MARK ROTHKO 1903-1970 Fondation Louis Vuitton (EN)


Impromptu diary of mine on a love for a retrospective that left various spec-actors with a tear-stained face. Why?

In strolling through the galleries of the Fondation Louis Vuitton we feel lost, at times breathing an hostile air because of all this multitude of people lingering in front of the artworks. One would want to be in silence on this journey, the only tool that can help us. Silence not as absence of sound but as an invitation to perceive something different, beyond what our senses offer us, elsewhere, not in the noise of the reality of this exhibition.

This silence begins to stroll on the edge of my thoughts, on the limit of all the reflections that immediately fill a mental notebook full of erasures and digressions. We cannot lose the mad world in which we live, with our modernity increasingly inclined towards disaster, not even in these places.

With all the senses involved, there is no continuity between the liquid world and the aerial one in which I find myself, as at my birth. As soon as I start looking, thinking, walking among the artworks, I begin to perceive how my inner journey is full of old closets, desks full of objects and collections stored in drawers: the memory, not only of the artist who preceded us, not only of the history I have gone through. I see everything as an immense heap of scattered and piled ruins. Debris of art, creativity, perceptions, sensations that would not want to be recomposed. But in this cathedral of beauty and ethics of Mark Rothko, what is underneath must be brought above to make it a new experience.

Before beginning to unveil the meaning of this extraordinary Parisian exhibition, we must work on ourselves, as architects do when they have to extend exhausted surfaces. They resort to in creating underground spaces. We too, in our conditions, live in a limited condition. Limited by the place where we were born, by the family in which we grew up, by the institutions that formed and informed us. But it is our responsibility to find a way to expand the spaces.

It would be a shame to waste the encounter with Mark Rothko, an important figure in 20th-century American painting, associated with the artists of Abstract Expressionism, who built his reputation with a paradoxical singularity: expressing exclusively through abstraction “basic human emotions”. With him, Art has found a dimension once again unexpected, both timeless and universal, representing the “human drama”: vulnerability.

His is an exercise between horizontality and verticality, from top to bottom, from outside to inside. An eternal movement in a vast and impure space in which we remain involved: we look, we sniff, we touch, we feel. And finally, we reach those barriers that tell us to go left or right, but certainly not straight ahead.

With silence, thoughts full of erasures and digressions, we will have with Mark Rothko the possibility to go where we want: straight ahead.

Up and down, you will remember. Out, in. We can reinvent the artist’s creative process, going without haste and experiencing emotions in observing his inner landscape in us. Thus, we discover cracks, surfaces, underground tunnels of a complex existence in which we can travel in various directions.

Looking at the world through a different lens, we realize that what normally appears huge becomes Lilliputian, while everything else suddenly seems gigantic. This can cause disorientation, but then an impulse drives us elsewhere: straight ahead!

With steps now fast, now slow. It’s a different dimension, where at every point one can connect to the other in an intricate process of correlations, like a house with infinite corridors, or like a rhizomatic tree.

Our life begins to flow and move again. The memory, life, the heart of Mark Rothko are no longer a foreign country, rich in alien emotions, but become our homeland, even his suicide.