Sabino Maria Frassà
AlphaCube is the new art project from Lorenzo Marini curated by Sabino Maria Frassà.
With AlphaCube the artist literally upends the contemporary art paradigm of the white cube as the best form for conveying its use and comprehension. Lorenzo Marini turns that paradigm on its head and makes the “white cube” the housing, the outside of the artwork. The work is contained completely inside the cube, delineating a new, immersive space animated by artistic brilliance. AlphaCube rises in space like something alien, as much in form as in content: while it is obvious that the artist has a certain fascination for Dadaism and Futurism, which he reinterprets and actualizes, it also cannot be denied that the focus of the installation is not an aesthetic satisfaction but a social and cultural stimulus. The formal result is therefore a fascinating and – we might as well admit it – extremely attractive and seductive installation, which
literally hides “inside it” a criticism of how we communicate and interact today: the too-much-information that sweeps away communication, for which language itself was born. Deep down we are all affected by an acute autism and incapacity for empathy. We talk constantly, we shout more often and in an infinity of new ways: think of the bombardment of images, of ever more vivid colors and, in writing, think of the proliferation of uppercase. All these words and all these messages, although increasingly simpler and simplified, seem not to allow humanity to succeed in expressing itself and communicating. So why so many words? Perhaps to convince ourselves of our false certainties and false myths.
- ARTILLERY MAGAZINE
“Lorenzo Marini’s engagement with the letters of the modern Latin alphabet hovers between that of a graphic designer, that of a painter, that of a linguist, and that of a poet.
In each of his paintings and sculptures Marini rhapsodizes on the visual, verbal, and (to a lesser extent) sonic properties of the 26 letters, treating their staves and curves as armatures for several levels of fantasy, fantasy which often courses far from its singlesymbol source but never loses sight of it. Marini’s antecedents, clearly conjured in his soi-disant “Type Art,” range from Medieval manuscript illumination to latter-day graffiti (Jean-Michel Basquiat’s quavering ruminations find particular echo in the Italian artist’s giddy phrases); from 1960s Pop art and supergraphics to the notational surrealism of Klee and Miro; from the word-collages of Poesia Visiva (a Franco-Italian visual-poetry movement) to the lit-up geometries of Memphis Milano. The success of Marini’s typocentric artworks depends intellectually on this rich range of citation, but also on a literary use of language— English and Italian for the most part—that befits the works’ graphic effulgence. (On occasion, going on in torrents of
simile about the shapes of letters, Marini the writer approximates the evocative brilliance of his countryman Italo Calvino.)
Surprisingly, calligraphy does not figure, except incidentally, in such Type Art: Marini’s approach, although painterly, is not gestural but is rooted in the form and function of the letters themselves. He regards his B’s and N’s and W’s as stable, established personas, structurally self-contained, inspiring a universe of association around them. In this regard, Marini personalizes the alphabet and, in the evident joy he takes in doing so, encourages us to do the same. One of his single-letter Typevisuals or pan-letter Multitypes is not simply an entertainment for eye and mind but an invitation to elaborate in our own minds upon these no-longer-quotidian phonograms. Such generosity of spirit alone recommends Marini’s Type Art, but his way with color and his irrepressible cleverness, both visual and verbal, also renders his work approachable and appealing.”
The intersection of graphic gesture with painterly will flows here on a plane of hybridization of the subject matter that enriches its form by transgressing toward a reification of the imaginary that translates into a graphic language that is pure and authoritative.
Lorenzo Marini’s artistic investigation fuses with the clamor of advertising, giving life to a supreme purity that draws its strength from the innate discretion of art and the provocative invasiveness typical of advertising, a field in which Marini has become an icon and a master. The result of this effective addition is a multitude of singularities that represent the first meaning, the original “void”, fount of creation and life. “Typevisual” is the key exhibition of this experience that realizes a linguistic imaginarium, pausing on the identity of each alphabetic letter and accompanying it with notes that fade into the backdrop of the white canvas, almost as if to invite the observer to search for those rare but pregnant clues of an ancient meaning that defines the history of our oral and written communication.
