CHRISTIAN ZANOTTO

Gate Number 9

The video "Gate Number 9" leads the observer, by means of a series of precise and subtle almost subliminal stimuli, through the evolutions in the space of a hypnotic and essential figure, all on the wire of a background sound that seems to originate from ubiquitous metaphysical ambits to which the mighty female character is linked. The skin or sheath that wraps her is totally covered by the worldwide diffused Bayer's trademark that, like the Coca-Cola one used by the artist in the "Apnea" work , together with those of Esso and Sony employed in the artworks "Rooms", belongs to the vast substratum and heritage of logo images, icons marks and symbols of well-known brands, creator entities embedded in the collective consciousness. The artist reflects upon and catches the valency, the power, the hierarchical supremacy of the mold, the stamp, the trademark, that imprints itself and appropriates forms, materials, objects, goods, advertising and communications with its charge and value of matrix, that affirms and reiterates the uniqueness and primacy of a prototype, original generative idea. "In hoc signo vinces": "In this sign you will conquer", symbol is revealed as victorious and magic device handled with magisterium by the ineffable lords of the etheric emptiness. In fact Zanotto's vision always points to the deepest and hidden aspects, where ambiguity and ambivalence lie and every time it returns to us perspectives of a world seen simultaneously both in its actuality and contingency that in its eternity and absoluteness. The figure, whose skin mutates and changes colors, lights up with glows and transparencies, allowing at intervals a glimpse on the underlying musculature; she disappears and reappears in the void, moving and waving in sinuous and sometimes impossible movements, almost a performance in which the artist virtually transfers himself in this artificial female body. The only element worn by the figure is a pair of round glasses, which recurs in other works of the artist: reference to the sight, to the outward and inward view, to the eyes and their protection and enhancement, to reading, deciphering and interpretation. If one allows to be lead by the artwork "Gate Number 9", he perceives to be introduced in dichotomous areas : artificiality, asepticity, unnaturalness and syntheticity combined with naturalness, biology, with what is innate and universal; superficiality and decoration joined to interiority and essence. The references made to the sphere of chemistry and pharmaceuticals recall the nature of man and his body, where physicality and spirituality join, also reminding his being seemingly defenseless; the idea of gate, door, passage, together with the different meanings of the number 9, indicate a transit, a passing, a point of arrival and departure, a symbolic transformation cycle of birth-death-rebirth. The logo itself, "The Bayer cross", that consists of the horizontal name crossed with the vertical one, where both words share the "Y" and are enclosed in a circle, is suitable for interesting readings: nine letters, the horizontal dimension of materiality and the vertical one of spirituality, the many symbolic meanings linked to “Y” (the so said “tree of life"), the traceable parallel with Lenardo's Vitruvian man. In the audio sentences resound, repeating themselves, extracted from the famous experimental piece "Revolution 9", merged with other fragments; one can hear: "... at gate...number 9...you became naked ..." or "you become human", obscure and slightly unsettling references to alchemical passages indicating the essence, symbolically hidden beneath the surface, beyond the nudity...

Sonia Arata, June 2015

 

 

christian zanotto,official website, texts,contemporary art
christian zanotto, official website, contemporary art, menu page