intuitive, correct but qualitative, narrative but not "scientific", this condition is different nowadays, quite different and L. knows it perfectly. I have no idea of his knowledge of space physics, mathematics or science but surely he knows the basics: light direction, its "straight/rectilinear" propagation, equation for a falling body, perspective effects, glares, light diffusions and refractions must be familiar to him. Therefore when we look at "Icon XXI, Along different paths", 2004 or "Icon XVIII, The flower of darkness, 2004, some little houses floating in a Black air, we expect to see them, sooner or later, falling or that the source of the light that shines over the little house in "Icon XV. Going everywhere, nowhere", 2004 cannot be the same one that shines over the other little house below and so on. To a more careful reading, if we study the parts that are lighted and those in "the shadow" in the painting "The great reparatory machine", 2001 we realize that, I cannot say either with relief or more embarrassment, that there is not a single part of the painting where the "lighting is correct", aside from the "floor of water" that seems to play honestly its horizontal role. All the rest is, maybe, just "a big machine" under "repair" more than "reparatory". If the great and difficult intuition Eleanor Leach had, regarding the shared space of options, beliefs, knowledge and hopes between the creator of images and its observer, well, here, one is under the impression that what is really happening is a sort of combinatorial vision of the world. If we have been told, these are the "Laws of nature", well, we are not going to respect them at all. Actually, we combine them in the most irrational ways possible, the most contradictory associations and the forms “naturally” most unfeasible, let us make them at least “pictorially feasible”. In "Dar Wesen der Kunst", Berlin 1907, by Konrad von Lange we can peculiarly read: the elements preventing the illusion are definitely more interesting… a painting does not have to be natural, it must instead, aim to "decorative effects". This, relatively peculiar sentence, must be understood only after the reading of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who, in 1797, had already written in a much more refined fashion: "yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth, sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith…In order to avoid the so many critiques, always at work, I have deliberately not chosen to use the official wonderful translation by Emilio Cecchi because of its amazing captiousness. And here, I believe that L. should have asked him to write this text, since he sees much better than I do, for instance when he quotes Kanawoka in Fenollosa I, "Waterfall": the thick black cloud broke out and the moon was still next to it; like waterfalls coming from a high cliff, a lightning came straight down, with no indentions, like a steep large river…": In order from L. not to sorrowfully regret what Emilio Cecchi could have written about his work, I invite him to read, where they unexpectedly appear, Sassetta and again Giotto, Cimabue Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Baldovinetti: in short the whole primitive party.

And then the game could be much more sophisticated, very little naïve, almost perverse. For instance, in all those cases in which "At first sight" everything seems in place, the two straight lines are parallel, the alpha angle is exactly inferior to the delta angle, the "nth/umpteenth" arch comes after another "nth/umpteenth" etc… the contradiction does not immediately show, or maybe, it will never show. In short, by using an everyday expression: "What about if Things just did not go the way they did…but differently?" Or by using a more "creative" stance: "what about doing it all over again?" Nonetheless, "Eclipse or the union of what must be separate"(6), 1985, really and audibly wants to "say something". It is as if L. did not like the status of things as he found them, and so he decided to shake them a little and see if everything still stood. Or not. This is exactly it. In 1984, the professional situation of Enrico Lombardi was not much different from the one of Claudio Moriconi, who in 1990 was asking himself about inhabiting the world with plants, trees, hills and cypresses over at the "University of Perugia, Laboratory of Automatic Drawing".

I presume then, that everything I see is false…I believe that bodies, figures, extensions … are nothing else but the functions of my soul” Descartes, “Rules for the direction of the mind”.

