DE LE STELLE FISSE by Paolo Balmas

The opposable thumb and the erect position. According to a widespread opinion, these are the physical features of the animal 'man' which allowed him to elevate himself above all other species. Two advantages that, together, and along with many others, if we want to formulate a correct hypothesis about his successive conquests, have determined the development of civilization, but also two considerations that could bring to mind completely different images.
The first, for example, could be a vision of our hairy ancestor intent on chipping off fragments of flint, crouched in front of a fire. The second, instead, could show him, as darkness falls, standing at the entrance of a cave, gazing up at the stars.
Two images that could also be seen as two different ways to explain the idea of change in the history of art. On the one hand, the tendency to always continue experimenting with materials and techniques as they have become available over time as society has evolved, and on the other, the importance of dreams and imagination in the consciousness of the individual, but then immediately projected onto the universal screen of a shared knowledge. Homo faber against homo sapiens, or two interpretative models that, philosophically speaking, it is more reasonable to think of as being integrated into the same figure - that of the animal symbolicum, or of man, understood as a subject that builds reality in the act itself of investigating it, creating relations among the most varied phenomena.
Adele Lotito seems to have thought about the above figure, from the very beginning of her research, always aiming at controlling the chaotic and the indeterminate but, at the same time, dangling a light of meaning, enticing those who look at her work to undergo an act of "intelligence", mediated by the known rules but taking into account that we are a part of this world.
Here, I'm not only thinking of the use of black smoke in painting her sheets of aluminium (with ineffable concreteness), then finding a way to put in colour and form taken from reality, but also her original way of re-connecting to an experience of the sublime. This is an experience to which both the disproportionations of the mysterious cloud created by a simple candle and the light itself of this unusual brush allude - an obvious metaphor for the human consciousness reawakened by an untiring desire to explore and to know.

Undoubtedly, in all the works where the shapes appearing between the spirals of her black cloud are clearly seen as letters and numbers, our artist has wanted to provide a look at life, on the study of man, reminding us that his dominance over nature has really become such, only at the moment when he has invented tools leading to creating other tools. Of these "half-tools", the most sophisticated and pervading manifestations are language and calculation.
However, if it's true that Lotito has provided us with a synthetic representation of the prerogatives of language and calculation, that cannot be other than a warning to disperse the clouds of intolerance and and recover the light of dialogue, it's also true that our artist has to be attracted towards the more ambitious of the results created by the symbiosis between language and calculation. These theories on the physical nature of the universe, which continue to occur over time, were explained by Albert Einstein not only as a consequence of the need to face new unexplicable facts from existing theories, but also as the result of "the effort towards the unification and simplification of the premises of the theory as a whole ".
The latter is a tendency that is also seen in the famous confirmation: " It seems hard to sneak a look at God's cards. But the fact He plays dice is something that I cannot believe for even a second", where the German scientist wanted to stress his own difficulty in accepting Niels Bohr's idea that the principle of complementarity could be of value in quantum physics. An affirmation to which Bohr, as is known, responded with another famous admonition: "Stop telling God what to do with his dice!".
Encountering in her research such highly elevated debates represented, at least at the beginning, in letters and a joking tone, our artist had the idea during her recent "solo"1 to try to translate a similar point of arrival, creating an installation called "God's dice". In this work, her panels with letters and numbers united forming two large suspended cubes and a simplified version of the dispute between the two scientists was reproduced on the ground – some quotes from the two different sides.
Creativity and constructivity, logical thinking and symbolic thinking, without games and looking for the truth, have been caught up in a unique moment of historical interweaving, but the question of the point of departure has remained open. What type of stress should govern our moves - need and technique or imagination and communication?
Adele Lotito, with her last works, is not claiming to provide us with an answer, but to search for it, she is proposing that we return, in some way, to our ancestors that we left at the mouth of the cave observing the skies.
To find some kind of order in what he was observing and put it into relation with reality - he would surely have begun to distinguish between the more or less of brighter stars and notice that some of them were fixed in a constant position. And maybe, he would have tried to trace lines to unite them, using known animals, places and hand-made shapes as references.
He couldn't have known that his was the beginning of a journey through centuries, with our fascination for the carousel of constellations, transferred into more earthly practices, such as marking with ropes and pegs the perimeter of a temple or a cathedral, but also in the more abstract instincts, such as finding the secret laws of harmony and beauty.
Thus, we don't know then if our unknown ancestor appeared at the door of his hovel holding in his hand the "piece" he had been creating.

Paolo Balmas