“Silent Family – la famiglia di Stella”

“Silent Family – the Stella’s Family”

The XXI century saw art shifting from site-specific to time-specific, and from in situ to in socius.

Sometimes it is a real “exchange relationship” between the artist and people joining the creative project. Different interests are involved in the “relationship”: the artist is usually looking for aesthetic results, while people get involved in a creative experience for several reasons: playful, recreational, but also economic, advertising and even therapeutic.

Not many examples can be found on the therapeutic side, and, besides, we don’t get any news concerning the positive effects of painting, sculpture and various performances on human beings.

Therapeutic value only marginally affects art, and the artist doesn’t usually see his art as a curative factor.

The artist Mandra Cerrone, like her colleagues, mainly pursues an aesthetic target, and she doesn’t conceive her project, Silent Family, exclusively under a therapeutic point of view.

In fact, Silent Family is not a solution to the relational problems stratifying in the course of time in personal life experience. Despite that so many people want to take part in the tableaux vivants portrayed by Mandra Cerrone, in her attempt to reach the Immaterial beyond the surface by means of her photographs.

Mandra Cerrone “sculpts time” through a flash; the result is a diaphanous, ethereal, impalpable visual symphony. The work features a particular expressive and formal tension achieved through the mise-en-scene of deep, disturbing visual meditations related to the fundamental existential and metaphysic matters. By involving people in the Family, the artist raise questions about life, death, transcendence, rebirth, individual and collective doom, and the relationship between inner and outer reality.

In Silent Family, human matter is shaped up into a mandala that contains the psyche, the unconscious actions, the secrets, the fears and the sharpest moments of people’s lives. It’s a “relational labyrinth”, and Mandra Cerrone catches the most hidden beauty in the people, while they are invited to perform the mise-en-scene by means of a photo where the family is portrayed.

The therapeutic aspect of the project shows unequivocally when the artist asks the participants to question themselves about the quality of family relationships represented. At that point, Mandra encourages to carefully look at the image of their family to try figure out the impediments conditioning their own existence.

Silent Family are silent actions: “scenic compositions” where word is replaced by “gestural snaps”. Like “Virtual Paintings”, where colors and shapes give way to “heavy (family) chains”. Having spotted the recurrent limits and impediments in their genealogy, the participants can start “working” on them to avoid such dynamics repeating in their present as well as in their future.

Ivan D’Alberto