Images

“There came a movement from my hand that was not there before. Beforehand, I said, there had been… the requirement, the movement of my mind that wanted to… speak through the images.”

“The artist is the only one who, with images others do not understand, is free to speak without words.”

Left 2008, L'Asino d'oro edizioni, Rome, 2011 p.156

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Left 2008, L'Asino d'oro edizioni, Rome, 2011

THE RELATIONSHIP WITH IMAGES

If I entered the world of arts, I ask for forgiveness.
I had reached the maze of conscious thought and of scientific knowledge; It oppressed me

The beauty of images and the peace of silent representations dragged me into the great sea of feeling without comprehending or explaining.

I used the words to create images, to arouse images in others; I let the highest expression of human realization be subjugated by that which was there beforehand.
‘I didn’t tell you, but I killed my mother to be with you.’

The refusal of taught thought and language for the originality of one’s own internal images. I was told that the world of images without words is the world of anguish and madness. I once again didn’t believe it. That world is the world of freedom.

The burden of gratitude serves to expiate the guilt for the hatred towards those who love arts who made me a slave, again.

Class CNBC, Design & Living, interview with Massimo Fagioli dated October 18th, 2008

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Class CNBC, Design & Living, 2008

“I think it’s common gossip that I didn’t do things on my own initiative, but because I was asked to do them, that is, because there was a relationship […]. But, as for my drawings, I’ve never drawn when I was alone.”

L’architettura e la morte dell’arte, pag. 120 and the following pages. Teatro Eliseo, Rome, 1996

L’architettura e la morte dell’arte, Teatro Eliseo, Rome, 1996
Rome, 2014

“I’ll tell you something personal. As a child, I would sometimes hear people say, ‘Van Gogh was a genius’; ‘Beethoven was a genius’; […] How is it that they are geniuses? They don’t talk, they draw and write music!

“Evidently, from the very beginning, I wondered whether being a genius had nothing to do with articulated language. Wow, being a genius has to do with thought, so, thought may also be something else beyond articulated language, and may also be there when there is no articulated language.

“I cannot ask a famous pianist to cut her tongue out to show how, when playing the piano, there is indeed thought despite there not being articulated language. But, we should also carefully consider another idea: is there thought only when somebody is doing something… or not? Because if we consider painters, pianists, musicians, who do things, we are back to square one: newborn babies don’t do things, don’t draw, don’t write.”

Lecture dated March 12th, 2004, Università degli Studi "G. d'Annunzio" Chieti - Pescara

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March 12th, 2004
© M.Fagioli

“It happened that a group of architects asked me, ‘Why don’t you draw this?’ Actually, it all started with Diavolo in corpo [Devil in the flesh], when the architects realized I could make images, in fact, I depicted images, created new images. This is also something Bellocchio said; he said I had imagination, I didn’t use the actors to describe a behaviour but to make a new image from the movement of their body.”

Materia energia pensiero, interview with M. Fagioli, in Il sogno della farfalla, rivista di psichiatria e psicoterapia, Vol. 3,2017, p. 31

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Il sogno della farfalla, rivista di psichiatria e psicoterapia, Vol. 3, 2017

Roma Libera, on October 23rd, 1994. Video-recorded meeting with a group of architects in the practice where Analisi collettiva was held, which was organized for the exhibition Il coraggio delle immagini in Tunis in 1994.

CINEMA AND ARCHITECTURE

1986. Diavolo in corpo [Devil in the Flesh]

“The main character of the film is a young man who is a complete rebel; I would say that this film should help us reflect upon the concept of violence and non-violence. This young man opposes, rebels against his father, his mother, marriage, and basically looks for his sexual freedom. The main fact of all this is that he does not die, rather, he achieves his personal realization, as does the woman he is with, who is happy for his realization. Her identity corresponds to his realization.”

AA. VV., Analisi collettiva incontri (2004), Roma, Villa Piccolomini, L'Asino d'oro edizioni, Rome, soon to be released

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Analisi collettiva Incontri (2004), L'Asino d'oro edizioni,
Rome, soon to be released
Premiere of Diavolo in corpo [Devil in the flesh], 1986 © Stefano Giorgi
Premiere of Diavolo in corpo [Devil in the flesh], 1986 © Stefano Giorgi

“The young man in Diavolo in corpo sits his high school exams, and he does that after he has had a love story with a beautiful woman who is older than him. She was destined to being a wife and a mother in her role as a spouse blessed by the Catholic Church. A so-called ‘happy’ love that hid depression for the impossibility of refusing the idea about the women’s ‘natural’ lack of affectivity. And the woman in the film, who was a memory, escapes from church, and is moved by seeing the realization of the young man’s identity. There came dreams and interpretations that would say that the exam did not mean the end of adolescence but getting over mental disorders which might be or turn into illnesses.”

