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Intuition. An exhibition in Venice.

In Venice, until November 26. Profane illumination at Palazzo Fortuny, dedicated to the most elusive subject of all: intuition.

Intuition. Intuition doesn’t lie.

Intuition takes us the epicenter of a tidy set of works of art, ranging from the most different epochs and geographic latitudes. In the sui generis environment of a private interior, the dense assemble seduces us to take cognitive lines and aesthetic situations which are able to merge themselves, in a mysterious flow, with the most distant aesthetic languages.

A unmatchable experience, the show pays tribute to what Aristoteles regarded as the paramount form of knowledge. Perhaps the door for a more authentic experience – as Walter Benjamin suggests in his critic reading of Bergson.

© Agata Wiórko

The exhibition’s promotional image sums up the programme. For the curator Axel Vervoordt, in front of White Dark VIII (2000) of Anish Kapoor “we feel the plenitude of emptiness. It is a long, endless white light tunnel. There is no time, nor beginning, and certainly not an end”.

In the text that serves as an opening for the majestic catalog, Ludovica Lumer adds to the complexity of the phenomenon of intuition: “We put the whole brain to work: the visual part, the cognitive part, the perceptual, the emotional, the motor and the memory – all at once!”

© Agata Wiórko

As per tradition at Palazzo Fortuny, the environment is one of quietness and restraint. The path through the several floors still works as a form of freediving in the kernels of art as knowledge. Regarding the choice of the works, a criterion of excellence is then crucial for us to have access to paradigmatic narratives of History of Art – something even more in the close contact with the artistic object itself, and not with some parasitic discourses.

© Agata Wiórko

This theming of intuition becomes, in a nutshell – I read in the communication – “the bridge for the dream, the paranormal, the telepathy, the fantasy, the meditation, the creative power, hypnosis and, naturally, inspiration”. In this painting, the show’s ‘invitation figure’ [image above] is particularly impressive: anthropomorphic statues with more than 5 000 years of age (!) dialoguing with the punk oil Versus Medici of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a bad icon of the 80s. It would be quite hard to show the virtues of anachronism in a better way.

© Agata Wiórko

Across the several floors of Palazzo, one can see the works of Joseph Beuys, Karel Appel, Robert Morris or Ana Mendieta, Gutai, Cobra, Zero or Fluxus, Gustav Klimt, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee or Pedro Cabrita Reis; but the most important thing is not the individual impact of each chef d’æuvre, rather the atmosphere unfurled.

Drapes, tonalities, shadows, reflexes – products of a delicate modeling of artificial light (which opens itself to natural light in the upper floors) – are key elements of a true full-blown work of art.

© Agata Wiórko

At the exit, the reconstruction of thought will carry out its job, but our body registers that the location’s intuitive experience was the one accountable for generating the future resilience of memory. For instance, when we retrieve the hypnotic video of de Michaël Borremans — The Bread, 2012 [image above] – what we ‘see’ is not a work of art per se, but a sort of eruption of life’s odd beauty. In this case, one that crossed the seas of painting to lodge itself in the most recent video technology.

© Agata Wiórko

Standing Structure for Human Use, a piece of Marina Abramovic [image above] is yet another example of this art which works a sensorial door for an increased plateau of consciousness. For the artist, “intuition is the key for the soul’s crux, where the idea finds its shelter”.

In the upper floors, the atmosphere is more laid back. A participatory installation of Kimsooja [image below] is the solar side of a labyrinth of silence in which a series of tokomonas – toko means ‘platform’ and ma ‘framed emptiness’ – builds, relying on the simplest materials, small settings for the durée of the wandering.

© Agata Wiórko

© Agata Wiórko

Intuition is the last show of an impressive cycle conceived by the curators Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti. It follows Artempo (2007), In-finitum (2009), TRA (2011), Tàpies. Lo Sguardo dell’artista (2013) and Proportio (2015). All of these are exhibitions that explore the transversal relationships between philosophy, science, music, history, creative heritage and art. A vision boosted by the certain incommensurable means made available.

© Agata Wiórko

© Agata Wiórko

© Agata Wiórko

© Agata Wiórko

Special thanks: Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation and Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

Mário Caeiro

Mário Caeiro is a lecturer, a curator and a researcher in the field of urban culture and public art. Curator of exhibitions and urban events since the nineties, teaches at ESAD.CR since 2004, where he’s a member of the research unit LIDA – Laboratório de Investigação em Design e Artes. PhD in Visual Arts and Intermedia by Universidade Politecnica de Valencia (Spain) in 2012, also graduated in Communication Design (ESBAL) and Comparative Literary Studies (FCSH-UNL), holding a Master in German Studies (FCSH-UNL) and a post-graduation in Urban Design (CPD/FBAUL/Universidade de Barcelona]. In 2014 published "Arte na Cidade – História Contemporânea" [Art in the City – Contemporary History].