As a performer, Nicola Frangione is a specific author, who makes an exact and accurate use of all his own tools; at the same time he tries to overcome the particular definitions to reach a global art.
A not easy, maybe utopian, project provided with a great propulsive strength. Frangione’s performance is a pool of different forms of art. Which is the multimedia approach to art.
The performer – artist in general – doesn’t carry out anothers’ works; he is not ahead of the times, as “epistemological” critics affirms; he is not a tester of alternative social patterns (Marcuse): he is all this and something more. He puts the different forms of art on a single, synthetic floor, in order to reach new destinations. It’s an Hegelian concept, proposed out of the specific field of philosophy with the aim of describing man in all his physical, psychical, theoretic and practical components, without transforming itself in a list of subjects like a phone directory.
In this simple and great project Frangione makes use of various languages, tools, materials and audiovisual equipments to carry out performances of reading or action poetry and to describe man, his mysteries, his needs, in short his humanity. Each component of video-poems, video-actions and video-installations has a personal value and autonomy, but remains an «artist’s material, manipulated and transformed as all the others, from monitor to painting, tape, ready-made, architecture».
In all Frangione’s performances the poet recovers his old role, becoming the leading actor on the stage of culture, and creating many existential and aesthetic values. The poet. at first, makes a long travel within himself, using both intuition and meditation; then he carries results outside; lastly he transmits them to the others. Knowledge, expression and communication are the most important elements of a route in which the body, by itself or with the aid of natural or technologic tools, seems to be the most effective means of mediation between artist and people.
In fact, Frangione assigns to his artistic works all the values of theatricality or, as he prefers to say, of the “artistic dramaturgy”. Between the stage show and visual art there is a transition area where the artist’s action loses its “visual” characters and doesn’t gain, completely, the “theatrical” ones: in this no man’s land, poetry can express itself with no statutory care and become an “another”, so to say transcenic, event. Frangione: «In this limbo different contributes of theatre, performance, visual art and multimedia practices can materialize; here the overcoming of theatre can be achieved to realize the global art».
It is a hard notion, with many shady areas, in which there is still a lot of work to do. It is not sure that the only answer is offered by the long Frangione’s thinking: certainly, his intuition and his utopia can be, today, the starters to achieve a free and uniform kind of art, a “human” art in all its intents and purposes.
Livorno, ottobre 1992 – ottobre 2010