Controcuore is the result of a combination of Milizia’s recent work, carried out using various media at different times, following the modus operandi of an artist who is both inclusive and disruptive, eclectic and specific.
“Controcuore” is the name of the cast-iron structure standing between the fireplace and its marble frame. An element of union, of protection, of adaptation, and also the title of the book in which Milizia brings together some of his poems written in 1992 and the analysis of his DNA, carried out through the Genographic Project with the aim of reconstructing his ancestral origins, which turned out to be Greek, Spanish and Portuguese. These poems have recently been translated into Latin and the languages of those countries, through a linguistic game which rewrites them, reinventing their sense. This is the origin of the seven tapestries on show, onto which the verses are sewn, originally produced using the cut-up technique. A technique drawn on at length, ever since the end of the 1950s, by Brion Gysin and William Borroughs, entailing the physical cutting up of one or more written texts in order to piece the elements back together as needs be.
Thus, poems and tapestries, together with twenty-five small-sized paintings created by spreading a blend of nail varnish and correction fluid onto cut-up pages from the catalogue of the permanent collection of the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga. On the background, there are paintings by Spanish artists; in the foreground, the matter of a painting carried out using everyday substances, blown up and expanded. Chemicals from pigments and for retouching, with which Milizia produces dense, stratified works, shaped by a process of subtraction and superimposition.
Two sculptures complete the exhibition itinerary. One is the upshot of a procedure of absolute reappraisal, culminating in a model of utopian architecture. Like the model of a neo-Renaissance building, it is proportioned and rigorous and yet uninhabited, uninhabitable, suspended between its original function and its current dysfunctionality. The second sculpture, made of bronze and produced thanks to a collaboration with the Battaglia Foundry, replicates and reinterprets a “controcuore” the fireplace cast-iron frame which, once again, displays on its surface the traces of the fusion between different cultures.
The exhibition is thus rooted in a logic of accumulation, collection, aggregation and coagulation. It is driven right to the threshold of chaos, yet without ever losing the discipline of analysis, of the skill which Milizia applies to every gesture, forever calibrated and, most of all, the outcome of a meticulous and encyclopaedic study. It’s a cycle of works on fragments and mutation. On the loss and reconquering of shapes and functions. On the transformative process of actions like translation, cut-ups, restoration, but also of time itself, in the inevitable shifting between past and present, and vice versa.
All this leads to a condition of constant instability, a source of inevitable restlessness, but also of an organic excitement in view of the unknown and that yet to be discovered.