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"Ilaria, siliqua in winter"
"Here she is saved from Sgarbi. Ilaria Facci, in the ducal palace of Urbino, protected, sheltered from me. But she is not defenseless. She is courageous; she faces us with naked body, subjected to tensions, twists, contortions, in a distant memory of Lucien Freud, and in a, closer one, by Jenny Saville. Those bodies decompose, or are crushed; and they resist. These, Ilaria, are sublimated, transfigured, become souls, like the Pietà Rondanini, sublime last thought by Michelangelo; or leaves, as in Bernini's Apollo and Daphne.
Ilaria talks to us about her soul, her pain, her desires. Her atmospheres lie between mannerism and symbolism, between Rosso Fiorentino and Füssli; and Von Stuck. bodies or ghosts?
Bent bodies, reflected bodies, deformed bodies, elusive, screwed, blurred bodies. Ilaria is a cultured artist, full of echoes and reminiscences. It must have been enchanted by John Everett Millais' Ophelia, a body floating in stagnant water, amidst lush greenery, on the edge of the Hogsmill River in Ewell, Surrey.
From Hamlet: "There is a willow that grows crooked on the stream and mirrors its elongated leaves in the flowing glass; over there Ofelia weaves fantastic garlands of buttercups, nettles, daisies, and long purple flowers which the unfocused shepherds give an indecent name, but which our pristine maidens call dead man's fingers. There, on the hanging branches, as she climbs to hang the crowns, an evil branch breaks, and her green trophies and herself fall down into the weeping stream.
Her robes swell, and like a mermaid they support her for a while, while she sings pieces of ancient songs, unaware of the risk, a creature born and formed for that element. But it cannot last long, as long as the clothes, heavy with water, draw the poor unhappy from her melodies to muddy death ". Of course Ilaria will be pleased to know that, for her Ophelia, Millais chose Elizabeth, future wife of Dante Gabriele Rossetti as a model; and, to make the girl's drowning more likely, he had her immerse in a heated bathtub with candles, in his gloomy apartment, at 7 Gower Street, in London.
The woman's contracted resistance was remarkable, even when the temporary warm-up ceased to work. And here comes Ilaria: Elizabeth tenaciously continued to pose, suffering from a terrible bronchitis that definitively compromised her health. Life, disease, death. Bodies like plant forms. In the vegetation, the bodies of Ilaria and Elizabeth as narrow linear siliques, between one seed and another, with convex or keeled, ribbed valves. Biennial or perennial herbs; whole, toothed or pinnate leaves. Arrived, from the images of Ilaria to the siliques, we just have to conclude with the verses of Gozzano: “I'm not him! Not what you look like, what you dream of, fraternal spirit! Under the verse that you know, tender and gay, the heart is dry, shrill with scorn like a shrill siliqua in winter, vow of seeds, pendulous in the rovaio ... "So, so, the naked bodies of Ilaria."
"Those who go through pain and feel death next to them (I am among them) get up from that bed with a new awareness of everything and, often, with a profound need to concretize the pain and joy for life found in works that they become almost talismans in which to enclose an immense amount of meanings, sometimes obscure to the author himself but removed from the soul and locked up in a work that is finally "out of you".
Ilaria seems to create in a state of mystical tension similar to that of the shaman who sees parallel realities in the dark and tries to dominate them. In the works of this young author, there is a combination of flesh and blood, fire and purifying salt, a paroxysmal Orphic dance made of living matter and yet already almost on the verge of collapse. An instance of death and life that intertwine in bodies reddened by the fatigue of living and at the same time tense in an eroticism that touches the bacchanals of the sublime Dionysus.
Visions and crystals of carnal and almost intoxicated poetry that conceal a depth of feeling that can only be generated by the knowledge of pain and rebirth. Like a ruthless scientist-artist Ilaria Facci investigates the bodies and their stains, the shadows more than the lights, the folds of the bodies where the shadow of being and living is deeper, as if the truth were to be sought in the dark and not in the light. He does not try, as I did, to defeat pain by trying to design a world that alludes to reality to create a parallel, bright and shining one.
On the contrary, it throws itself into the weight of living and into the vision of the body that becomes the mirror and shroud of the weight of being. Extraordinary and visionary artist Ilaria. His works are restless and revealing like dreams and nightmares. But life wins and also triumphs over evil crystallized in frames that oppose the linearity of time to become magical and eternal icons. If it is true as I have always theorized that creating must be an almost paroxysmal state of necessity, Ilaria's work is concrete proof of this. Looking at his work, there does not seem to be any break between what he does and what he is.
The story of himself is clear and very strong. And this is the prerogative of real artists. May my affection and my esteem be close to you Ilaria. Thank you for making me dance with you around the fire of the great Dionysus who understands and encompasses everything in his intoxicated splendor."