Diavolo in corpo [Devil in the Flesh], 1986 (the last scene)

The nineties. La Condanna and Il Sogno della farfalla

In 1991, I had long been holding the sessions of group psychotherapy that the huge number of people who attended it called Analisi collettiva. In that period, in my free time, I designed the projects for the bookshop Amore e Psiche and the so-called Palazzetto bianco, drew the cover of the journal Il sogno della farfalla, and wrote the article that I entitled ‘Una depressione’ and the screenplays La condanna and Il sogno della farfalla which were made into films.”

“There come the memories of the films I made with Bellocchio and the search for the image of a woman looking for her identity, which was the main reason for our working together […]. The three women in La condanna appeared, with the brunette at the end of the film being unattainable; and the two women in Il sogno della farfalla appeared together with the young man who did not want to use the common language that has a meaning but not a sense.”

Backstage of "La Condanna", 1991


La Condanna, 1991

“Now, I recall the main character of a film whose screenplay I wrote in 1991, who was defined as ‘The boy who does not speak’. And, I think, that image was saying he did not want to repeat the things that were said by philosophy because, possibly, they were prayers addressed to a god nobody could see or name.”

“Like the main character of the film Il sogno della farfalla, a long time ago, I refused the ancients’ verbal thought because it indicated what the senses perceived.

the set of La condanna, 1991
the set of La condanna, 1991
© M.Fagioli

The nineties. Il coraggio delle immagini

“However, architecture is not painting or sculpture, which exist regardless of a relationship with others; houses are built for human beings, houses are built for living animals and for the plants of the vegetable kingdom. Thus, the obligation of a relationship with the world and with others softens the violence of beautiful images, and the beauty of a curved wall only makes those who inhabit a house slaves, that is, it obliges them to adapt, to pay the price to the beauty of an uncomfortable movement.”

Il Coraggio delle Immagini-Progetti realizzati da un gruppo di architetti su idee e disegni di Massimo Fagioli 1986 - 1995, L'Asino d'oro edizioni, Rome, soon to be released

Il Coraggio delle Immagini, L'Asino d'oro edizioni,
Rome, soon to be released
© M.Fagioli

The bookshop Amore e Psiche:

“A bookshop was born from my imagining an invisible arch.”

“The bookshop Amore e Psiche. It was built twenty years ago, in 1991, and was inaugurated on April, 12th, 1992 […]. When I was taken to the three dark rooms, I moved my body and my arm and, speaking words without meaning, I drew in the air images I was not aware of […]. Then, builders pulled down a portion of a wall and there appeared an arch. Carpenters worked the wood, and the images became the levels and stairs. In the mid-air, there appeared the vanes of a wind-mill that doubled the floor. Maybe, they were the wings of a butterfly because the immobility of inorganic matter, of seasoned wood and iron was actually the movement of images.

Amore e Psiche, 1991
The bookshop Amore e Psiche, Rome, 2005 © Nereo Benussi

Il Palazzetto Bianco [The little white palace]

“I didn’t design a flat facade, but a curved one thinking about the idea of reversing the form of a pyramid, which I told you about: ‘We need to build a sort of reversed pyramid, meaning, not like Egyptian pyramids, with a large base and a thin point, but the opposite’. In there, there was the principle of starting from a narrow base that could then rise towards a wide surface […].”

From the transcription of a meeting about Palazzetto bianco with Franco Purini and Massimo Fagioli, that took place on June 24th, 2007, in the bookshop Amore e Psiche.

Il Coraggio delle Immagini-Progetti realizzati da un gruppo di architetti su idee e disegni di Massimo Fagioli 1986 - 1995, L'Asino d'oro edizioni, Rome, soon to be released

Il Coraggio delle Immagini, L'Asino d'oro edizioni,
Rome, soon to be released
Il palazzetto bianco [The little white palace], 1990
Il palazzetto bianco [the little white palace], designed in 1990 and built in 2005 in S.Fabiano street, Rome

“[…] You can’t see the flats of the Palazzetto bianco! You can only see the very bright white facade of Analisi collettiva, where everybody looks alike, one sitting next to another on the benches; you can’t see what is behind, you only see the balconies. And you know that the story started with the case history of a patient who lost his mind and developed schizophrenia; he had dreamt about falling from a balcony […].

