Galleria Nicola Fornello Artecontemporanea
Testo in catalogo di Pierluigi Tazzi

...Daniela De Lorenzo’s passion implodes in the form.
Such implosion results in the enigmatic code featuring the artist’s work. Sigmund Freud called such kind of code ‘unheimlich’ in an essay dating back to 1919, when referring to the nature of those creatures emulating the living body, such as dolls, puppets, marionettes, wax statues, robots and automatons. An example is the automaton described in the short story written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816 entitled Die Sandmann, from which various artists drew inspiration. Among them, Léo Delibes, who gave birth to one of the most renowned romantic ballets named Coppelia – the attention turned to ballet is manifestly declared in Agile – and Jaques Offenbach, who refers to Die Sandmann in the first act of his opera Les Contes d’Hoffmann, let unfinished due to the author’s death in 1880. The famous barcarolle present in this opera was then utilized by Daniela De Lorenzo together with two other musicians’ romanzas for the performance entitled Controcanto, which took place at Fornello’s house in Giolica near Prato, on a night in July 2004.
Such references do not produce spectacular effects, rather they are made silent by the implosion. It looks as if voices, cries and whispers were abraded, by virtue of a sort of feminine-inflected restraint, of surliness covered with jealousy: ‘jealousy’ is here not referred to as feeling, rather as architectural element, the jalousie, that device covering windows and preventing light and glances from getting into a place, which is to be kept in the shade, whose secret doesn’t want to be revealed.
The attention turned to theatre, the affected one relating to ballet and opera, highlights the essence of the event, while the resulting spectacular effect fades away. The body emptied of its own body and the singing losing its narrato. The drama is kept concealed on the inside, just as if it didn’t exist. This way, it doesn’t really exist anymore. The drama is denied both to sight and representation, like all efforts, agony and anguish are, those things from which shapes, images and ‘attitudes’ spring out, the so-called contractions, in the jargon of the artist. All once was, disappears right when the work comes to light: Daniela De Lorenzo conceives the form as mere vanishing, no comforting power is foreseen.
Rather than an exhibition collecting various works, Agile is the space itself created by the artist and consisting of various objects accurately arranged. The video is the starting point of the whole project. Daniela De Lorenzo directs a dancer who starts from standard movements to purposely transform them into contractions. The idea comes from the analytical studies on hysteria made by the renowned neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot in the second half of the XIXth Century at the Salpetrière hospital in Paris. Charcot utilized photography to shoot and halt the body movements, during the attacks affecting the patients, mostly women, suffering from hysteria. A large amount of images is now available as records.
Charcot connected hysteria with forgetfulness. The compulsive repetition of certain gestures and attitudes was nothing but the patients’ attempt to retain what got lost due to the lack of memory, thus trying to fill the dreadful gap forming during the hysteric crisis. Freud, who had studied with Charcot, referred to hysteria as a “deformation of art”, meaning that the persons suffering from such disease sublime their missing relationship with the world through the hysteric action, just like artists do through their works. Daniela De Lorenzo takes a sort of backward journey: she starts from the body and relevant attitudes to reach art. Such process is not realized through the discourse, rather through a complete recovery of the traces. The video records the moving body in its performance. Then come the images as photographs. Then there are suspended and bodiless bodies, they are clothes, habitus, movements turned into matter taking up the physical space. Then comes the scene: the bodiless body leaning against the painted wall, as if going out. The building up of the work differs from the final effect, which ‘shuffles’ resulting in a different order.
First is the glance, which turns the whole space into the work of art. The whole wavers between the traditional perspective view and the shattered one induced by the action of the artist. The staged scene stops being the scene and becomes an exit, while the show turns into a chance of salvation. Though, a silent object still awaits behind the stage wall. That’s a dress, a bodiless body, a flying and flighting habitus, with the flight and flee feigned through the charming, deceptive and real construction of art.

Pier Luigi Tazzi, March 19, 2005, Prato.