Ticino Film Commission

The Mastery of the Gaze

Adriano Kestenholz

Museums are places where works of art lead us by the hand, places sacred to the muses, places of transit and passage, where the gaze turns upside down to rest on the part of the objects

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by Adriano Kestenholz

Museums are places where works of art lead us by the hand, places sacred to the muses, places of transit and passage, where the gaze turns upside down to rest on the part of the objects: works of art seduce us, capture us. They come to tantalise our tastes, our emotions, our culture. In museums we are looked at everywhere by the works, they look at us and concern us - a question of mastering the gaze.

Museo Casorella, Locarno

Museo Casorella, Locarno

To observe a painting, a sculpture, an art object is to encounter its gaze. Thus, in the labyrinth of forms even the void becomes a gaze.

Museo Casorella Locarno

Here the forms seem to dance in the light. Perhaps the rooms of this museum are ideal spaces for emotionless and soulless dialogues; for characters who entertain themselves in conversations where everything slides, surface, construction, artifice. A place in favour of the abstraction of the intellect, almost as if to support Paul Valery's motto: "what is deepest in man is his skin".

Restless and disturbing is the gaze when it emerges from the motionless figures of the other. Like a distant echo, the words of the hypnotic 1951 film "Anche le statue muoiono" (Statues Also Die) resound in this museum: "When men are dead they enter history. When statues are dead they enter art. This botany of death is what we call culture".

 

MUSEC. Museo delle culture, Lugano

MUSEC. Museo delle culture, Lugano

Museo Villa dei Cedri, Bellinzona

Museo Villa dei Cedri, Bellinzona

Every museum has its own submerged part, far from the eyes of the public, where works of art entertain mysterious relationships with each other. Museum storerooms are secret places where the latency of the visible is woven only by virtual relationships. Here the works are arranged in multiple combinations. Perhaps museum storerooms are the ideal space for conversations in which the fate of stories is at stake. Hidden places, secret and open to the future.

 

In the park, against the backdrop of the cycle of the seasons, sculptures whose most intimate dream is to suspend the passing of time, to make time, by becoming bronze or stone, and experience eternity.

Paintings as windows and windows as paintings. Here the multiple confronts the one and art interacts with the outside world: beyond the frames of the individual works, the museum space opens up onto its own exterior.

 

The museum as a frame for the works becomes a window on the world and the view of the lake landscape becomes an artifice.

 

Museo d'arte della Svizzera italiana (MASI), Lugano

Museo d'arte della Svizzera italiana (MASI), Lugano

Everything here is a blank moving page. A large space to expose a sign, a stroke, a trace, to stage signals, to connect the planes of expression and to write the motion of communication.

M.A.X Museum, Chiasso

M.A.X Museum, Chiasso

Museo Vincenzo Vela, Bellinzona

Museo Vincenzo Vela, Bellinzona

Here is a whole century that challenges us. A strip of history embodied in plaster. We are looked at from everywhere, by heroes, by simple men, by statesmen and poets, by artists, emperors and theologians. If it is true that art is the mirror of a society in what way do we still resemble these men? To these white ghosts of history?

To observe a painting, a sculpture, an art object is to encounter its gaze. Thus, in the labyrinth of forms even the void becomes a gaze.

Adriano Kestenholz

Director and video artist. He studied film and art history in Paris. He has made art documentaries and video installations. He has been living in Ascona for several years.


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