On each letter Marini builds a new graphic definition that describes that subject, often taken for granted, as if it were an artistic portrait. Here the letters become muses that inspire the master Marini, who tells their “personal” stories while supporting his production with a farreaching basic research that taps into both graphics and painting. Marini’s artistic hybridization, of which “Typevisual” is the result, is not therefore a halfart, but a new art that uses the communicative capacity of advertising, the mystic linearity of graphics and the ancient intimacy of painting, conveying the whole to the observer who, standing before the white dimension, rediscovers the language of the self.
- ALL-COLOR WHITE
Giacinto Di Pietrantonio
Let’s begin by giving some cues to the reader, who might feel somewhat at a loss when faced with the blank page of a “tightrope act between commerce and poetry”, by noting, as Lorenzo Marini himself says of the color white, that there is a “strange contradiction in the color white; it is the sum of all colors yet the perception is infused with absence.
It is because it is elegant, like silence, because it is waiting for ink to fall on a sheet of paper, or waiting for color on a painter’s canvas. Herman Melville in Moby Dick called it ‘a colorless, all-color atheism’. Yet to choose white is strong, radical, and uncompromising.”. In that book, Marini also says that silence was invented by angels with the creation of snow, which covers everything with white and hushes noise. This is echoed in the song Emozioni by Lucio Battisti and Mogol, in which the legendary Italian songwriting duo wonder “why, when sadness falls to the bottom of the heart, like snow it makes no noise”. Soundless, colorless, at first sight Marini’s paintings would appear to be empty, even though we are aware that in this world we do not all look at things in the same way, and indeed one man’s empty is another man’s full. In the Zen culture of the East, empty has a value and white is associated with death, while for us in the West it is the other way round. In different parts of the world, white and black, like empty and full, have opposite meanings.
We in the West are bent on filling up with everything, and on filling the empty. Easterners by contrast seek primarily to empty out, and to empty the full. Empty is a positive attribute, because it is not the nothing of nihilism, but the whole of the potential for creation. The white chosen by Marini conveys this to us and tells us that what torments a painter is to define himself through a color. To give a name to a color, even when this is a “non-color”, is the challenge of painting. Titian did it with red (there is a shade of red called Titian); Veronese did it with green (there is a variation of viridian green called Paolo Veronese green); and it is no coincidence that Titian and Veronese were both from Veneto, as indeed is Lorenzo Marini. Unsurprising, indeed, that here we have two Veneto painters (three, including Marini), because traditionally, Veneto’s is the art that seeks the most to express itself through color (probably because of the influence of Venice) while the forte of the Florentine school is drawing, and the forms of Leonardo and Michelangelo.
“Empty is a positive attribute, because it is not the nothing of nihilism, but the whole of the potential for creation.”
We do not think of these Renaissance titans in terms of color; there is no color that brings them to mind, and instead there is a sign, a drawing. Raphael, who was from Urbino in central Italy, is also identified with drawing even though he is remembered for color in movement, in the complexions of the faces of his paintings of the Madonna. And Picasso of the blue and rose periods, when defining himself spoke not of painting but drawing, saying that as a child he could draw like Raphael but that it had taken him a lifetime to forget that and draw like Picasso. This kind of statement might actually be a legend, as in Vasari’s Lives, but it shows that these are stories put about which tell us the quality of the art created by acknowledging its tradition. This is probably another reason why the Veneto artist Lorenzo Marini seeks to affirm his painting by working principally on color, utilizing “the colorless, all-color atheism”. The color white also has a tradition in art, although it is most associated with modern art and abstraction, most prominently with Malevich in the Suprematism movement, with his White on White, 1915, then Lucio Fontana with his Manifesto Blanco, 1946, and his cuts, 1958, Manzoni with his Achromes, 1958, and Twombly with Olympia, 1957, for the sign, to cite just a few.
