Testimony of the Journey. Ezio Gribaudo’s Horses

Set in our minds are images of ourselves and the world. These images never leave us, although they change constantly. They come alive and thrive by drawing upon an original scene, a scene we belong to.
Like immaculate knights bearing a lance these ideal figures clash with experience, yet when the impact occur, they do not shrivel up but rather open their eyes wide and shy away. If the journey continues, no knight will ever be unsaddled, nor will his horse ever lose ground against the world of ideas. Indeed, every instant our senses adjust their aim, shift the target of this mad race and rearrange our imaginary creations to fit what is real. The truth is up for grabs – both unknowable and yet desired –, leading us along a twisting, treacherous path. It is a path that endlessly and inexorably passes through defeat and abandon.
Every attempt at gaining knowledge consists in the failure of the expectation that came before, and every failure is an added value in the dramatic and never to be completed coming to life of memories. Memories spring forth from the theatrical action that lies between the images that dominate our thinking and an inevitably antagonistic reality. We exist in the breach produced by this struggle, imperfect yet endlessly renewed, in an incessant birth. It is only as we dream and remember that we can recuperate a part of our original plans, where we can once again encounter past images, caress them, as they change and wither.
Ezio Gribaudo’s work has always explored memory as the structure of consciousness: the vast lake of existence from which it surfaces, motionless in stagnant water or drawn from the whirlpool of waves, images, sounds, materials that our senses have impressed upon our minds. An archaeology of individual and collective memory is indissolubly interwoven with words – its concepts hollowed out, and presented in all of its signifying symbolism. What is represented hinges upon animals, collages, trees, flowers, pages and dies, symbols and seals. Man is not allowed inside this marvellous theatre. He is the spectator in a future scenario in which traces of civilization are made insignificant by the flow of time, blended together in a new musical score: one that is quiet, silent. Everything is salvaged from history and is presented once more in a prehistoric perspective, free from the fait accompli: the poetics of the absence of meaning on the horizon of eternity. The messenger continues to ride, but the news he is asked to deliver has, in time, lost its power to communicate shareable information.
The horse, with its symbolic value, weaves a privileged dialogue with Ezio Gribaudo’s entire artistic experience. A ferrier of dreams and the unconscious, a symbol of vital energy, instinct and the nobility of the soul, the horse is the unknowing witness to the journey, the structure of return. It exists in a universe of musical pauses, within the boundary lines of the day, in prairies swept by the wind of essence. It is so close to the concept of absence – a wandering spirit, a chance encounter, an evanescent simulacrum – that its representation constantly multiplies and evaporates upon the landscapes of memory.

Ivan Fassio

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