Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Luciano Perna
ART: Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe on Luciano Perna:
From the point of view of people addicted to categorization, of course, there is a category for everything including one which is the category for things which don’t fit into categories. And it is there that one finds some very interesting things, events and ideas. Luciano Perna is an artist whose work seems very elusive when it comes to categorizing it, not least because it seems to appeal to several categories at once. It is Duchampian, certainly, but it is just as much Futurist and Constructivist. It is Surrealist, but in a curiously non-Freudian way. The artist once told me that he found Warhol inspiring but I’ve never seen in his work any of the campy conservatism of the Most Famous Flaneur of All, so it must have been the old reactionary inventiveness to which he was referring, and there I think he may have a point. Perna is one of the most vividly inventive artists around, and the invention begins with the very odd reasoning which, in every sense, becomes the subject of the work.
One could recall Foucault on Brissset, the 19th–century French thinker who was so important to Breton, and who proposed that instead of the conventional wisdom which sees different words as having a common source in an originally very limited lexicon, one should rather reverse this assumption and think of words as concentrations (condensations) of a multiplicity of origins. This would be a good way of thinking about any work of art (and any text), but it seems especially pertinent to work like Perna’s.