Here I am confronted with Nicola Frangione’s sound gesture. I mean “sound gesture”, and not simply “sound”, because behind every sound or voice I can but see the image of Nicola in motion. This seems to me a peculiarity already: the inseparable ‘bodily character’ of a sound, gestural, physical artist’s playing, talking and making noises, though in specific relation to sound poetry. According to Nicola, being an artist does not mean to own and show one or more fields of specialization taking different shapes, depending on the moment and the situation. For example, I believe he cannot be just a sound poet whenever he is involved with sound poetry, or just a visual poet whenever he is involved with visual poetry, or just a performative poet whenever he is involved with performative poetry: I feel that being one thing at a time is inconceivable to him; while he is apparently involved with sound poetry only, everything else that is part of his complexity and contemporaneity “sticks” to him. As a result, sound poetry necessarily gets into visual poetry and is supported by gestures which may be implicit but are important. Every time Nicola Frangione makes a versatile work – that is, as versatile as he is –. In addition, while his work may have one side in the light, the rest of the body, which stays in the shadow, can be perceived as well.
Nicola Frangione’s aspiration to artistic creations that should not be sectorial, while catching and providing a comprehensive meaning, is self-evident in the whole of his work, as avowedly stated through different words and terms. Any creator takes an active part – whether consciously or not – in producing reality, through absolutely unoriginal contributions; indeed, taking an active part in producing reality – that is, getting into its process, of which you cannot be aware, is almost like a dream of greatness. How can you take part in such a complex phenomenon, of which you are practically unaware? How can you make your creation fit all of the stormy flow? Thus introducing a “creature” of your own into the process of reality is a huge task. Wanting to take part in reality through your “comprehensive” creation is even more exacting! What is more, should what the artist defines as “comprehensive” according to a self-centred approach be really considered as such? Absolutely not, because “comprehensive” means neither “exhaustive” nor “perfectly autonomous” nor “extremely complex” to man; it means something that is deliberately multiple. However, while human totality might be nothing compared to the totality of reality, the artist’s ambition to take an active part in producing reality is noteworthy: such aspiration to elevate one’s work, frantically striving to become part of the process of reality through comprehensive contributions is a peculiarity of making art and being an artist.
In Nicola Frangione’s journey, crammed with works and people, different explanations for one desire to have different fields converge in the name of interdisciplinarity (as early as in 1983, accompanying a sound poetry record, Mail Music, he made the following amazing statement: “Music and everything that is audible are also visible!”) and countless inventions, namely connections, extensions and intensifications, this thirst for comprehensiveness and reality is unmistakably depicted. A project for involvement and crossing the boundaries between different sectors is drawn up; although it may look utopian, it is permeated with a many-sided, tirelessly active approach. I feel such commitment is closely connected with the dream of deifying man through artistic creation. Personally I believe that the evolution of our species is heading, despite all difficulties, in that direction – that is, towards the achievement of perfection as necessarily superhuman in nature. In addition, I like thinking that the human swarm flying towards the achievement of that goal is headed by a small number of artists, who may be unaware of this function but are at the front, and that such front artists include my friend Nicola, with his aspiration to be different things: a visual and publishing graphic artist, a poet and sound maker, a video and mail art maker, a man of theatrical acts and performer, with an effort, with ups and downs, yet always generously. A great talent for collecting and spending, constructing and losing, producing and consuming allows Nicola to stay there, with just a few people, at the front of the swarm of mankind as flying towards deification.