CRITICAL ESSAY BY GERMANO BERINGHELI

Reality known through symbols as a a state of mind, affected by its own faculty of imagination: this should be said about the works of Maurizio Duranti, who replaces an idea with an object in accordance with the rules of language that better suit him, lending the symbolizing mental sphere a more searching look.
In the exercise of imagination, the reference to nature is totally ideal and mythical.
The Great Canterbury Psalter or the Utrecht Psalter, the mosaics of the St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice or those in the Cappella Palatina in Palermo could represent a prototypical influence, the magical key to the place where you have to look at in order to recover.
After all, what is essential and peculiar about the whole history of landscape painting is being especially the clear expression of the many artifices necessary to guide the eye from one level to the other into the desired truth, or of the expedients according to which the position of every form is the result of a deliberate thought or meditation.
Moreover, the same spatial penetration of Nicolas Poussin’s landscapes, for instance, is aimed at the essence itself of landscape according to what is suitable for a complex ideal or imagined as such.
In a word, what Duranti calls in question here is the metaphysical hypothesis of the notion penetrating the antinomic solutions between the sensible and the intelligible world and making it possible to reach knowledge through the abstractive process.
The attitude that sets in motion such recovery in the form of representation consists in an outdistancing and essentially contemplative focusing, able to move away the naturalistic details into a formal limbo that absorbs them in its whole – in its entirety of outward appearance – in order to reduce them to the visual concept of the cold static representation of the idea of the thing and not of the thing itself; in order to reduce them to the mise-en-scène of the appearances that neutralize the essence of our “society of the spectacle” theorized by Guy Debord and closely interconnected by thinkers like Marcuse and Mc Luhan, when they say that in our age of high technology we do not live but we watch ourselves live, hence we do not place ourselves in nature but in its simulacrum.
Here, then, is the worn out image of the “village”, its phantasmatic outline, its heraldic and advertising reality, as mythical place of the impossible travel in modern times.