The triumph of defeat
The denial of darkness and mortality is characteristic of our era. Surrounded by cracks and ruins, incapable of facing their fears, the somnolent ultraliberal humanity, through technological escalation, seeks refuge in consumerism and entertainment. For this reason, I decided to explore the distressing and tragic territories of denial and shadow through painting. Mass graves, beaten up violators, accidents, waste and dumps, police victims, destroyed effigies, refugees and mutants… my work is a compendium of demise, a collection of material and moral ruins. Therefore, in this context, (Un)refuges, my project on exile and uprooting, was conceived from the debris of a former concentration camp and speaks about memory and oblivion and the annihilation of human beings, their identity and their values.
Since then and up to very recently, I was convinced that the ruin was the main concept around which I had been building my imaginary. Not so long ago, I realised that in reality the ruin was not the ultimate goal in my research, but a means to light up the dark journey of defeat. Defeat here has two slants. The first is the tragic aspect: the historic defeat, and with it the political, moral and environmental defeats. In the private sphere, we can also include personal defeat, intrinsic to human existence. The individual’s defeat and their concatenation of surrenders takes us to the sublime slant of this journey, where the defeated is celebrated, a condition that requires the force of courage. Finally, at the peak of this itinerary is the defeat of the ego, the last stage of this journey and possibly the start of what will come next.
Apart from some forays into the world of photography, collage, installation and video, my experience is mainly in the field of painting. I find pictorial language an ideal tool for managing emotions without overlooking intellect. The traditional, almost archetypical, visual codes of oil painting allow me to pry open the conscience of the viewer, as a pivot between omen and mourning. In this temporary distortion, post-apocalyptic scenes, ruins from the past, hints of future disasters and memories of tragedies merge together and intertwine forming a cyclical genealogy of the catastrophe, in the centre of which is the viewer, alone facing their mortality.
Marco Noris, January 2017