DATA ( n.15) magazine published a rather negative review, penned by Barbara Radice, of my book
“Gorlini publishers have printed a book/artwork by young Milanese artist Libera Mazzoleni, titled “Linee, Complessi, Essere” (Lines, Complexes, Being). It is a confession, an intimate diary told in the first person and accompanied by drawings and by photographs of the artist. It is an artwork executed with the drive, sincerity and desperation of those who refuse to grow up or who haven't yet found a good reason to do so. There is nothing to say about a book of this kind except that artistic vocabulary is totally alien to infantile language.
Libera Mazzoleni speaks of “refusing the tired shared ideologies”, and of “a search for 'authenticity'” , which brings her to use a naive-aggressive language, which is not far from the jargon/bad-language of a problematic adolescent. In this personal episode of unloading the emphasis continually falls on authenticity and spontaneity – but these have nothing to do with the highly sophisticated form of abstraction that is art. Art cannot be naif, nor tender, nor poetic in the spontaneous meaning common to childhood. And like all abstractions it is impersonal. It doesn't deal with the individual but with Man.
Libera Mazzoleni writes, 'It doesn't matter what I said, but how and why I did it.' Of course it matters to her, but that's not enough, what she said and why matters to us as well. Knowing whether or not she did it with authenticity is completely irrelevant to the ends of an artistic discourse.” Barbara Radice
DATA did not publish my reply, which found space in the edition n.58/59 of FLASH ART addressed to Barbara Radice c/o DATA:
Dear Barbara Radice,
In reference to your review of my book, which appeared in edition number 15 of Data: Maybe I'll have to wait a long time for a good reason which allows me to enter the ring of the initiated; meantime, to console myself for being excluded from adult company, I continue to think that art taken as a “HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED FORM OF ABSTRACTION” has, in the past, assumed the mystifying quality belonging to all ideologies, because they have supported the concept of abstraction, impersonalness, and genial universality, which – I see – you take to be useful values for reinforcing the myth of male ideology.
Since I lack, therefore, the adequate instruments for an artistic act of authentic, or at least decent, classist and male orientation – instruments which are always values necessary to reach “DIVINE ABSTRACTION” -- I must admit and agree that my artwork is miserably lacking in an adult quality and, indeed,is really infantile.
Moreover, even though I am sorry to be deprived of your consensus, your hard nature, your paternalistic arbitrary outlook, as well as the illusory rhetoric of the independence of cultural and aesthetic values, the conformism present in the incessant request for the QUALIFIED ARTISTIC GESTURE; I am further convinced that I should let infantilism and deculturalization relieve my pain, allowing me to hope that one day the GODS will attribute the DIVINE ABSTRACTION OF ART to mankind.
However, dear Barbara Radice, art only comes from work and so one does well to privilege the process of technical and poetic design, as well as the choice of vocabularies and answers, setting aside the mythological need for rhetorical, ideological contents to propose as far-flung and sophisticated realities extraniated from man, or better, from –real – woman! Libera Mazzoleni