Among all the living creatures only the human race is free and eccentric, to say of Pico della Mirandola, because her freedom allows her to rise to the supracelestial spheres and at the same time to descent and drown in the mud.
His colleague Marsilio Ficino founded in Eros, love, the integrative principle between matter and spirit, between the intelligible and the invisible orders that live beyond the astral world. Because the longing for beauty, the desiderio di bellezza, catalyzes through art the transmutation of the material into claritas or bath of divine light.
Botticelli expressed plastically his adherence to neoplatonism of his contemporaries, especially in The Birth of Venus and in Allegory of Spring, which Eugenio Trías interprets (in Lo bello y lo siniestro) as a diptych of profane and sacred love.
We suspect that Adrian Pino Olivera, more free and eccentric than anybody else, if were born in the Renaissance period would also be follower of Florentine metaphysicians, who tried to fight the irrepressible advance of scientific rationalism.
His desiderio di bellezza was made clear in a performance whose media effect he was able to take advantage to criticize the thirst for flesh and taboo (we repeat his words) of the press: he entered the Galleria degli Uffizi (Florence, March 22, 2014) and stripped naked before Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, prostrated in front of the painting and threw rose petals with his hand tinged with red, color (blood, passion) that in his later poetic actions is still carrying symbolism.
Q- Adrian, the Botticelli’s Venus impressed you since childhood, perhaps because you guessed already that sinister background that art (Trías tells us) reveals without showing it. The scene omits as well as evokes the scythe with which Cronus castrated Uranus, from whose semen transformed into marine foam was born Aphrodite. You often claim that bordering state between the beautiful and the sinister. Do you think art is losing that revealing ability? Because often, either stays in a superficial beauty or gloat over the sinister, thereby losing its aesthetic value.
Fully agree with this last statement. We live in a time when, from my point of view, art has detached itself from the mystery, from the poetics that surrounded those paintings of the Renaissance that I have loved since childhood. On the one hand, there is digital art that is completely moved away from the material (stone, paint, wood…) Is generated through vectors, figures, and ends up being a cold, hyperrealistic product whose glossy surface can hardly be compared to the sensorial effect that gives off the work of a craftsman. That art has lost the emotional connection and its only real goal is to produce fantasies that by its formal surrealism impress the spectator, something, on the other hand, very typical of this era of banality in which estheticism has completely replaced the content. And on the other hand, there are a series of artistic manifestations that base their force on the scream, the vomit, the destruction, resources that I personally have used (and abused) throughout these three years that I have been as a performer.
For me they had a deeply catalyzing function, but seen with perspective, I think that sinister and dirty yell has already lost its strength. First because it recalls actions already performed in the 70’s and 80’s and generates a constant deja vu feeling; second, because violence for me is no longer an option.
My opinion is that art today must continue to fight against repressive structures but appealing more than ever to beauty. The world is in need of a new renaissance that appeals to the emotional, the sensory, the erotic, the light and the beautiful, because the time has come to respond to the emptiness and pain generated by capitalism and we can not be satisfied with evading ourselves in digital fantasies or complaining without proposing anything.
Q- On the same day, three years later (22-03-2017), you burst into the Louvre: taking advantage of the scenic effect of the staircase before the Victory of Samothrace, you plant in front of the statue by moving your arms to emulate the wings while hiding the genitals between the legs. If “Venus” was a cult of Beauty (understood as a metaphysical category), this latter action could be interpreted as a longing for freedom and justice (to what Nike was propitiatory), while invoking the generic indeterminacy of angels to claim polyvalence of being?
The action in the Louvre was for me precisely a zero point. In my work and in relation to what I said before. After a three-year artistic and personal trip I felt that I had already threw up a lot, that I had already delighting enough in the dark side of my being and my Art. I have dedicated many actions to show how this society is a real crap and is based on the most toxic values you can imagine. Now I have felt it necessary to make tabula rasa and start again, to evoke in a determined way that Other World I have suggested in all my performances but that cann’t be only a wink but a total manifesto.
In the Louvre I wanted to reflect the need to abandon the condition of a Western man to ascend to a new divine condition, ethereal, feminine, where the self gives himself completely to the spiritual. And the action describes it perfectly: I leave behind the material (symbolized by the clothes) and through the steps ascend to the sublime, the divine, where my body undergoes a metamorphosis and becomes an angel. That is the way I feel humanity must do to carry out a real evolution not only materialised in a technological and material evolution. We must dynamite completely the world we know and stay naked to start from scratch.
Q- In fact, polymorphism, metamorphosis, amphibian status as a fluctuating identity, always between two stools, is very present in your performances: from the series of Mitomorphosis (2014), through different alter egos (Ofelia, Lola… ), to the parody Sirenas y sardinas (2017). At heart, don’t become to lament all of them the fateful transit of the Myth to the Logos of which sometimes you speak?
