If I Should Die
Solo show by Manuel Focareta
December 3 - 7, 2020
Via degli Ausoni 1, 00185, Roma
As part of the series of exhibitions GRAN FINALE, Manuel Focareta presents the first part of his project If I Should Die, a series of 10 artworks on paper. The project forms an anthology of poems on the topic of death, generated by Artificial Intelligence.
“If I Should Die” is both the title of the exhibition and of the anthology itself - it is the verbal stimulus used by the artist to create the fifty texts that constitute the whole collection. The technology that was used to create these poems was able to foresee the subsequent verse on the basis of an initial input. The project is part of a research that has been focusing on various themes: the artist’s expressive abstinence; the study of a texts’ visual and spatial components; the creation of poems through the use of procedures, methods and contexts that are regarded as unusual in literary tradition.
The exhibited artworks constitute the first chapter of a visual poetic anthology, which demolishes the traditionalist idea of the enlightened poet. These in fact were not created using the author’s personal contents but rather they were built and designed to produce an unusual stimulus in the viewers on the theme of death.
It is not a chance that the artist used utterly bright colours, in strong contrast with the poem’s written content, with the aim of creating in the viewers a sense of alienation.
If I Should Die sets the basis for further questions within Numero Cromatico: will we still need humans to write texts that are capable of making the reader feel emotional? How much do the visual and spatial components influence the fruition of a text? Can poetry be a tool for creating new and original “images”?
Focareta’s research opens to a field of inquiry in which the poem is treated like an element, a tool, a multicomponent stimulus and not as a mere container of the author’s emotional content.