It was right at the time when the first images started scrolling down the monitors of computers that we realized that in order to make the world visible, it was necessary to create it first, piece by piece: illusion by illusion. If a piece had not been mechanically or mathematically built, then, very simply, it would not have been visible. Or it would have not existed, however you wish, but after all, I'm not very good at metaphysics. I would like to, just for a little while, give voice to Claudio Moriconi: "…in order to draw a tree in the context of a garden you must know its features, its growth rate, the geometry of the foliage…it is not a beautiful image we should purse but a meaningful one, one that can be recognized, that is critical and communicative", taken from "Automatic processing of the elements of the natural landscape" in "Themes and Codes of the architectural drawing", curated by Roberto de Rubertis, Adriana Soletti and Vittorio Ugo", published by Officina Edizioni in 1992, pp. 59-179. For those, who have never been interested in "Automatic Drawing", it may be surprising to find out that, already back in the years between 1980 and 1990, the visual world of normal computers was not that much different from the one invented by Leon Battista Alberti, about half a century before, with its checkered floor, its rectangular or trapezoid walls, a very few shadows, but rich in wonderful vanishing points in which the daring "spacemen" will add, later on, a third one showing that the world could be seen from above and below and not only sideways. One of the first innovations was making an uneven ground by adding hills, valleys, mountain cliffs, "solitary hills" and so on. But surely, it was in Perugia, that the trees started to inhabit the earth. We can talk about a new "Creation", even this one divided, just less theatrically, in days. It is clear that, among these humble technical circumstances, nothing can even resemble the intensity of the biblical narration or likewise evocations, nonetheless, even this digital inhabitation of a new World is not void of a certain human greatness. It would be plenty just to look, even superficially, at some of the images Claudio Moriconi has chosen for his article. Let us look at Pic. 1(7) where the "Cupressus Sempervirens" is created to make it visible on the monitor. The several shapes it appears, are, each one in turn, the most suitable to supply all the necessary indications on the vegetable creature we want to see. And thus, see ourselves. Pic. 3(8) shows three cypresses in a digitalized, but at the same time "irregular" landscape, and lastly, thanks to a cartographic convention almost nineteenth-century-like, that is seducing per se, we can observe a quite elaborate and working "shading", that is the outline of the shadow of an isolated cypress on an uneven ground. In the easiest scenario, the shadow is one and behaves, visually speaking, like an obelisk. Much more complicated is the situation, when a number of shadows, six to be exact, raises from the base of a single cypress to end on the ground as if to indicate us the passing of time and the moving of the sun and the earth. At this point it is no use to go on in this line of thought since I am already perfectly happy to have included in this "critical" text some fundamental aspects on the subject of Automatic Drawing. I can only hope that L. will not find my talking about non-human drawing inappropriate. Non human but humanly thought and wanted. It is not so bad, after all, if we, humans, sometimes come out with a new version of the Creation in an attempt to understand what might, more or less, have happened. The humble but laborious case of the Virtual Image has shown us a very simple truth: in order to see the World, we must make it, or Remake it.

At this point, we cannot avoid seeing, in the paintings by L. either quoted or not, an intense love for geometry, architectural forms and the representational fashions used by architects, the graphical codes, in general the "Technical Drawing". Let us get closer: the symmetries and asymmetries. It is known that, apart from the aesthetical, religious and linguistic conventions, structuring a symmetry is an act of laziness. It is enough, in fact, to draw a vertical line, other more sophisticated ways are available, too, but in the end, the result is the same, for each point on the right we place a "symmetric" one on the left and so on. Of course we are much smarter than this, and so, for each point on the right we place two or three of them on the left, for each red line at the top, we place two green ones at the bottom, for a frontal tridimensional ellipse I place a slanted amber hyperboloid behind and so on. Economy. L. neither shakes them off nor is too intelligent to avoid them. For instance in "The Last Supper", 2001, smartly disguised, they are all there but with a precise supporting geometric structure, just as well as in "Monument" 2001, where the procedure consisted in taking away from "The Last Supper" the left side. It is obvious that the procedure is not so banally mechanic, but deep down, more or less, this is what it is. Even in "The Difficult Climb"? This painting along with "Abandonment", 2002, "End of the voyage", 2002, "Harmony", 2000, "The white threshold" 2006, belong more or less at random to a category, that I would call, for the sake of continuing in my task, "Ecological". I hope L. will not take it as an offense, the fact of using a sort of Linnean classification in his work. It is nothing else but a logistic artifice. Let us go back now to "The Difficult Climb". It is quite simple to detect the pros and cons of symmetric dialectics, somehow here more complex than in "Abstraction", 2000, where the "dig", so clearly highlighted, indicates that someone was at work, some other peculiar organism, definitely neither a cypress nor its ironic and irreverent "deuteragonist", the "Pinus Maritimus", had started some kind of work there. The symmetry in "The enchantment of never", 2006, is even clearer and easily demonstrable. Here the "Symetria Naturalis" is simply the same as the curves and counter-curves perfectly symmetric found in the Colorado River in Arizona. Now that we have made sure that the exercise of symmetry quite easily works even in Nature we can go on and finish, aware that this cold reading of symmetry is not what L. has at heart. It seems that the fact of having introduced a form in a dialectics with itself, under a "geometric disguise" might have come from the treasured hope that, after all, the real structure of the world must respect a cruel, precise and at the same time wonderful law, that, let us be frank, can give birth to a "truth". But as I will explain later on, I am not very familiar in this realm of ideas. In "Hyper-factory-memory" from 2001 (10), the two beautiful smokestacks are not the same height, the one on the right is 3.81 mm higher than its little twin on the left: too little to be fortuitous. Let us look now, at the official poster used to advertise, and not only in Germany, the movie METROPOLIS by Fritz Lang in 1927. Here, the fine anti-symmetry exercise is all played horizontally and the vertical axes "central", is simply a false clue. Brigitte Helm is still "HEL", the robot, and not the fine girl who is supposed to save all the children-workers from the water violently coming in cascades from everywhere, flowing fast and murderous down the stairs, flooding basements, bumping and bouncing against walls not quite Nazi yet, but not for long. And thus everybody had to abandon the flooded and empty undergrounds, now lived only by geometric reflections of the rectangular, repeated and solitary pillars, and finally at peace. Only an endless constant faraway drip can be heard. Outside just a handful of people and even Brigitte Helm does not keep a lot of company, or maybe be too much.