While for Malevich white is a tautology, when we consider Fontana and his cuts, made on canvases of different colors, the cut that comes to our mind is the one on the white canvas; it is a space in the color of the absolute. Thus, white starts to take form and content. And then, since it is the sum of all colors, we can say that it also potentially contains all the world’s meanings. We might even say that there are fifty shades of white. Marini, again in the book cited above, writes about the well-known fear of the blank page, which has to be contaminated first with its exact opposite, black, and then gradually with the other colors. But there is no such thing as white, just as there is no such thing as red, blue, yellow, and all the others; there are reds, blues, yellows, and so on. There are also many whites: milk white, snow white, ice white, zinc white, lily white, anti-flash white,
Navajo white, and many others. It is a color that is only apparently empty, because there are many common expressions that use white or refer to white: a little white lie, to whiten, as white as a ghost, as white as a sheet. And in the tales of Giulio Cesare Croce, when the King asks Bertoldo what is the whitest thing of all, the shrewd peasant wisely answers: “Light.” Indeed, when we break down light by passing it through a prism, what we see is all the colors of the rainbow. Now let us examine how Lorenzo Marini uses his white, or more correctly his whites: tempera, acrylic, putty, salt, chalk, motherof- pearl, paper, and so on. Finding diversity in unity seems to be another of his traits, not only in the various different types of material and of white color that he uses, but also because, like the angels that make the snow fall, he spreads the white on the canvas not, as most
artists do, in order to create the background on which to paint, but as a surface to cover the underground river of meanings. From his white paintings emerge signs, traces of color, schemes, grids and more besides, all of which relate to his art, or arts. It is well known that Marini is also a creative director in advertising, and therefore a creator of images which also emerge discreetly in his paintings. It is not the first time that an artist has come from the world of advertising. Many pop artists have done advertising: Rosenquist and Warhol are the examples that speak for all. But Rosenquist and Warhol adhered very closely to the strictures of advertising, employing techniques, practices and theories gleaned in that profession to exalt their subjects in terms of form and surface.
This defines their Americanness, in which everything is a product and must be put on show, while for us Europeans, layering, history and time have enormous importance. There is contiguity between Marini’s advertising work and his painting, but it is reworked and transfigured. In pop art everything is up front, everything is a form of visual readymade, of images found and repainted in various ways. For Marini, painting hides rather than reveals. What concerns Marini is how much distance he can put between the white canvas and the purpose of the painting, or between the blank page and the purpose of the text. His appears to be a work in progress, an unfinished work; a concept that, although invented by Michelangelo, has only taken hold in modern art, becoming the retelling of an era. The modern has a Cartesian logic on which to build, to stand, but it ends up letting in its opposite which will disrupt it: the unfinished, which in the modern is formless. This does not only mean that it is something that has no form, or body, but also that it has no time. We see this in Marini’s own words when he says: “In my advertising work, as a creative director, precision is essential. Time has to be exact. 30 seconds is 30 seconds; it can’t be 30.3 seconds. So paradoxically, I have always cultivated its opposite as well, which is instinct.” It is an instinct that has always led him to cultivate his works, although he has never sought to exhibit his paintings. It is in recognition of this continuity that here we are showing 15 years of his painting. Painting and drawing, actually; Marini has always practiced both forms of expression and, as we will see below, in a painting by Marini there are always traces of drawing.
This is a trait that originated in his studies of architecture and the fine arts, which he studied in Venice with Emilio Vedova, just to keep things informal. What Marini learned in Venice seems to emerge recently in the works Spacevisual 2011, Spacevisual 13, 2013, or Brandvisual 1, 2014, in Los Angeles and New York. As we noted earlier, this shows the direct, or indirect, memory of Piero Manzoni’s Achromes, especially in the wrinkled white canvases. Marini’s paintings are neither abundant nor absolute in color, in that under the surface they contain a structure that is modular and serial in the modernist sense, and is therefore abstract. In this way the paintings end up constituting a form of catalog of possible ideal forms, structures and spaces. They are a search for totality and the absolute that clarifies the obsessive use of white, as in the advertising ads series, in which the surface of the canvas appears divided like a sheet of newspaper, or an advertisement, while being neither one nor the other. A careful reading reveals a four-part structure, whose elements are the placements of the photograph, the illustration, the text, and the logo. It is a semantic grid in which the progressive erasure conducted by the white is the search for truth, because it removes the patent partisan utterances of the figurativeness of advertising, which never tells the truth. It is a manner of structuring the page, of dividing the space, which comes from the fact that Marini started out by drawing and publishing comics, and which perhaps also owes something to the spatial structure of Giotto’s frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel, which he saw as a teenager.
