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Disorder and experimentation in the museum-houses of Ignazio Apolloni We are pleased to publish a summary of Alessandro Gaudio’s preface to the essay by Carmen De Stasio analyzing the work of the Sicilian artist by Alessandro Gaudio
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Carmen De Stasio, the author of this unusual book (Estetica Generativa. I luoghi di Ignazio Apolloni, Palermo, Arianna, 2014), claims that the two museum-houses created by Ignazio Apolloni at Palermo and Isnello were structured according to the rules underlying the Sicilian intellectual’s lengthy recherche d’artiste. Apolloni and his wife Vira Fabra constructed a real rhetorical edifice, with its own particular form. The dwelling becomes an architectural metaphor of the relation between consciousness and the unconscious and, at the same time, it is superimposed on the concept of the book (Apolloni seems to be asking whether to live in the book or read the house). It is a multidimensional space governed by certain principles dictated by the two artists’ penchant for the encyclopedic, showing a glimpse of how their psychic reality was projected onto the external world.

The main rule governing the semiotic functioning of the house is symmetry: like the principle of symmetry followed by the unconscious, it treats the opposite of any relation as if it were identical to the relation itself: the uncompleted, the centrifugal, and the cogent bring to life a space (or a time) whose orderly disharmony causes a movement of the imagination, its new arrangement. The stuff of symmetry (or to use De Stasio’s words, of disorder) coexists within the Domus with asymmetrical elements, which are those linked to the biographical and artistic lives of Apolloni and of Fabra.

The many images accompanying De Stasio’s essay (becoming almost a prosthesis of the subject) give a clear idea of the way reality is a space devoted entirely to experimentation and to the ability to test the limits of art. It is a place where one takes pleasure in pointing out the deterioration of the established framework and it provides a semblance of the fact that the borders dividing the various regions of the mind are not impassable. The overall picture which even those who have never visited the Domus will take away with them from this very useful book is of a material sphere in which the visual is superimposed on the discursive sphere of thoughts, with intermingling of the real and the unreal. There is also a more obvious connection between the photographs and memory, or rather, between them and a constant (or hypnotic in De Stasio’s words) return to what one has lived-written-said-done-forgotten.

And that is why the Domus in Palermo and the house at Isnello (which depends on the first one), together with the book-objects (which in turn, are no more than appendages of the houses) make up a space of transformation that can dissolve any single perspective. De Stasio points out that what emerges is a stereometric vision, a sort of construction in movement that upsets the visual flatness typical of an ordinary defining relationship with daily life, and is designed to recombine it.

They filled their house with being, but not in order to make a shrine to it and protect it; instead, the house-object means that what is usually kept outside of consciousness can be identified, being endowed with a recognizable, visible, and therefore open structure.

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