Even this was a fact that we so willingly did not want to see. It was simply easier to accept the idea that there had never been a lot of people around. But then, who had built the "Factories", who were they built for, where had EVERYBODY gone? This is ancient history: " let the waters under the heavens be brought together into one place and let the dry land appear…and it came to be so.". There is also another, less melodramatic way, to make the dry land appear, just wait for a Low Tide. And the water, then, obedient to the moon, will regularly retrieve, in tranquility; it will slide away, leaving a new world behind, a humid, rich, full of seeds and fragments, of shells, of fast collapsing in the friendly and easy mud. Even L., yes, even him realizes it. And so he watches, carefully examining the corners and the water borders. And then, in the distance, an irregular but undoubtedly row of unmistakably human coastline lights. A linear necklace of lights, sometimes close to one another, may it be a city?, or some other times separate, may they be houses, places of love or rest? Some other times running for long distances, regular and repeated, may they be highways? A new "Mankind" is settling down along the new shores revealing, to us, our own presence. Finally!

And present in the midst of this commotion was the cone-shaped

cypress, who, though now a tree,

was once a boy, beloved of that

god by whom the bow and lyre are both strung.

Ovid, Metamorphoses translated by "Charles Martin"W.W. Norton & Company, p. 345.

Ruggero Pierantoni - Zoagli 2012

Translation Angela Lombardi

(6) On L.'s titles.

Let us start by saying that in human culture an almost unavoidable element is "the Title". Practically, since history began we have always wanted to, let us be frank, "precede" a text, a piece of music, a painting, a house or a city by a "Title". Thus, it is something perfectly human, reasonable and "explainable" for a lot of reasons being the main one that there is an inborn desire for order, classification and recovery in a symbolic system where the object, were it text, painting or music could have not physically found a space to be arranged. The case of the Borgesian Library is so typical that it is useless to spend time on it. Nonetheless, it is far too clear that this does not solve the problem: the same identical text, the same identical painting or piece of music could be called with names completely different from one another. Giving a specific title and NOT another one to a certain thing is the first step toward the great complexity of the problem. BUT, how can there be an affinity, a congruity, a reminder among certain specific words or numbers or symbols and a text, an image or a piece of music? Anybody who has studied the metaphor could start, right now, to talk endlessly about it. Here we can draw some delimitations, some sub-areas, some clusters of meaning, yet very fluid, very liquid, very transparent according to which we can "move" from a "title" to another "title" for the same identical "thing" with a deed, not necessarily destructive or negative, but, sometimes, certainly creative, innovative and original. At this point, the phonic, acoustic, literally and writing delimitation of a title starts spreading in all possible directions and each and every direction becomes possible since we are no longer looking for a precise connection, for one or more possible bridges, for a "coherent" set of signs (symmetric...see below). And this is the space, the freedom or the necessary and mandatory slavery L. cries out for, when he advocates his right to give titles to his paintings. In advocating his intrinsic and absolute "reason of being" L. is forced to make the domain of definitions imprecise and extremely vague so much as to embrace a sort of moral or biological obligation to feel "obliged" to have a few words "preceding" a painting. They must not, obviously, be connected to the banal condition of what is, or is not, visible. To give titles, in fact, does not mean to write an "Index of the Chapters". But L. keeps on insisting about his necessity not to have (or want) to see the Deleuze spider web limits- (a metaphor more dangerous for flies than spiders). A "Title" is something that does not concern me in the least, nonetheless I do reckon they are helpful in the pragmatic process of memorization and immediate recognition, and at times of course I appreciate their evocative, allusive and phonic fascination... If L. titles one of his beautiful paintings "End of the journey", I am happy because it suits the "image", it makes it memorable, it dresses it fancily, it makes it closer to you. But this is where it all begins and ends.