“In this way the paintings end up constituting a form of catalog of possible ideal forms, structures and spaces. They are a search for totality and the absolute that clarifies the obsessive use of white”
But here he is searching for a symbolization where nothing is stronger than everything, silence more communicative than noise, and empty fuller than full. So we see that Marini’s pictorial investigation does not only remove us from the cacophony of means of mass communication, but it also makes us think about global events and universal spaces. In his work other series stand out which deal with space, in particular architectural space, not in its plasticity and perspective figurativeness, not as a narrative event, but in the plan view solution that is the abstraction that in the modern age gives life to architecture. Every microarchitecture (house) or macro-architecture (city) is, in plan view, a regular and informal abstraction, which is not inhabiting and living but the idea of inhabiting and of living. Architectural plans are designed to be made a reality at a later time and therefore they have a precise utilitarian purpose, unlike those drawn as buried tracings by Marini who, uncoupling himself from the fact that he is an architect, or indeed because of it, makes paintings in which the plans are an end in themselves; they are drawings of space, they are grids of the painting and, therefore, a catalog of “invisible” and ideal “spaces”. A similar search for the ideal can be seen in the Constellations series, which is Marini’s attempt to give form and image to the universe, to that which is above us, again in space. This is celestial space, which humanity has always felt the need to understand and interpret, long before the modern era enabled us to penetrate it with Galileo’s telescope and everything that came after, delivering a series of low blows to the mythologies that held up the sky. The constellations are also star maps to which Marini seeks to restore symbolism. Indeed, we must not forget that in them
Marini still sees the angels who invented snow, the white silence that covers the world, the white color on his canvases, where we can see points of light, signs, paths, celestial roads of ideal connection. His is not a scientific description. The constellations painted by Marini are not a portrait, nor a copy of star maps made by astronomers (which are themselves abstractions), but the star maps of intuition that, precisely because of their lack of scientific precision, enable us to locate our free imagination in them. They are in fact “figures that you need to know how to read, this is why I never design the work. I paint as I go, and when I go wrong I like it to be seen.” Earlier we said that, in all this abstraction, Marini also deals with the central events of our global existence, naturally without describing them. This brings us to the work interpreting the events in Tienanmen Square in 1989, the same year the Wall came down in Berlin. A blood-red painting, here too covered by the white that acts to focalize, the white that covers and uncovers, because here and there it lets through red stains that become pink, creating an image that brings to mind old Chinese paintings of landscapes. Marini absorbs the pictorial tradition of the Far East, where there is no tradition of figuration, but in which man, when he is featured, is small and embedded in the greatness of the landscape. In the end, we see that the works of Lorenzo Marini are new terrestrial and celestial landscapes. And so, since we began in the West, we can only finish in the East, where the Zen proverb tells us that: “The eye that sees everything cannot see itself.” Marini’s paintings, which never show everything, are works that launch us on a search for ourselves.
- FREED FREEDOM
The art historian Ernst Gombrich compared that special fruit of the imagination that we call art to a room of mirrors with infinite reflections, or an acoustic gallery in which the slightest whispers can be heard from far away.
It is there, said Gombrich, that every form evokes a thousand memories and secondary images, like a river that opens out into a delta of infinite possibilities, in which even the smallest rivulets can give rise to new configurations and to original developments. As soon as an image is assigned to the art, a new nexus of connections is created which the image cannot escape. Lorenzo Marini’s images are also built in transitions, outside the orthodoxy of the everyday and inside a conduit branching towards successive stylistic reprises, and they are also made of rescued linguistic relics like Futurism, action painting or the stylistic fragmentation of postmodernism, all cues that now, thanks to Marini, come back into play in new arrangements of interference and of meaning. This is why the artworks of Marini, who works horizontally, contaminating painting, silkscreen printing, environmental installation and photography, are a coagulation of many flows and form the point of emergence of the great many cues that guide his creative universe, which encompasses and draws on cultural production
from top to bottom, taking in graphic art, industrial design, the languages of advertising and cartoons, to arrive at the lofty domain of Renaissance artworks, right up to the experiments of the historic avant-garde. The creative fusion Marini builds up on images repositions them on a plane of perspective where preferential motifs or linguistic boundaries no longer exist. In Marini’s works, for example in “Type C” (2017), representation, uniqueness or duplication of figures, abstraction, opulence of color, and essentiality of the stroke all cohabit on the same plane. What emerges is a melding of images that, transformed and metamorphosed, are nevertheless inimitable, because the moving relationship that Marini regales us, with his founts, his expressive means and his imaginarium, is also inimitable and never standardized. Straightaway it must be pointed out that Lorenzo Marini’s works, even in their apparent playfulness, are not consumed immediately, and instead require the viewer to spend time in analysis and decipherment.
