Terry Fox: Vocale vocale
The American artist Terry Fox, here with his first show in Italy for many years, belongs to that group of radical and uncompromising artists who, in the '60s and '70s, rejected traditional art forms in order to create new ones. Fox, in particular, gained international attention with a range of provocative and original cathartic performances, often based on an exploration of the extreme limits of his own physical endurance and measured alongside a well defined project structure. A very personal event, therefore, more so thanks to the recurrent presence of sound in its quality as a physical phenomenon. One should also recall the memorable collaborations with other masters in this particular field such as Vito Acconci, Dennis Oppenheim, and, in the famous "Isolation Unit" (1970), Joseph Beuys.
Since the beginning of the '80s the performance aspect of his work has become less central, giving way to installations. He is an example, unusual in the present climate, of the artist as explorer, moving outside current trends, and at no stage predictable. His work is complex, in constant evolution, and tends towards creating a strong and direct link with the viewer. Talking of this present show the artist says: "I want to learn something (new), not only to show something. I want to let the viewer participate in the result of this process of learning/researching".
The title of the show ("Vocal Vowel" in English) plays on the link between adjective and noun, homonyms in Italian, and derives from the famous poem by Rimbaud, "Voyelles". Starting with the association which the French poet makes between the five vowels and a like number of colours, Fox has formulated a fascinating and complex installation which considers the specific space of e/static in order to explore the theme of Synaesthesia, central to his work as a whole.