Deformitas/Deiformitas

2018

 

White wall, 4 black and white photographs 100x150 cm each. on pvc banner, 4 bull's-eye lights with white light

The work presents four deformed bodies, taken from slides in an old medical-scientific photographic archive. As pale as marble and as fragile as plaster, they stand out in the strong contrast of light and darkness: they are delicate gods whose heads radiate a light that can be traced back to the idea of divine emanation, so blinding that their identities are censored and the deformed bodies are rendered headless archetypes of original divinities.

This mystical vision of extraordinary (extra-ordinary) bodies, out of the measure and order that characterised the heroic figure of classical sculpture, projects us into a universe that is no longer measurable but immeasurable, immeasurable. It is not a question of passionate excesses and earthly drives, not hybris, but an excess that goes beyond our sensitive perception.

Considering the interpretation of the word "deformity", from deformitas i.e. "ugliness", given by St Augustine and Cyprian, deformity indicates the distortion of Form and is understood with a happy analogy as Dei formitas, "the Form of God", "according to the equation deformitas/deiformitas".

In fact, Christianity venerates the Christus Humilis, not a superman but a humble man, who appears suffering and deformed by pain (Christus Patiens).

 

Is it the moment of suffering that brings us closest to death and therefore to divinity?