There’s someone still dealing with the useless Art of Poetry in times suspended over mountains of rubbish and vacuity, the Man of the Absence examines with ancient wisdom the infinitesimal detail which only the eye trained to the signifier can perceive.
Riccardo Varini is a Poet. A poet of the absence, because his work is a work of subtraction, of zen meditation. Riccardo superimposes the past, the present and the future of a place on the film of time and obtains a new personal and inimitable vision without using mere technical factors or boring aesthetic disquisition. Varini himself takes his place in a Suspended Time. His Motionless Vision is actually continuously moving, just like the frame of the movie camera, layer upon layer the scansion of the times gives to places the memory of every temporal passage.
The faint light which burns the half tones does not really exist. There are innumerable textures and colour shades instead, deriving from different places and times which his detailed transcription work lie dormant on the cotton, thus providing the viewer with the joy of understanding, of enjoying himself as much as the creator does, of participating in the discovery. An enchanted place actually, where a tree draws its roots in the structure of the sky and in that earth in the same way and in the same instant. The invented landscape returns to be natural just like in a film where the long shot gives us the depth and the precise structure of the secret architecture which the Poet’s can find in the realm of the half tones and of contrast. The sense of a profound peace which has been searched for so long as to appear unattainable, and which is perhaps really unreachable for the ardent spirits who populate the streets of today, has been all of a sudden given back to us in a silence which makes us reconcile to ourselves and to the others.
Varini experiences this silence with demure wisdom. Absence is a way to approach landscape with respect, a landscape which is often ravished by too much technical and exasperating attempts at stylistic interpretations. Riccardo knows it too well and conveys this to us: Respect.
Respect for the gift which is offered to him and which he, being such a generous man, wishes to transmit it pristine, only filtered by his absolutely unique Poet’s and Artist’s sensitiveness. The composition and the cut remind of the Zen doctrine, since they are totally devoid of any spectacular eagerness, of any need of stunning, of any attempt at violating the viewer’s fragile eye, of any atavistic temptation of overpowering; on the contrary, they convey to reality its natural times, the passing of time in keeping with the flowing of water, the richness of the contemplation in relation to the apparent stillness of the places. The intimate structure of the landscape unwinds in a thin filigree enveloping every aspect of the composition, where the subject is not the focus of the observers’ look, nor the motionless element catalysing the scene.
Absence is full of silent words, of arrows which find their own target by themselves, of natural noises like the crash of the wood under the action of the intense cold or of the sun. Concentric circles wrap us up just like under a hypnotic practise, the spirit quietens down like in the act of praying, Poetry of Absence gives us again Peace, perhaps the most precious lost gift in this chaotic controversial world where the bustle can nothing before the simple miracle of a tree dipping its roots into the heart of the world.
Varini, who is a man of deep insights, knows that too well and therefore keeps silent giving back to us intact the saying: Silence is Golden.
* Antonio Contiero is a writer and fine-art photographer who collaborates whit Franco Battiato.