I came into the world in 1986.

Yes on "carta da spolvero" it's true, but anyway I was born. I was made by well-developed and bizarre forms; the negation of the anorexic world I had around me and that had burst at the time. year by year I was changing: in every manifestation I adopted postures each time accommodating, ostentatious, tormented, provocative, modest, indecisive, implacable, ironical and astonished, always with crosses, black hearts and unfailing necklaces.

I am the summary of all the women of the world, of the history that came before me and that i lived.

I am what i suffered in silence, what I rebelled to and all what i learned dignitly to accept. Now I am here, selected among countless postures as fixed thought, gently laid down on jute sacks in the old days wishful of wheat, sacks meticulously sewn up by another myself that may be didn't know concrete.

Now I am here framed as a relic by worn laces used in the past time for adorning legs, wrists, necks of other myselves that, with the careful patience that i no longer know, embroidered in that time.

I am tired but, I confess, I am happy. Despite my necklaces that some times turn into chains, I am overwhelmed by a conscious fulfilment: moreover i am what i am, happy of my unlikeness, of the choices i did and i will do.

I am perfectly conscious of my reds and my violet: at last i accepted my grief and that of all the other myselves that came before me.

I accepted at last my passion in the name of all the other myselves that campaigned to be able to live it at he light of this day of mine.

I accepted at last without questions the mistery of that devotion that now I know is the common wealth, the might that moves the world.

Look at me and accept yourselves; in a pencil line there are you too; you that, critic, look at me as i were a work.

Look at me and accept myself; I am different, as you are among you.

Unique, as you are among you.

Remember me, you, the present day and this old fragrance of violet; be for you a fixed thought.

 

Autobiography of a fixed thought: from the work to the poetics

"Autobiography of a fixed thought" is the work that contains the feeling of the artistic research that Viola Di Massimo started in 1986 studying the female nude.

The text telling voice that accompanies the work comes by the protagonist of the works, a just born pencil drawing that starts to tell itself getting more and more life as a living individual on a continuous research of a personal stylistic shape, in the sign as in the thought.

This study, in the course of the years burdened itself at any new work with personal, autobiographical and communal meanings.

As the observer can often catch, in the poetic of the artist the feminine is an universal container of moments, ideas, confessions, growth and battles lost, won and to be still fought.

It becomes past, present and continuous movement; that movement that drives and always drove the world in the succession of the generations.

Feminine, in the artist's research, is evolution.

The jute used as base for this work was found by the artist years ago in an old country home. It was noticed for the texture, the colour, the wear and above all for two snips of fabric used as patched-up. Two mends made by two different fabrics that remember clothes of the paste time: the every day clothes and the sunday clothes belonging to a pre-consumerisitc age. Then this jute sack is not only the base on which working but it is protagonist too, full of history as it is.

The colour remembers the earth from we were born, the earth which was worked by other "we" but above all remembers the careful patience of those who had little and regenerated much for saving and giving new life to something that would have contained wealth as may be wheat.

Here is the first fundamental symbol of this work; the jute, that joined with other sacks suggests sewings that seem scars: indelible signes of struggle, work, satisfaction, violence, birth, fight and then evolution.

Carefully laid and sewn only on the upper side we can see the texture drawings of the author. The difference between the two fabrics used for the work, damask and raw, has the aim of defining the typology of women of different milieu but rejoined in the same battle in which the common field is the jute.

This work is then made up by three levels and by the "atmospheric" level: the space in which it is laid (a message-work that can be everywhere), the sack base that houses the work, the fabrics on which are pressed 32 women images made by pencil drawings, and the air that moves these last ones.

Every image is carefully framed by ancient laces made by hand, found they too in an old home as inheritance from past generations: every representation is a bit of past experiences, a catch, a fundamental act to be made precious by a lace of history and so honour the women lived before the artist.

The images have been fixed only in the upper side so to maintain them free to be moved by the wind; this has been fundamental for doing the sense of a movement that is and has been symbol of a continous though, and so it will be for ever.

In the residual spaces, where there are more than 32 images, were sewn other frames of lace, jute and three elements of different colour made of fabric yet: two different shades of red and violet, on which are fit three symbols: compulsion, passion and devotion. These three "sentiments" are those which moved the world; and for this reason the artist gives them relevance.

In the right of the upper part there is the first symbol: the cage, the lace red prison that stands for the beauty in which the woman for culture and fear has always imprisoned herself remaining often slave. This symbol is often represented (in the drawings, in the oil paintings and in the performances) by black necklaces that often have a different overtone from that of a simple "embellishment": a burden one must be able to sustain.