“I was told that painting a small flat in very strong colours makes the flat look smaller; there, a strange phenomenon had occurred, it made it look larger: deep brown, deep green, lighter green, red, and blue! In a seven-square-metre room, a whole wall was painted blue; gosh, it was a bit of a slap around the face! But, it fit in well, as if there were a harmony between very strong colours.”

Lorenzo: “You feel good in there, there is harmony between the colours and the space, 60 square meters, 14 colours, not counting white, or there would be 15 colours […].”

From the transcription of meeting about Palazzetto bianco with Franco Purini and Massimo Fagioli that took place on June 24th, 2007 in the bookshop Amore e Psiche.

Class CNBC, Design & Living, interview with Massimo Fagioli dated October 18th, 2008

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Class CNBC, Design & Living, 2008

Excerpt from Scherzo [A joke], 2001

Villa Latina, designed in 1998 and built in 2003 in Strada del Quinto, Latina
Prague, 1995
Rome, 1992
Prague, 1995
Rome, 1995

NON-DREAMLIKE UNCONSCIOUS IMAGES

“[…] I repeated the whole story about conscious recollections, about shapes perceived by the retina, and then, about internal images that can be linked to the mysterious world of the night when, in the mind, there appear images that aren’t exactly the perception, the picture of an object, but they are transformed, until I thought how artists are like that when they can propose not the pictures of things… but internal images, until I found the formula that, in our research, appeared on May 12th, 1995, in Naples: an image, yes, unconscious, but not the image of a dream, not a dreamlike image[*]. In other words, the thought artists let it emerge while being awake, images that are not the perception, the picture or the conscious recollection of what has been seen or heard. And the formula is the following: a non-conscious image, an image without consciousness, not a dreamlike image because artists work when they are awake not when they are asleep.”

Settimo anno. Lezioni 2008, L'Asino d'oro edizioni, Rome 2013, pp. 46-47

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Settimo anno. Lezioni 2008, L'Asino d'oro edizioni, Rome 2013

*Reference is made to the seminar, Le forme del linguaggio, which took place in Naples on May 12th, 1995, at University Orientale, where for the first time, the expression ‘Non-dreamlike unconscious image’ was mentioned. Cf. ‘Le forme del linguaggio’, in Il sogno della farfalla, Vol. 4, 1995, pp. 3-28.

“A drawing, called The young woman, which had been made the year before, showed a deformation, an abnormally long arm, which could not be either a conscious recollection or a portrait. It was an image that we could define as non-conscious, which however was not a dreamlike image. Image, image, image. The word becomes an obsession. Conscious recollection, dreamlike image, image that is not a recollection, non-conscious image that is not a dreamlike image. The words have found their object.”

AA. VV., Records of “Incontri di ricerca psichiatrica” - Aula Magna, Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (2004), L'Asino d'oro edizioni, soon to be released

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Records of “Incontri di ricerca psichiatrica”(2004),
L'Asino d'oro edizioni, soon to be released

The pain contained in the absence of the hand that cannot draw the feminine image,
Like in a mirror, reflects onto the bald head of the man
Who, now adult, shows his profile that is sad for his failure.
The perturbing profile of the girl,
Energy for everything,
does not look at him.
When tilting her head backwards,
She looks up maybe searching for the sun
which makes her close her eyes.

“The dear artist who had made the mosaic said very nicely, ‘Ok, I’ve got the chisel and the grinder […].’ I took them, and he said, ‘No,’ those were his own tools, he had to use them, I should be the psychiatrist. And like Ajax, who killed all the sheep with his sword thereby believing he could take revenge on the Achaeans, I started to cut and break the stone to transform the figure so that nothing of the first one remained, although there remained the small stones, in green, yellow, and so forth. I didn’t change the colours of the stones but the lines, thus shaping curves with the grinder that were different from those that there were before, and I cut the mass of hair, and first put coffee powder onto them, then saffron, and then beautiful yellow wool threads. I remade the hair, the throat, the hand, the buttocks […]”.