“What emerges is a melding of images that, transformed and metamorphosed, are nevertheless inimitable”
Although their impact is immediate, a promise kept by the vividness of color and gesture, by the tongue-incheek use of recognizable images and by the paradoxical interferences drawn from the highs and lows of cultural production, at the same time each work by the artist requires more time, as if to launch a challenge at the viewer to penetrate the work beyond the pleasantness of the shades and tones and recover a hidden meaning, the decipherment of an enigma, the revelation of a new code. The challenge also lies in the creation of a new visual context that frees language, revealing perceptive and psychic experiences fulfilled as signed, verbal or graphic experiences: an “E” made up of architectural blueprints becomes a futuristic project of architecture and semiotics, an “O” fluctuates in space held suspended by bands of color that recall Delaunay, Goncharova and Russian Rayonism, a “C” splits into two in its symmetrical alter ego, as if to become the symbol of an unknown brand or of a new Marvel superhero.
On examining the elaboration that Marini applies to the
atomic units of words, i.e. letters, the viewer’s mind turns to Isidore Isou and to Lettrism, the movement that Isou founded in France in 1946 together with Maurice Lemaître, Gabriel Pomerand, Roland Sabatier, Francois Dufrene and Gil Wolman. Although lacking the eschatological and political charge of historical Lettrism, here too, letters and signs in Marini’s hands become the plastic elements on which to build a new pictorial vision that becomes poly-writing, that therefore extends to the literary world and to iconography, where it is no longer words but letters and signs that are elevated to the status of autonomous elements, access keys to the world and to the potential of an uncorrupted, primal vision of signs. The childish drawings that permeate these works testify to a reformative dream, a simple and immediate imaginarium, and a new and extremely playful outlook, which melds with the complex and profound experience of an artist who has always spanned the symbology of signs and has detailed knowledge of its nuances and its expressive potential.
In this way the crumbling of language and the atomization of the letter are converted to new plastic/visual objects, like an old 1970s chewinggum vending machine that today dispenses symbols and letters to be interchanged at will, giving space to all possible alphabets: phonetic, syllabic, ideogrammatic or lexical, all of them becoming fused and intermingled in the pictorial magma of the artist’s canvases. Letter, sign and image all become the bricks of the new cathedral of art, toward an unprecedented unification of means of communication that begins from Marshall McLuhan’s global village and arrives to touch the iconosphere of the World Wide Web and social media. For Lorenzo Marini, a human being is first and foremost a being of communication, emitting and receiving, immersed in networks of signs, producer of an art in which the primary particles let themselves be contaminated, overlapped and inflected, involving the audience in a creative process that is open, unlimited, unbound by time, and whole. One is struck by the many references to a pure and uncorrupted outlook, one that can disentangle itself with ease in today’s jungle of signs, and also the underscoring, in artwork after artwork, of an infancy of the sign that also emerges in the great many references to a childlike vision of codes per se. These works are like messages sealed in a bottle and thrown into the sea of visual chaos that we are immersed in today; they are the testimony of an absolute master of contemporary communication who is now concentrating on pure, disinterested creativity and glimpses the very real possibility of a project of freedom and of creative energy, a new adventure that frees objects as commodities and reclaims objects as emancipation and imagination. Here the artwork finally loses its traditional composure, breaking free from the rigidity of codified languages, confidently discarding the commissioning client, and becoming a radiating center of energy and life. The principle of pleasure has replaced the principle of reality. The image created by the artist, the fantastic spelling-book where it embarks on a collision course with the word, in each case takes on a further meaning, a moving payload that arises progressively from the interferences and shortcircuits of the images used, through visual assonances and transitions of signs that connote the space of the painting as a potential site of free and moving relationships, a space of freed freedom. This effect, which as we observed leads the viewer to abandon analysis and the subtle pleasure of deciphering to make room for an initial, overwhelming blaze of sensorial gratification, is also assisted by the ornamental turbulence of these works, a dissemination of boxes, of rebuses, of ironic cues, of chromatic and somehow enigmatic fireworks, which cover the surface of Marini’s paintings without pause. In the late sixteenth century, Giuseppe Arcimboldo with his “composite heads” made burlesque creations of aesthetic substitution, in which the face as the sum of the parts was not attributable to each individual unit, whether flower, fruit or animal. Lorenzo Marini – Arcimboldo reborn – instead works by mining the proliferation of signs and of images that today’s liquid society has amassed one after the other with no thought as to their value and authority, and from this great confusing chaos he tries to set out to find new footholds of sense, brand-new clusters of meanings and possibilities, renewed contemporary faces freed from the standardized yoke of commodities or of the product, even though they are composed from these elements, just as the faces of Arcimboldo celebrated the metamorphosis of mushrooms, corals, utensils and tree-barks, thanks to the metaphor of art. For Marini, imagining is an imaging of the plurality of life and culture, the world and the plural and contradictory signs (figures and words) with which it manifests itself.
