Sunday, April 25, 2010
Templer Road – Blankets of wisdom
Italian Tribal Art of the XXI century
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That which is narrated, amongst the one thousand and one stories, can be found in in the woof of my Blankets of Wisdom. Blankets of Wisdom? There is nothing strange: every woven fabric is woven with knowledge, as much as every human handwork ... if not more. More the fabric is handmade, more will give to human knowledge. Collector, client, paying user, just think about, before saying that you do not need it. Buy me, put your blanket of knowledge exactly on top of your bed every day and every night. She will be your friend, she will receive you and will advise you, she will surprise you and will cheer you up. The blanket of knowledge is indispensible for families: she will participate in your embraces and eventual offspring. If you have the privilige of diying in your home, she will cover you. A little bit of her spirit will merge with yours. In the end, they are not different. It has always happened, it is not a novelty, we have only to remember the history of humanity, that has always been covered with fabrics. Just like the reality, that will be always veiled with a fabric of cosmic illusions.
Also with the tribal nomads, spirit or knowledge are not mental abstractions, they live operating through all bodies. The spirit of knowledge emerges also from their hand made products. Every utensil is spirit and material. Today the nomads are disappearing and with them, their manufacts are becoming “rare tribal art”. The so called “Rugs” of the nomads, were also their beds and blankets or camping sacks for their tents, calling them “Homes” or “Families” according to the apparent deficiency of the primitive language.. Inside the tent-home-family, the tribes lived in luxury. Inspite of their appearance, they surrounded themselves with masterpieces, not like modern people, that are surrounded by miserable luxury, their modern unhappiness. It is also true, that many nomads, with the progress of modernity, have become impoverished. The Nomads are reduced to selling their older rugs to modern people, that appreciate them. There is nothing to be amazed at: this is the usual History of Art.
Now I will start to narrate a story of mine. It might seem somewhat unusual, but not so much. Once upon a time ..... roaming the Orient, in some ancient city, a street sign told me I was walking in Templer Road. I thanked the British Empire for the toponomastic information …. but I did not see Templers or Temples in Templer Road, inspite of the fact that the town was very religious. There were in fact Buddhists, Muslims, Hindu, Christian and Animist. As for buildings, in a certain sense used for cult, there was only an artisanal pasta factory. Directed by a priest, a gesuit from Naples. It produced maccaroni for certain Grand Hotels. He organised weddings, of Catholic Rite, for his young pagan female labourers. He was not crazy, I have the photographs ... and I cannot forget Templer Road. If I was not illuminated, I had at least a gleam.
On the other hand, Varrone the famous Latin scribbler, pointed out that “The Temple” in its original meaning, was a separate portion. Especially that imaginary space, that the Augure marked the sky with his magic wand. Doing so, he limits the sector within which he forecasts, by observing the flight of the birds. By means of his mystic job of bird watching ( aves spicere). Moreover there is a mental temple in every single human body. It corresponds to the Temple in the skies, the one that the Augure inscribes and innaugurates with the magic wand. And, amongst us Sapiens, the thread of thought unwinds in the head, word after word, in the circumscribed space of the temples. In between the temples, there is Time (tempus) and its space and all the body (this unkown) body. There is no Kant to be angry with, a punch in the head is enough and the thought is over.
In ancient times, thoughts were threads. Originally the mind was a loom for weaving. Concretely speaking, the mind was space, time and body ... In other words: rhythm. The structure of the loom has a specific organ, that corresponds to the temples of Sapiens that corresponds to the magic wand of Augure. It is a means to define a templar zone, which probably is the same as above. This area of the loom is not circumscribed to the infinite skies and not even in the mind between the temples. Also in this “new” enclosed area, Art and Culture are created or procreated. In short, something is made: objects. Each one useful to cover, to warm, to contain. These objects are not only useful for these trivial funtions, because knowledge adds a value, that is commonly interpreted as a sign: the so called Tribal art.
The magic wand in the looms, is called “Templer”, which is described in wikipedia – the free encyclopedia - . “The Templer is a tool used in weaving, to prevent the narrowing of the fabric during the manifacture”. The Templar is also a nomadic tool, that has to be moved periodically as the cloth grows. The useful. gesture to move this tool, is
inserted in the periodic rythm of weaving. It is this gesture that (according to me) gives me the luxury to impress certain signals in the coloured material of each blanket of knowledge of mine. Signals that are, in substance, the imprints of my footsteps on Templer Road. This gratuitus system of signaling, seems to me an old tribal trick, which I did not invent. If my unaware footsteps trace ancient paths or crafts, it will give me a reason for pride and consolation “In my craft or sullen art” of weawing .
Therefore, amongst my various tricks, probably tribal, which I use (I am not going to explain them), I found this trick that I call “Templer Road”. I have adopted it and fell in love with it and have not stopped feeling satisfied in using it: because it increased my joy in weaving. Hoping that “Templer Road” increases the delight of my Dear clients, collectors, paying users ... it is understood, according to the context. Tribal art was not originally conceived as merchandise. But it is incommensurable value has to be translated into commensurable prices.
And tomorrow ... who knows? So these blankets of knowledge are “Italian Tribal Art of the XXI century? Certainly it is a “made in Italy” ….. by me. It could be traced back to an obscure local tradition of textile art. However, just think that tribal art is composed by deeds and rhythms, more than signs or projects – designs. This is what my title relentlessly means.
Faculty of Weaving in Porchiano, March 8, 2010
english version by Franklin Watts
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