L'uomo nel cortile. Lezioni 2005, L'Asino d'oro edizioni, Rome, 2012, pp. 155-6

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L'uomo nel cortile. Lezioni 2005, L'Asino d'oro edizioni, Rome, 2012

Rome, 2005

Rome, 2005

1998. Il cielo della luna

Locarno, 1998

“I recall the hard work that took place within the group psychotherapy sessions after 1998 when the film Il cielo della luna was shown. Within the context of the interpretations and the research, there was much talk about the two main characters, the homeless man and the woman, because it was not clear which image represented the psychiatrist, and which Analisi collettiva […].

“It was decided that the homeless man was the psychiatrist and the woman Analisi collettiva: male the psychiatrist, female Analisi collettiva. It was not easy because perception suggested the opposite. The psychiatrist was a well-known professional, with a classical education; those who seemed to have rejected society were those who had taken part in the movement of ’68, which looked like a worldwide revolution.

The truth was latent, revolution lay in the new theory that appeared in the three volumes that showed a new vision about the reality of the human mind. The well-known professional with a classical education was actually a homeless man who had refused traditional culture. The movement of ’68 was actually a flash in the pan because it did not bring forth any new theory. We may say: a fleeting moment of freedom without an identity.”

Records of “Incontri di ricerca psichiatrica”(2005), L'Asino d'oro edizioni, soon to be released

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Records of “Incontri di ricerca psichiatrica”(2005),
L'Asino d'oro edizioni, soon to be released

The backstage of Il cielo della luna

Excerpt from Il cielo della luna

1999. La scultura blu [The blue sculpture] and the calendar

Scultura blu [The blue sculpture], 1999 © M.Fagioli
Scultura blu [The blue sculpture], 1999 © M.Fagioli

“Now I recall how, on July 27th, 1999, whilst refreshing my legs in a pool, using the stub of a pencil, I drew a strange figure with two large triangles in the front, which could be a large nose and a swollen belly… and a breast at the same time, and a small, frightened, almost trembling, little man behind.”

“Twenty-thousand years ago, what did the primitives think about before discovering that sexual intercourse could lead to pregnancy and a baby being born? They didn’t know and, actually, making a connection with what had happened nine months earlier wasn’t easy also because, I imagine, they didn’t only have sex once every nine months! […]

“Thus, women just started to be divinized. The first idea of creativity is birth, the creation of another human being. That’s why I put the man behind, with his eye, how can we say it? Crazed while observing this strange, incomprehensible phenomenon. That’s when – and these are only hypotheses, hints for research – religious thought arose.

The way men related to the phenomenon of women who bring babies into the world, who are creative, made men religious. They started to worship women: religious men stem from the lack of affectivity, meaning, from a reaction lacking affectivity which led them to divinize women, women were no longer human. However, by becoming religious, they also became violent. Thus, there started the violence against women, which was decreed by science when the link between the sperm and the egg was found. And you all know how, still in the seventeenth century, the sperm was drawn with the face of a baby. […] Babies were made by men, because they were contained in sperm”.

Il sogno della farfalla, rivista di psichiatria e psicoterapia, Vol. 1, 2006, p. 14

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Il sogno della farfalla, rivista di psichiatria e psicoterapia, Vol. 1, 2006

When the inhabitants of the caves disappeared and reason appeared,
That which was irrational was left to the artists and the mad…
We could take the folly of arts away from the mad and give it back to geniuses.

“For two weeks and forty hours of psychotherapy my body has been following the rhythm of the life that the letters, images and colours of the calendar impose.

“I drew it ten years ago, in a warm August, as warm as the one that has just disappeared. It is different from those showing beautiful naked women one can see in many places. Off the top of my head, in a couple of hours, I sketched drawings that could be defined as abstract, where there clearly appears a feminine image. In January, there is a shape that differs completely from the silhouette of December who seems to hide below two sheets, as if she were sleeping. April overtly shows a man lying on the analytic couch. […]

“Now, looking at it again, the language of the images is clear and says that the woman of January hints at the illnesses of the psyche; in December, there is another image, and the allusion is made to sleep and to a relationship with a man who realized himself without conscience and reason: as if he were sleeping.”