In the left of the upper part there is the red, symbol of love and passion, on which it is fit a veiled black heart, the two faces of love: good and evil, joy and suffering guarded by the necessary veil of the wisdom.

At the centre of the bottom part the devotion: a rectangle of violet velvet on which is fit a bobbin lace that, worn by the course of time, forms a cross.

That devotion that some of us will never understand and accept but that some times , or often, has been salvific. All the surface has been sprinkled of violet fragrance.

The violet is for the artist the more simple fragrance; it represents the sensuality natural, true, not corrupted, to be accepted without resistance because it is unique and timeless.

This work is the everlasting thanks to all the women, but to the men too, that preceded us and that fought for getting a more piece of freedom.

If Viola Di Massimo is now an artist and a free individual she owes this, first and foremost, to them who preceded her as it's clearly written "at last i acceped my passion, in the name all the others myselves that fought to live it at the light of this day of mine".

 

Autobiography of a fixed though, despite it's almost monotone containes all the shades used from the year 1986 till now in the paintings and drawings.

It encopasses the Cadmium of passion and violence used in the big hat and in the stockings, the carmine of the theatre curtains that divide the observer from the protagonist without knowing who is one or the other.

It encopasses Dark Chrome Yellow colours that lighten the almost ever present Sienna that is able to show all the hidden Umbers, the "Grigi di Payne" of the night, the Prussian Blue of the storm, the Vermilion of the euphoria, the impenetrable White of Titanio, the "Nero Marte" of the oblivion and the Purple of mistery.

But it encompasses too the sign from which all was born, the syntesis, the freeze-frame of a lived life, every act suffered and carried out, every action, every token, every step made in the own life to respect the loyalty towards ownself.

With all that follows from: hazards because of the soft floor in continuos movement and that hiden unlimited dizzy chasms where the protagonist must be able of finding the equilibrium necessary to go ahead, on the subsequent scene; necklaces so long that some times seem slave chains, and empty chairs in endless suspenses.

The same poetics enlarges with theatrical performances and the monologues written by the artist, where the words take, exactly as a painting, accurate configurations and shades.

The video performances are then aften the extension of the written monologues, played by herself experimenting the own body as an artistic medium, or played by other actors willing to share and "to espouse" the monologue-thought Viola Di Massimo proposes and voices by the writing.

These texts, often promoted by the "Propaganda per la Civilizzazione delle Mass" (an artistic movement produced in 2007 as a counter imitation to "Pubbblicità Progresso"), differently from the paintings certainly more intimists, face the communal problematic by which the artist feels herself involved in her life, as "Favola per un Silenzio d'aprile (Fable for an April Silence)", a fable so coloured as black, born after the terrile earthquake in Abruzzo.

The "Present-day love letter", an apparent love story but in reality a consideration on the fidelity to ourselves and the importance of following our own ideals; or "indifferently indifferents", a very short spot in which is told that anyone can feel disconfort and disinterest too.

The videoshort "Love letter by A.P. but … am I a rightist or a leftist?", originated by a study on politicians or persons that try to be that, considers about the bullying tolerated because of the own weakness. "Love letter G.A.Y." in which the consideration subject is the discrimination, the new discrimination … so new that could be joined to that a bit more old, known by all ... Then the texts tell what it's impossible telling by a painting but certainly a painting can be shown in the same way: in her videos and theatrical performances all is exactly as in the paintings … but it's in motion; in fact, Viola Di Massimo trusts so much to all this that after having painted them (necklaces, hats, chairs, tables, floors, red curtains …) turns any element real ; she is confident that the observer must feel himself captured by a new world where he can walk inside, a world born by a different mind. It's exactly for this reason that her studio, her exhibitions, theatrical peformances and videos are works in movement, where the observer himself turns, even if for a while, into a work of art.

 

Every artist has his obsession; for Viola Di Massimo this is the feminine in the most large meaning she can arrive.


"Autobiography of a fixed thought" hides the author's truth: it's not the single artist's creation that is a work but is the some artist that, changing day by day his own life and his choices to follow the inmost creative impetus, turns himself into one of the longest, most difficult and suffered peformances in progress.

Techics: old jutes sacks sewn together, 32 images of pencil drawings pressed on crude and damask fabric. Old hand made laces, violet fragrance.

Dimensions: cm 190x230