Stefano Pasquini has a relationship of total detachment from the average outlook onto reality. Such operation does not exclude his own critical awareness, it rather strengthens it. This “detachment” in fact is due to a strong sense of irony which ensures his distanced stand, so that he can qualitatively increase his ability in facing, in a disillusioned and uninhibited way, the facts of the present with the certitude that the possibility of a communication still exists. In fact Pasquini’s incursions in various fields of reality become explorations of social paradises which, as “monsters”, are consumed and tossed on the first page. Thus sometimes simple photographs collected from the floor are enormously enlarged and dominate from the walls of buildings. Or by following an opposite operation, many elements, the ones which are “important for all”- and as an example a banal little statue of the liberty can be used – are reduced to such a point that they can be found only with a magnifying glass. It is anyhow a way to always put precise problems forward: these are the actual truisms, the obvious and self-evident truths that have the duty to move our attention from one point to the other, and to anesthetize the existent. In order to achieve it, Pasquini confidently resorts to the grotesque and to the paradox, just to induce an “upsetting” of meaning. I was thus saying that his are vitriol operations, that are corrosive of the phenomenological plane of reality. By going “underneath” they oppose the obviousness of today’s world as well as the immense and predictable net of information, since they act as displacing elements through more effective visual inputs. In fact, the triggered course equals Freudian witticisms which have the duty of letting many certainties precipitate, and of provoking instead, as a short circuit, an arrest in a sort of lightning of clearness. To reach it, Pasquini often “changes face” and descends into increasingly different clothes to merrily escape, disguised as Spiderman or as a banal observer with four eyes or as a mute and blind interviewer as a “dumb servant” (Questionnaire, 2003). On the latter event, he covers his head with a pumpkin (as a blockhead, deprived of autonomy and intelligence). Instead of his mouth he has a closed zip which underlines the awareness of the impossibility to communicate. Thanks to his goodness, though, not to scare us too much, Stefano adds Mickey Mouse eyes. How does the interview then take place? Certainly not as the same word would indicate, that brings us back to an operation seen – as a matter of fact – between two or more people, where there is and interviewer and those who are asked. The interview is mute and thus, if we wish, not driven, but it is only made by questions which paradoxically regard “low”, daily problems, (Which is your favorite word?) or problems which regard “high” facts (What do you think of the conflict in Iraq? What is your idea of perfect Happiness? – with a capital H). It is a readymade of commonplaces, powerful sneers of persuasion induced by actual communication: sometimes in fact we can read in-between a dry and unproductive similar question: do you cry often? Imprinted in flags, the one which are usually meant to express and display high-symbolical messages. That is how, from time to time, Pasquini wears multiple personalities by letting himself go to the continuous flow of the paradoxes of our society. Like Marcel Duchamp, he never lets out of sight his own objectives and shows a lucid and sarcastic intentionality which, from uphill unifies and gives sense to his various “manifestations” be them administered by his videos or by his performances or by his word games or from the height of his flags. One of the most important points of all these energetic “actions” is set up by a constant aesthetic depletion, and by the consequent anesthetizing operation which makes the artist, or better the operator, look like a sort of alien, someone who is different, who stands out from the average world not quite to record it but to bring it to a crisis of consciousness, with irony and sarcasm, thus certainly not by recurring to erudite and heavy considerations. Such an operation corresponds per homology to the actual dematerialization where through the “little” the “much” is induced, in this case by making a grimace to all certainties given to us. His sculptural assemblages, so to say, move in this direction, too. As a matter of fact and from time to time Pasquini does a shopping list, he places before a “small program” of purchases with minimum amounts (Five $4 sculptures, including the price of the glue needed to fix them for fear they should fly way, 2003). Such a bricolage is based not on what we buy and on its consequent aesthetic element, but rather on – like a bet- is the project, that is the amount that Pasquini makes available for himself. An overturning of sense in the finickiness of any possible beauty. We are dealing once again with a paradox that teases the artistic product, the same that Pasquini lively shows in his Unrealizable Projects. That is how the vivacious small plastic statues “done for nothing”, stolen for two cents from the world of jumble sales, of the already made, finally seem to find their own “epic”. They are unaware that their function is to negate the epic itself by invalidating it in the moment of its creation. This is not in fact a struggle to produce an image, it is a poor project. It’s like one of those poor shopping lists that, even without a budget, can create great food and, above all, bring new energy.
Alessandra Borgogelli, 2007