Reopen 911

An artist who deals with his contemporary political situation , and not only represents it, but dedicates a series of his works to “reflections” on an eminently political event is rare. Rather than rare, I would say unique. An exhibition about September 11 has no precedents. They say- and it has been written many times, more authoritatively than by me- that the artist is a sort of strange terminal, an antenna capable of picking up vibrations in space and time , of perceiving rare or diffuse emotions, he sees, looking outwards with this faculty of perception, into the past and even, sometimes, into the future. The history of art, in every art form is full of these illuminations, premonitions which sometimes rip violently into everyday reality. While initially they are not understood, and for this reason rejected out of amazement or fear, it is the following generations who recognise them as their own and accept them as normal. So we can say that the prophetic value is recognised at a distance. That is, the artist as a prophet is as a poet. Pier Paolo Pasolini, and his ability to see beyond his destiny, comes to mind. He was able to make everyone angry, the right, but also the left, the Italian Communist Party but also the revolutionaries of 1968. These latter Pasolini did not esteem. He considered them spoilt middleclass kids who would soon return to the ranks to form a career. He foresaw well: almost all of the ultra-revolutionaries of that period are now well placed in positions of power, some of them even commanding, but almost all of them have left behind their stance of reaction or disengagement. One could say that one is not an artist if one does not look to the future: this condition, among others, means resisting time. But nor is one an artist, I believe, if one does not know how to see the present, for it is in the present that the future takes cell. This seems to me the case. Giovanni Crescimanni “saw” in September 11 a special imprint, which led him to strive in the search for the message contained within. To whomever has confronted the same subject from other visual angles- in my case as journalist in the form of an enquiry still in progress – these painting seem at first glance familiar. Also these paintings are searching, are enquiries. They are- each one of them- as sounding apparatuses thrown upon a miry and obscure background, upon which we do not know, or we can only imagine, what is hidden. What these sounding apparatuses can bring to the surface is not yet known. With a painting one will probably not find additional elements for a truthful reconstruction of an event which has changed the world. But a painting can, for example, transmit a sense of uneasiness. And this, in itself, is a way to modify the history that September 11 set in motion. But what does this date really mean? And why for Giovanni Crescimanni does it represent a historical turning point? But the more correct question to pose would be another: if indeed September 11 is an event which altered for us all the course of things- our lives, our futures- how then can we explain the fact that nobody speaks about it anymore? In reality it is still spoken about, here and there, but in a strange way. There was September 11, and from there began the struggle against international terrorism, a struggle which will last decades. In fact, we don’t know how or if it will conclude. But why? Why did it take place? What preceded it? Created it? What exactly happened? How was it developed? The twin towers collapsed. Is that not enough? Nineteen de-routers guided from a distant afghan grotto inhabited by a madman known as Osama Bin Laden made them collapse. And nearly three thousand people died. Is that not enough? The explanation finishes here. And here the war began. We are constantly reminded, that whatever happens, we are engaged in a war against international terrorism, and woe be to whoever poses questions, or whoever asks for explanations. Whoever does so is immediately considered an ally to terrorism. Questions are not allowed. Whoever asks questions infringes upon a taboo. To ask is to blaspheme. The only ones who are allowed return to the subject, perhaps to bring up new particularities, chosen time after time according to convenience, to accentuate evermore the climate of fear, are the heads of the administration in Washington. They do so in order to remind us that we can’t prescient from them, that we can’t be soft on civil liberties because Bin Laden’s acolytes are ready to take them away. So it is much better to renounce our civil liberties for a while, so as to combat better terrorism. Then we will see. But as they are telling us this, the war against terrorism will last at least a generation, we understand that the world in which we live is becoming not only less safe, but also less free. This is singular, and also disquieting. And what if the history of September 11, which all the world knows, condensed into only five televised words – “it was Osama Bin Laden” – were discovered to be false? And what if we were able to demonstrate, with a high margin of probability, that September 11, and the events which constitute it, was perpetrated by a group of criminals ( not necessarily, and not all of the Islamic faith) who wanted to alter the course of history, to submit it to their designs on domination. If we were able to produce a trace of proof, facts, testimonies, unaltered (unalterable) images that demonstrated the falsity in many of the probative circumstances? Many of the above-posed questions would assume a completely different significance. Well, and so, things are exactly in this way. Now we know, and Giovanni Crescimanni knows, that what they told us about September 11 was false, We don’t know what is true yet, what really happened that day, but we know that it is from those images that we all saw live on TV that day, that another truth emerges, one that eluded us in those moments of shock and of fear. And so to all the above-posed we can add another more crucial: why have they told us so many lies, why have they deceived us? What do they want from us, those who may be even acted with Bin Laden but are not Bin Laden? And why did they do it precisely on that day? What was happening in 2001 to spur them to this? Or what did they expect to happen in 2002 and following years? Was it to provoke and realize the war in Afghanistan, which had already been prepared and decided (in secret) prior to September 11? Was it to begin a war against Iraq, which President Bush had on his mind well before September 11 knocked on our door? Giovanni Crescimanni would not have created these paintings if he did not know of the immense incomparable lie that has been fluttered upon us. If he were not indignant of the fact that this lie can be demonstrated as such, but nobody wants to reveal it and proclaim it as such. If he were not effected by the fear that surrounds us, and which drives all the newspapers, all the television channels to accept unquestioningly the official version of the falsifiers. These paintings are a piece of his contribution toward the search for truth. Little pieces of a puzzle, for the moment incomprehensible, which generations of searchers will have to reconfigure if we want to live in peace, in fact if want to survive.

Giulietto Chiesa, “Presentazione a mostra “REOPEN911”