Pier Paolo Pasolini constructs the narrative of The Gospel According to St Matthew around an ambiguous sound structure, in which the poetic recourse to silence is combined with an extraordinary soundtrack. Bach and Mozart accompany the most evocative scenes in the film – like the Crucifixion, entrusted to the grandiose solemnity of Masonic funeral music – in sequences without speech, which appear more eloquent than any dialogue. The absence of the word in The Gospel is a repository of meaning, as in every religion, in which the concept of silence coincides with that of meditation, reflection, prayer and transcendence.
This silence – at the same time poetic and dialectic – is the common ground for Christian Rainer’s most recent investigations. Rainer is a multifaceted artist, fully aware of his cognitive and creative means. In his art, the infinitesimal and the limitless intersect and become material, light or sound through a broad range of expressive media. His art uses video and photography, painting and drawing, installation and performance; or it strays into musical composition, with refined results. Such a complexity of concepts and complementarity of means imbue Rainer with the image of a contemporary artist among the ancients and an ancient among contemporaries. The works on show here are the discernible outcome of a fluctuating tension between introspection and worldliness, spirit and matter, silence and praise.
A constant of the artist’s work is that of not favouring one technique in particular, since he feels that it is important to choose the forms and means that yield to the nature itself of his ideas.
In this exhibition the choice of traditional techniques – like the sources of inspiration and the references – is motivated by the desire to give historical value and unicity to the individual creations, since these are the features most suited to themes which are themselves rooted in tradition.