World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 150 - Christian Zanotto
Recently I was at the opening of the Video installation EMPYREUM of Christian Zanotto at Breed Art Studios in Amsterdam-Noord. The 'white cube' of the exhibition hall was transformed into a holographic theater in the form of a labyrinth.
It was dark in the room, but you could see a rectangular labyrinth with light movements on it. Everywhere, on the inside and outside of the labyrinth corridors, on the walls of the room, you saw moving angels with large wings and swimming membranes, as it were swimming together. It looked like a world of Jeroen Bosch.
The little angels saw you back on the people as they entered the labyrinth. I got an explanation from Sonia Arata (curator with Luca Rezzolla) and the artist, Christian Zanotto, who came from Venice, but nowadays alternately lives both in Venice and Amsterdam.
"It is a kind of heavenly kingdom to scale. The weightless figures, angels with shining wings, multiply in a digital universe brought to life by the beaming rays of the beamers in a round dance of glare, reverberation, reflections and ethereal appearances. Open geometric structures and an intangible reality intersect in this contemporary vision of a digital sky, populated by a range of winged figures, that occur to us in a choreography of fluttering movements. "
EMPYREUM is part of Zanotto's oeuvre, which researches the bringing together of the virtual and traditional world, and how they communicate with each other. His audiovisual works confront the viewer with a different context than the one we usually perceive. It results in a staging of multiple levels of reality.
Shift the point of perception
Christian Zanotto works on what fascinates him the most: the human being, how he has expressed himself, how he has evolved. Zanotto: “I try in this way to know, understand and hypothesize a possible world.” The core of his work is a continuous research, an incessant work-in-progress, an analysis of contemporaneity which includes the futurable in its connection with what has passed in the art and history, in a fluid coexistence of the different planes of space and time.
Zanotto: “It is an artistic analysis close to philosophical-scientific one, which can not leave out of consideration a metaphysical vision of the existence, with various branches: anthropological study, in an historical and mythical perspective; language of images, to build a visual-symbolic alphabet; investigation of the relationship between material and digital space, between physical realm and intangible, transcendent universe. It is also a will to shift the point of perception, so to open up to different and unprecedented realities, which go towards the immaterial, towards new thresholds of fruition and intuition of what is "other"; to show, at the same showing myself. “
In his work the body is the first actor. “In the characters which I stage I focus on the volumes and on the plasticity of the muscles: I intend to create a synthesis amongst the genres; I look at the two halves, at the force emanating from the michelangelesque figures, I refer to abstract, virtual entities who have taken shape in a digital habitat, by the prominent physicality, but with an ethereal density.”
Does Zanotto have a key-work, a work that served as a turning point. This does not appear to be the case. “Since mine is a continuous analysis that gradually evolves, I can not indicate a particular artwork. An important point for me has been studying and working with 3D software, virtual sculpting and holographic projections, as in the case of the current video installation 'Empyreum' , at Breed Art Studios in Amsterdam, running till the 13th January 2018."
"Through these explorations I have managed to free the image from support and background and to bring into appearance, in our physical space, my digitally generated intangible sculptural works. Speaking of a key moment in my work: the use of the technological medium is a key factor through which I have been able to explore new modes of expression and to transport and combine, in the digital realm, the various media of the analogical period, creating a bridge between these two universes."
Zanotto received his arts training at the Venice Fine Arts Academy. However, he feels himself an artist since childhood. “My life and art are inseparable, a unique experience in progress.“ He began to exhibit professionally right from the first years of study. “It's a life that constantly leads me to travel, to expand my knowledge and reflections, to meet interesting people; it' s a personal growth, a tirelessly research: my artistic work inevitably reflects all these elements.”
He has the will to continue, using, manipulating and transforming the visual language of canons and icons created by the human imagination. “With the intention to link the past to the new, to explore the space passing between the analogical and the digital, so to penetrate the boundaries between the physical and the virtual, thus moving in a place that I perceive closer to the concept of infinite, absolute.”
What’s his philosophy? “Although I consider the completeness and the formal control of the work fundamental, I think it is important to give space for discovery and unexpected outcomes. Randomness always occurs, even in artworks. It makes it challenging.”
Zanotto finally: “I feel that I am ideally moving in mirage territories, where I see liquid borders, my tension is towards the ethereal assonance of light and sound, towards the untying of the artwork from the matter, without depriving it of its presence, so approaching the vibrations and the substance of a symphony.”
1) – 8) "Empyreum", views of the installation at Breed Art Studios, Amsterdam, 2017 (picture 8: at the opening Aleksandra Kaspera performs on cello; photo by Attilio Brancaccio); 9) Christian Zanotto portrait with the artwork "Moon Dollar Battle", 2017; 10) Holographic Theca "The Hat Is Wearing Me", 2014; 11) - 12) "Moon Dollar Battle", rendering of virtual sculpture on crystal panel (whole and detail), 2017; 13) "Hollywood Battle", rendering of virtual sculpture, fine art inkjet print, 2017; 14) "Moon Dollar Battle Stereo Scene" #6, virtual sculpture, digital mixed media, 2017