He works in an area with boundaries that overlap and are often mutable, just as some of his compositions are stratified and polysemic and must be read as contemporary collages in which the superimposition of silkscreen printing and painting and the richness of iconographic references just barely allow the underlying drawings to emerge, while the surface drawings jump out at the viewer. Marini’s vision is soft, playful and even sensual, in which Eros, obvious in a work like “ArtAlfa” (2019), lies in having grasped that history today is not one and absolute, it does not have the closed boundaries of exclusive membership, it does not have to take refuge in unique Native American reservations and it does not know the truth except as a moving horizon to aim for and on which to converge dreams, fantasies, passions and impressions. But what the artist has set in motion is not an improvised game, despite the playful aspect of some of his works.
“These works are like messages sealed in a bottle and thrown into the sea of visual chaos that we are immersed in today; they are the testimony of an absolute master of contemporary communication who is now concentrating on pure, disinterested creativity”
Marini’s idea is based on the thirst for danger of those with a clear historical awareness of the fact that the world has become a mass of dross and of theories, of spurious fragments and elements, of objects and of visions. And so painting and languages become fluvial, transporting and expressing that strange vacillation, beyond the artificial certainties of the cages of huge systems and of standardized communication, which is the very vacillation of today’s world, happily and fruitfully unstable. That is why in Marini’s works, words and images do not simply alternate, but fuse together, now embracing in frenetic and tormented totalities, now relaxed, domestic and even lapidary, discovering an irresistible case study of anomalies with which to revitalize the inert everyday and the life of images with passion and fascination. Words like images and images like words, the everyday is evoked with sensuality and poetry even from its most banal elements, exposed like fragments, refractions, tonalities and nexuses. That is why Lorenzo Marini has been able to break out of the golden prison of official language, breaking its chains and freely associating the figures, signs and words that go to make up new constellations of relationships and a use of freedom as freedom freed. In considering Marini’s alphabets, made of images of every register, the decipherment of which places them in juxtaposition with letters, we witness a shift. Instead of the normal hierarchical, linear and even authoritarian relationship between text and image, between seeing and reading, here we are witnessing the opening up of an open, two-way topographic space, reminiscent of that of Futurism, a space where the most basic units of writing – letters – are separated from their practical function of verbal description, while at the same time they exist both as a verbal reference and as a purely visual phenomenon, and it is enough to consider a work like “Futurtype” (2018) to realize this.
“It is hard to think of
a more vital art form at this point in history.”
Under this freed freedom of languages, visual and verbal, Marini presides over a different organization of the space of the artwork for the image, and of reference contexts for words. He has cleared the field of a series of incursions that, with the supremacy of gesture and of the body of the artist, invade the territory of a culture saturated with printed images, glyphs and graphemes, as he showed in the installation AlphaCube, recently exhibited at the Venice Biennale 2019 and at the Design Week in Dubai, in which Marini is photographed in the pose of the Vitruvian Man, no longer outstretched on a world where man is the measure of all things, but on an elastic universe, in the liquid expansion/ contraction that today expresses the relationship between verbal signs, graphics and images.
Finally the letters and the alphabets breathe, and advance through new and fertile territories of imagination and creative freedom. The works of Lorenzo Marini have given impetus to this emancipation and to a vision of language that is no longer restrictive but connective and prolific, where his passion for art also becomes the precious indication of a way of observing the world from multiple angles, seizing on its past experiences and possible future developments. The absolute of art and of the freedom of man lies here, in an inescapable form of exchange and dialog, because the only intolerance that art abides is intolerance of arrest, stiffening and separation. It is hard to think of a more vital art form at this point in history.