Roma Libera street, number 23: the architecture

“[…] When, in 2001, I refurbished the space of the psychotherapy sessions which live for a movement that is not reason, I designed a wooden structure that moved along two imaginary lines which are the two sides of a triangle at whose vertex I sit. This way, I can see and talk to those who sit in there, from one side to the other. Then, they all saw a third line which, by crossing the courtyard, linked the two furthest points thus designing a third side and two angles.”

the practice in Roma Libera street, 1994

“Before 2001, it wasn’t like that: I couldn’t see almost half of the people and they couldn’t see or hear me despite the microphone and the loudspeaker. In other words, I was only half amongst them, that is, I was only sitting amongst half of them. So, I think that, maybe, I was also half with them. Now, I sit amongst all of them because it is enough for me to turn my wheeled armchair slightly. […]

“Then, the new edition of the third book appeared after the new architecture of the practice where the group psychotherapy takes place. A new architecture, a new edition of the third book, which seems to be the same as it was before because I have not changed a single line; but, it is a new book because, now, the title says, Teoria della nascita e castrazione umana. Hence, apart from reading a new title, we also see a completely new architecture or, better, after having seen a completely new architecture, we read a new title that makes of the book a completely new image.

Thus, I think that the new architecture and the new title are the eyes that can let the shapeless mass […] that is called Analisi collettiva be seen. Thus, I think it does not suffice to see the conscious figure of the architecture of the practice; rather, what is needed is the articulated language that got rid of, made the word I cannot write but which you can see if you look at the old editions, disappear. Now, you read Teoria della nascita e castrazione umana. Thus, it is a fact that many things have disappeared.”

AA. VV., Records of “Incontri di ricerca psichiatrica” - Aula Magna, Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (2004), L'Asino d'oro edizioni, soon to be released

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Records of “Incontri di ricerca psichiatrica”(2004),
L'Asino d'oro edizioni, soon to be released

Excerpt from La Psichiatria Esiste. Una ricerca, un dibattito, un film.

2003, La psichiatria esiste? Una ricerca, un dibattito, un film [Does psychiatry exist? A research, a debate, and a film]

Excerpt from La psichiatria esiste? Una ricerca, un dibattito, un film [Does psychiatry exist? A research, a debate, and a film], 2003

ABOVE THE TOWN AND DREAMS

“The first time I saw it was in 1998, and I liked it straight away. There was only the floor that was made of earthenware tiles and it was raining inside, but it was love at first sight. For me who is always dealing with dreams, the house is identity and a way of being, of living. And I live between wakefulness and dreaming, and I function well when switching from one to the other.

Corriere della Sera, ‘Abitare, questa è la mia casa. Vivo in cima alla città e ai sogni’ by Giovanna Pezzuoli, in Corriere della sera, dated April 30th, 2011

‘Abitare, questa è la mia casa. Vivo in cima alla città e ai sogni’ by Giovanna Pezzuoli, in Corriere della Sera, dated April 30th, 2011
Read the whole article

Maybe, I have stolen the thought that forms dreams when, after the eyes have been closed and the world has been forgotten, it draws images. I renovated the place where the group psychotherapy is held, I renovated the gazebo that, immobile, stands in the corner of the terrace and in front of the plants that always move, even at night when I am not looking at them. Far above, the seagull always remains still and, from time to time, disappears. But I remember and know that it flies away with its outspread wings.”

“A journalist, a woman, let everybody see the truth about the private reality of ‘the psychiatrist who invented Analisi collettiva’. A poetical synthesis of a life that was devoted to the research into the truth about human reality. Each line sounds like a verse from a story written with a poetic language which harmonizes the chair called ‘hysteria’ with thirty-six years of interpretation of dreams. ‘I live between wakefulness and dreams.’”

“Here, in this house, each time, I put the pictures, the drawings, for this splendid relationship with the birth of my granddaughters. Now, there are four of them.”

Lattuada: So, let’s go inside and have a look. We’ve crossed a studio, where we’ll go back to later. This is the living room, full of the well-known drawings we were just talking about. Let’s start from these ones that are closest to us, for example, this one.”

It’s a composition between pictures and my drawings. I sketched this one while travelling on a bus in Egypt, it’s the image of the face of my first granddaughter. I imagined she was like that when she was in the uterus; this one is when she was born, with a smile upon her face; this one is obviously her name, Geneva. I called her ‘Veva’ because she would say it was her name. ‘What’s your name?’ ‘Veva!’ So, Veva remained her name. This one is when she’d grown up a bit, with a more adult face.”

Materia energia pensiero, interview with M. Fagioli, in Il sogno della farfalla, rivista di psichiatria e psicoterapia, Vol. 3, 2017, p. 32

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Il sogno della farfalla, rivista di psichiatria e psicoterapia, Vol. 3, 2017