Cervo Celeste

Fabrizio Cotognini, Cervo celeste, 2014, 2 light-box 50x70 cad,courtesy of Prometeogallery of Ida Pisani
Text by Antonello Tolve 


We completely ignore the structure of the light blue deer (probably because no one has ever succeeded in seeing a real one); but we know that those animals walk beneath the surface of the earth and long to come up and face daylight. They can talk and they pray miners to help them coming up. Initially, they try to persuade them promising precious metals, but as this trickery fails, they begin to bother them. So the miners wall them in solidly, inside mine galleries. We also hear about men who were tortured… Tradition adds that if those deers come up to light, they can convert into a pestiferous liquid which can desiccate an entire land». Starting from this fabula, from this fantastic creature that wanders through the pages of Libro de los seres imaginarios (1967-69) written by Borges – re-examination and integration of the previous Manual de zoología fantástica (1957)- Fabrizio Cotogniniopens the curtain on a clear and lucid stage on a bestiary that becomes metaphor of our very environment. The journey inside the zoología fantástica, offered by Cervo celeste (2014)– a diptych made up by two light boxes 50 x 70, whose cold light seems to heat up contemporary temperatures- shows a meditative plot. On one hand it tries to invite the viewer into a mythical and fantastic world, on the other hand it looks on the frailty of our reality creating parallelisms with the present political system, underlining how a sick and mistreated system can collapse, vituperated by an alarming economical paralysis and by a political decay. The light blue deer of the first panel represents an impatient structure, a despot, an oppressor, an allurer, the demagogue who promises precious metals but in the end gives to people just aridity and pain. The honeycomb and the bees in the second volume are the tropos of the society, intended on a Beuys concept, as a community, as a strong manpower that produces regeneration, movement and warmth. The coal (chosen as a support) not only recalls the darkness of the mine, but it is also selected for its symbolic value, as a space in which a glimmer of hope can emerge, a saving light that, according to the artist, is a dialogue between the actual power (needing to be rejuvenated) and a State that we represent.