Exactly, that transit from the mythological to the scientific knowledge for me represents a true misfortune. My obsession is to return to that dimension of myth where everything is eros, body, symbol and drama. Because I feel that it is there and only where the truth of things lies. Whenever I talk about this I refer to the myth of Apollo and Jacinto: the god loved that boy, but as the Zephyr wind was jealous, deflected the disc with which they were playing, hit the young man’s head and ended up killing him, so that Apollo was left without lover.
Zephyr’s reaction, killing Jacinto because can’t possess him, seems precious to me, because it is authentic, it is passionate, it’s sincere. In our times of forced education and hypercorrection , I miss those visceral moments, those moments of overflow, where the emotion can’t be contained. The myth is nothing more than that voice of ours unconscious that desires and hates in extreme way, that doesn’t mince its words.
We can stop it with the rational conscious but it will always be there. All civilization has been based on containing and repressing that voice to maintain the Order. The problem is that repressing it makes it bigger and that is the main reason why the system does not work and people are dissatisfied: because they don’t listen to their true desires and the Eros is something that can only be experienced in secret. The gods of myths went directly to the point: they loved and killed. Perhaps their world was more chaotic but it was much more poetic and authentic than ours. With my art I desperately seek to return to that mythical past.
Q- Following with the sequence of reincarnations you stage, lysergic are the fusions between pop stars and Jesus Christ, or between the whore and the slut incarnated in a kind of Mary Magdalene under whose white robe shows red lingerie. Are they all martyrs of the system?
These Christian figures interest me precisely because they are standards of that world of Order and Perfection. The burden of carrying such responsibility alone can only carry an equally great desire for sin. Perhaps there I provide part of my life experience: the pressure to be a perfect boy in my childhood and adolescence generated such anxiety that I sought escape routes and art, particularly theater, was the main.
On the other hand, the relation of these figures to the pop lies in two things: first, the sense of icons on the capitalist society, since at the end Maria and Britney Spears are the same; two women wrapped in an aura and adored by the mass. Second, there is the price paid for that divinity and that in most pop stars ends in a persecutory martyrdom by the paparazzi from that can only escape killing themselves.
In this sense, the figure of Britney Spears has left a mark on me since I was a child, as I see her as the living image of a contemporary martyr, daughter of a system that gives her everything and then snatched everything away. A Jesucrist led to the cross and then resurrected to continue exploiting her commercially in a loop of constant dissatisfaction.
Q- Dressed in this way (with veil and bras) you have been seen dancing between sausages and meat packaged in a supermarket of Barcelona. The parody of the objectifycation of the female body is evident, and in general the criticism of the heteropatriarchy clearly stands out in your proposals. You talk about feminizing the world. How to do it?
For me the feminization of the world begins with the complete destruction of civilization, without excuses. The world we know is only a space of pain and frustration, and is urgent a return to nature. A few days ago I saw the film Captain Fantastic, with Viggo Mortensen: to that type of societies I mean, individuals who have understood that before them there was the Forest and that they can not exploit it, but integrate into and venerate it. There is something that generates me a lot of pleasure and it is when there are natural disasters and I watch in the news as the Planet reminds us that it is She who has the power, that we are just a few little ants inhabiting it and that it can end us when it pleases. Nature reminding us that it is she who reigns.
Another recurring image of this feminine world is Bosch’s Garden of Delights: that is exactly my vision of the New World, all naked in natural spaces, communicating between us through the body, in a sort of eternal orgasm. It bothers me when people say that it is a Utopia: it seems to me a mere excuse not to carry out something that would be beautiful and sincere, that would force us to reject many things, but things that are not necessary in the attainment of a real and deep evolution of the human soul. So the feminization of the world for me begins in a new veneration of Nature, in a return to Pangea. Return to the Mother and be One with her.
Q- Along with what you call insurgent microperformances perpetrated in the urban heart (museums, clothing stores, PP headquarters…), the outskirts is the scene of other types of actions, where it seems that the apocalyptic paradoxically mixes with certain promise of redemption (train tracks, suburban roads, industrial archeology… and the sea…)
The Sea is the One, I always return there because from there we arise. Paradoxically my name, Adrian, means the one that comes from the sea. And that’s where I now feel that I must aim all the performance means. In the sense of Origin. That is to say, the insurrect actions in the heart of Barcelona already seems to me childish, they are like tantrums against the Capitalist Father that I detest and that I provoke, but against which I don’t rebel honestly proposing that other world.
Now through my body I want to make a call to that other dimension. I want to capture that other dimension. And I want to return to that time of myth where there was only man, landscape. And drama. My actions in front of Venus and Nike are an invocation of the mythical beauty, of the Orpheus song. Two ritual performances with which I am shouting in silence I long for a beauty, a love, that I can’t find in this world. That is why every so often I move away from the city and go to its peripheries: it is like entering into that primordial, ancestral silence. A silence from where to start again. A feminine and light world.