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I.R.R.A.D.I.A (Eng)




when the imagination becomes productive

when it creates significant forms,

what are they made from?


Goethe said of himself that his poems had all the characteristics of a great confession.

If significant forms emerge from life, or better still, from the spiritual life that feeds it, can the aesthetic experience be used as clarification, as participation of truth (a truth, not The Truth) and at the same time, or because of it, become an experience of autocomprehension ?   Torquato La Mattina acts in this dimension: to give shape to a thought in order to investigate it and to investigate himself.

From the mechanical universe that surrounds us and inexorably interferes with our lives, he identifies and recovers an object (whose formal aspect moreover recognises an implicit artisitic quality) which already has a significant institutional use, he distorts it, clothes it in an aesthetic quotient, he brings new values to it.

From the Baroque period to the “do it this way” of art (dangerous and harmful when released from every canvas) the autonomous value  of the object in artistic territory has a long and glorious life.   In Torquato La Mattina’s experience, the object, rather the scrap metal, is not a casual presentation of itself, it comes from choice and therefore has the immediacy of the casual fact, but is representative of a moment’s thought, it is a moment of his own vital process, artistic and human.

From the individualisation of a concept to its materialisation in a created or recreated form, the elaboration process is long and, if supported by justice, by emotion or sensibility,  does not remain the schematic transcription of a fact.

This is the productive imagination of Torquato La Mattina.   The various stages of his research are not episodes that add together mechanically without an intimate link but are in a constant and reciprocal relationship with the totality of his life.

The experience becomes the substance of an aesthetic experiment, he detaches himself from reality, acquires a new “status” equipped with a specific vitality, an organism capable of suggestion, of recollection.   The scrap metal is a kind of “primary structure” in which he intervenes offering his cognitive faculties, both artistically and spiritually; it is not an operation to which he blindly or materially submits himself, there is no leaving to chance, but continuity and planning.

Compared with art production there is no possibility to grasp the original intimate content except in his irrepeatable form (on the other hand artistic creation has already been put together by feeling) neither does Torquato La Mattina’s research characterise itself for a dominant informative.

He has, however, a will and a communicative capacity from a need to “archaeologise” beautiful shapes, provoked images but worn out almost, to stop their inevitable transition, a wish to humanise an element made by machine (for a machine) intervening manually almost to overtake the formal conformity of the “universalised” object.  

In investigating a concept outside of himself he affirms his individuality, knowing the danger of the mechanization of life, not wishing to be subjugated, he overcomes it with his creative will, with which, as Hegel says “he sets his own intimate seal.” 

Giuseppina Radice

Catania, 15 ottobre 1999

Translated by

Linda Lombardo

March 2002

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