digital photos, multimedia installations, by Florence Ormezzano
Le Vigan, October-November 2019
“Florence Ormezzano, concrete unreality
a critical text by Laurent Puech
If we are to believe Georg Baselitz in a recent interview, we live in a “mannerist” era. Indeed, the possibilities are endless and artists, like others, have the choice of everything and its opposite.
In appearance, however. Distanced from the Marxist determinism that has counted so much over the past century to understand the world and freed from the morality that has shaped the West for many centuries, we no longer seek the truth. And what if we find it when endless objections arise today against all words. Modern artists have passionately sought the truth, but this is no longer the case in a world of art won by liberal values that favor supply. Among others, Damien Hirst showed nostalgia with his fake “Treasures from the Wreck of the Incredible”, a title that says it all, at Palazzo Grassi in 2017.
The artistic work by Florence Ormezzano, made of performances, digital collages, sculptures or machines, is part of Marcel Duchamp’s suite. The paradigms of contemporary art as it was conceived by Duchamp after 45, in the midst of “modernism”, come mainly from surrealism, cinema and Freudian psychoanalysis. The notion of writing and the use of the machine also go hand in hand. These few lines paint a portrait shared by a number of current leading designers. The transcontinental history of “Duchamp conceptualism” continues. And these five elements retained: the machine, writing, psychoanalysis, cinema and surrealism contain the expression of Florence Ormezzano.
To penetrate her artistic universe, the “encyclopedia-ism” would be interesting although too vague, “cultivated” in the wrong sense of the term and of an exploitation as easy as the expression “cabinet of curiosities”, become catch-all. On the other hand, a certain scientism, from behavioralism to cyberfeminism, is essential since the question of human-animal-machine barriers is clearly posed by the artist. Many researchers and thinkers question animal intelligence without establishing a hierarchy between species but more in a complementarity with the understanding (human, must it be specified!) like the American biologist Donna Haraway who imagined a new geological era, the “chthulucene” and whose works Florence Ormezzano knows very well. There is something to note about the carnal envelope and the perception that we receive from it. How does the form reflect its own “intelligence”? Do we embody the image or the caricature of our character, just like we suppose of the “other terrestrials” which we apprehend by their only appearance ? Like a veritable naturalist road movie blurring borders on purpose, Florence Ormezzano’s digital collages slide from one “reign” to another, animal, vegetable but also ecological environments: aquatic, terrestrial or celestial.
Art historian, I examine the different commitments with regard to representation and its systems. Florence Ormezzano is not interested in the appearance of the human or animal body, nor for that matter in anatomical “logic” of the species. Like a machine bypassing its reproductive function with an unforeseen gesture, her gaze crosses the carnal envelope to go far beyond. Her digital collages, a reverse report of a second reality, are teeming with details, refined by algorithms, which add to the plump, shiny, hairy aspect, not without a certain bonhommie linked to the proximity of these forms with real forms. In addition to the erotic disorder linked to the donjuanesque catalog of these deformities, their strangeness goes against the admitted perfection of the “romantic” body.
This “redefinition” of the living, sometimes harsh at first, is the trademark of this artist, both humorous by a certain “grotesque” and astonishing by the affirmation of a reality neither biological nor aesthetic which arises from a living matter made plausible by digital collage, if we still had a doubt! By unrolling before our wide eyes, a parallel universe which makes us lose the original thread of Darwinian families, today broken up, we forget that it is only a proposition of the imaginary.
The Renaissance artist challenged the perfection of the world that God had created. Vinci or Dürer were convinced that the creator had given them a “predestined” gift to succeed in begetting to be equal. Three centuries later, at the time of the Enlightenment, the freed citizen is convinced that God is dead. In 1773, Quatremère de Quincy explains to Antonio Canova that art is superior to nature, since art alone can bring together what nature can produce only separately… Art then appears as the sum of a perfection of details remained scattered without him! The artist’s intelligence merges with his mastery of techniques and his moral sense to an ideal of beauty.
This complex relationship between illusionist representation and the truth of reality is being reversed today in contemporary creation thanks to technology, in particular 3D compositing. As with artificial intelligence or cyber grafting on the brain system, there is an extension of sensitive reality. The mastery of innovative technologies and feminism at work in expression open Florence Ormezzano to the possibility of immersing the visitor in her concept. Her series harmonize with each other while punctuating their internal narration for each exhibition, following the example of Eva Hesse (1936-1970), Joan Jonas (born in 1936) or Rebecca Horn (born in 1944) who have masterfully developed the practice in works as critical as sensitive, far from any display of force.”