Nerve Net



oil on apricot wood

dimensions variable

2017 mixed media  on tanned leather cm 160 x 190



mixed media

on tanned leather

cm 160 x 190

Solar Plexus


artist book

mixed media on paper

cm 16 x 10

pages 181







As Giorgio Agamben recalls1, the first to have put ‘being’ in a posture was the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, to whom we owe the famous phrase: "The essence of being lies in existence”2. In German the term liegt means, in fact, lies and liegen translates as: to be lying down. This laying down of being in existence, a er being thrown into the world, implicitly contains a suggestive picture, that of a supine body.

The work Nerve Net is a horizon of internal organs laid down, made of bark and apricot wood fiber, complete with bruises and abscesses. An organic material, painful, a living and upright period, now dismembered and disposed on a plane on which the assonance with the supine human body both attracts and disturbs.

Again it is Agamben who wrote of Emmanuel Lévinas’ “Existence and Existents" that: being is no longer a concept, it is a sordid twilight experience, that we perceive between sleeping and waking, in states of fatigue and insomnia, in need and nausea - and above all in the postures and the deception of the body.3

Also in some religious traditions from India, in particular Hinduism and Buddhism, being is seen as a bodily experience. This is demonstrated by the doctrine of the chakras in which there is a correspondence between the physical or material body and the light or spiritual body. In Nerve Net one might say that we make an experience of being, through the language of art, recovering its dimension of worship, bringing us close to metaphysical mysteries, through signs and symbols. The work is composed of painted monochrome on wooden blocks, which when reconstructed, give rise to a new unit of sense, a new body imbued with an ancestral spiritual strength. At the center of the "body" the yellow of the solar plexus vibrates, an important energy center that is located at the height of the diaphragm, just below the sternum.

The logs appear stripped down, violated by cutting; wounds in the fibrous body communicate a nervous tension. They make a counterpoint from sanded planes that hold color: calm, quiescent, in the midst of so much tension.

That body which reclines, bringing upon itself, between its fibers, precious traces of the infinite, is the disconcerting evidence of having been thrown into the finiteness of existence.


Close your corporeal eyes - such that you can see your images first with your spiritual eye. Then bring back to the light of day that which you saw in the dark..., or so wrote the father of pictorial romanticism, Caspar David Friedrich4, leaving us a still relevant definition of the concept of "creative intuition".

As noted by Francesco Poli, even if they are distant in space and time, there is a link between the "spiritual eye" of Friedrich and the "third eye" of the Buddhist stupa.5

Among the impostures of the body, that of the skin is the most evident. On the one hand, this membrane that surrounds us and represents us, making uniform, and on the other hand, differentiates us, contains and at the same time separates inner from outer. This ambiguous and liminal nature is present in the work Da’at from the series The Rising, made using a mixed technique on tanned leather that imposes itself due to the expressive and archaic power of animal skin and the precious flare of its chromatic emanations. Not simply a pictorial surface, or illusory screen, but a field of forces in which the body of the artist takes its place alongside the material; the leather is in fact "tattooed" with pigment, through an abrasive and violent mechanical action.

In an essay on the painter and Lithuanian composer Mikalojus Kostantinas Čiurlionis, Vjačeslàv Ivànov wrote: The centrifugal inclinations of solitary artists inadvertently lead them not into a vacuum, where a new worlds of shapes could form, but into vague solar systems, in the territories of the Muse, and invoke ambiguous forms, of hybrid creation, which is not in artibus, but inter artes.6


Marco Cassarà’s research lives implicitly the same tendencies moving, in fact, within the scope of symbolic abstraction, following several sources of inspiration: literary, doctrinal and philosophical in particular, but also musical. Hybrid forms of creation and vague solar systems meet in his works, putting in connection microcosm and macrocosm. The road of universal access to a world, otherwise of subjective intuition, however is the mystical power of color. This can be seen in Solar Plexus, the artist's book—that gives its title to the exhibition—conceived as a spectrogram that materializes the "sound" of inwardness, through chromatic emanations, dense and precious, sometimes dark and psychedelic. Here the inner resonance becomes physics, through the evocative power of the wide color range, explored through abandonment and a visionary sense, putting into vibration our spiritual understanding, a sort of abandoned awareness, of an ancestral memory that acts through the psyche.



1 Giorgio Agamben, Posture, in Gilles Deleuze, L’esausto, edited Ginevra Bompiani, nottempo, Rome, 2015, p86.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid., p83.

4 Fredrik Berwick e Jurgn Klein, The Romantic Imagination: Literature and Art in England and Germany, 1996, op. cit. in Francesco Poli, 4 “Wandering in the Land of intuition”, in Intuition, exhibition catalogue, Venice, Palazzo Fortuny, 13 May - 26 November 2017, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, pp. 35-36

5 Ibid., p36.

6 Vjačeslàv Ivànov, “Čiurlionis e il problema della sintesi delle arti”, in Luca Quattrocchi M.K. Čiurlionis: preludio all’astrattismo, Edizioni  Pendragon, Bologna, 2000

© 2018 Marco Cassarà. All rights reserved.

2017 installation oil on apricot wood dimensions variable
2017 mixed media  on tanned leather cm 160 x 190
2017 installation oil on apricot wood dimensions variable
2017 mixed media  on tanned leather cm 160 x 190
2017 installation oil on apricot wood dimensions variable
2017 mixed media  on tanned leather cm 160 x 190
2017 installation oil on apricot wood dimensions variable
2017 mixed media  on tanned leather cm 160 x 190