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Madonna delle Dolomiti

Exhibition  /  05 Jan 2008  -  14 Feb 2008
Published: 29.12.2007
Galerie Louise Smit
Management:
Louise Smit
Robert Smit. Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti XI, 2007. Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint. 131 x 116 x 10 mm. Robert Smit
Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti XI, 2007
Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint
131 x 116 x 10 mm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
(...) When the song was over, I believed myself to be in heaven. In my current work, I search for a similar kind of purity and excitement. (...)

Artist list

Robert Smit
Madonna delle Dolomiti
(Synopsis of the project)


In August 1980, I heard her sing. The quality of her voice was of the most exquisite kind. Even if I had been able to understand the language, the lyrics would not have mattered at all, their significance being absolutely secondary to her voice. The meaning of the song for me consisted in the sounds. These sounds and intonations produced an unprecedented sense of enchantment. When the song was over, I believed myself to be in heaven. In my current work, I search for a similar kind of purity and excitement.

1.
The starting-point of the project is a crystal-clear Italian yodel-song heard on the car radio during a night ride through the Dolomites. It is world-music. Yet it springs from the womb of the region I am traveling through, sounding like a pure waterfall flowing from the stars. I am on my way back to Amsterdam from Venice and become spellbound by this voice. It is the voice of a woman singing a cappella. Her voice penetrates and enters my body, enlightening and illuminating the night. A blissful longing takes possession of me. The voice fulfills this yearning, while evoking it at the same time. Then it is over. The singer has remained unknown, nameless, but beauty has revealed and manifested itself.

2.
This moment of enchantment keeps haunting me. In my imagination, I make the same ride again, and again. Fathoming the voice without hearing it, I get to the very core, the sacred heart, of that moment. Gradually I realize that this enchantment embraces an essence containing something very fundamental for me. This is what's it all about. This is the way I want to create art. I am on to something wonderful. Marvelous. The voice in the night will be my guide. From now on, I want to design jewelry that shares the same incomprehensible brilliance, that partakes of the same ineffable clarity. This brilliance, this clarity, is the essence of all art to me.

3.
In his famous Languages of Art (1976), the American philosopher Nelson Goodman maintains that the various forms of art are different ‘languages’ with a common grammar and a comparable symbolic expressiveness. Music does not differ fundamentally from poetry, or dance or painting. To these, I add the art of jewelry. Just like poetry, the imaginative piece of jewelry has been composed, or dances a story, or paints metaphors. A piece of jewelry also sings and tells tales. I regard it as an art object transcending its magnificent, primary function of an object we use to beautify ourselves. It is an ornament. It is an adornment, amply displaying itself within our culture. Presently, in the year 2007, a piece of jewelry possesses an independent aesthetic expressiveness which I can steer, that I am able to direct and which steers and directs me. That is why I can put it into action, and use it in a layered narrative reconstructing the (anecdotal) enchantment in question, while embodying that (aesthetic) enchantment at the same time. A dream.

4.
I want the reconstruction of that essential sensation as its simultaneous demonstration. This sounds dizzying, but that's exactly my aim. I want dizziness in a crystal-clear, concrete form. Or rather: It is my jewelry that wants this. Or rather: My jewelry craves, yearns for the narrative enabling it to be that way. Just like the voice in the night, my jewelry evokes an acute kind of longing that it wants to satisfy. The moment that happens, I am left breathless. All I can do is follow. For this beauty is inescapable.

5.
This compelling form is the project Madonna delle Dolomiti. The story is complex, intricate and requires a mixture of genres, just like the voice in the night combined pure melody with a miraculous language. This is the combination from which generated the miracle. The project includes a book telling the layered story in a collage of adorning and ornamenting images and evocative words. The images involving jewelry as well as digital drawings and paintings are mine. The poet Jacob Groot, who has made a name for himself with lyrical poetry in which psychedelic sensuality is coupled with metaphysics, will write the words. He participates in the project under the pseudonym of Angelo Tasso. In addition, a major role will be played also by significant ingredients from the context of the miraculous voice. Because it sounded in its place of origin.

6.
First of all, the impressive mountain landscape of the Dolomites, with its enrosadira, alpenglow, the Valhalla of shades, hues and geological formations, the bling bling of Mother Nature. Then, the pure kitsch of low culture, its vulgar love-making embedded in supreme natural beauty, the suspect romanticism of the Heimat movie. Lastly, peaking as a ‘summit,’ the mysticism of physical challenge, the heroism of the mountain climber as shown, for example, in the movies of Luis Trenker (Der Heilige Berg, 1926; Der Berg ruft, 1938), which were embraced by National Socialism.

7.
This entire iconography contributes to the depth of the collage. For the dream at issue has barbs, thorns, poisonous drawbacks and grimy edges. In contrast, the transparent voice, risen from the region, whitewashes everything, without renouncing its origin. Just as the book, pursuing and chasing the voice, wants to present itself as a mixture - by means of an amalgamated fusion - in a catharsis.


8.
Madonna delle Dolomiti is a metallurgy of emotions, an alchemy of images and words letting the world shine and sparkle for a moment in a concrete illusion. It glorifies as in a transfiguration. It irradiates the dark night of the soul in the way that Schönberg's Verklärte Nacht does. It adorns and rings. It is music in the light of a content which constantly changes the form: into a ‘dérèglement de tous les sens’ (Arthur Rimbaud). For if the book is able to be the translucent equivalent of the impalpable, elusive sensation, it will also go beyond the boundaries of the genres. In other words, the book will be then also a script for a future film, or a libretto for a future opera. These possibilities expand the scope of the project.

9.
The project is a dazzling book, based upon the work. The book is the source of an exhibition. The exhibition is a show of images and words, from which a blissful song will rise. The song is performed. The car rides through the night. The visitors strain their ears. Immersed in a spectacle, they do not know what they are hearing. What they see is an illumination. What bewitches and enthralls them is a tangible vision, solid mysticism, golden sex, and cosmic happiness.

Robert Smit and Jacob Groot
April 2007 

Robert Smit. Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti X, 2007. Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint. 131 x 116 x 10 mm. Robert Smit
Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti X, 2007
Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint
131 x 116 x 10 mm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Robert Smit. Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti XIII, 2007. Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint. 125 x 92 x 10 mm. Robert Smit
Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti XIII, 2007
Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint
125 x 92 x 10 mm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Robert Smit. Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti XIV, 2007. Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint. 124 x 124 x 10 mm. Robert Smit
Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti XIV, 2007
Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint
124 x 124 x 10 mm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Robert Smit. Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti XII, 2007. Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint. 125 x 92 x 10 mm. Robert Smit
Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti XII, 2007
Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint
125 x 92 x 10 mm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Robert Smit. Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti V, 2007. Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint. 124 x 124 x 10 mm. Robert Smit
Necklace: Madonna delle Dolomiti V, 2007
Gold, silver, Epson UltraChrome K3 ink-jet print on paint
124 x 124 x 10 mm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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