Museo Vito Mele - Museo Salento Museo Vito Mele - Museo Salento
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Arte e Scultura nel Salanto - Museo  Mele - Museo Salento

  Presentation : Museum Vito Mele  

The artist is in some respects a special person. This is not because his work is so very different from ours but because he is a being whose strengths
and weaknesses, whose focus on development of the mind and burgeoning of the spirit, are built up to find their expression in the realm of the emotions where they become the property of the senses and sensibilities of the collective, to be shared and possessed in common. As workers and entrepreneurs create the public wealth of a nation, the work of artists lays the foundations of the imaginative sensibility of an epoch, in large measure determining the “poetic consciousness” of a society.
I have evoked these considerations, more sociological than artistic, to introduce the real reach of the initiative which has given life to this museum.
A discerning and enlightened prelate sought a collection of contemporary art to grace the restored rooms at the sanctuary of Santa Maria di Finibus




A passionate, determined and equally enlightened benefactor gladly donated his collection.
This is not just a collection of works of high artistic and aesthetic value. It is above all testimony to the human endeavour and the poetic reach that the artists represented here knew how to transmit through their creativity.
We live in a society which becomes daily ever more prosaic because fantasy and imagination are now nourished by a cultural industry with a logic based on the profit motive, economic gain considered to outweigh any other value system. From cinema to television, from the world of publishing to fashion, from newspaper and magazine journalism to artfully engineered opinions fed to us about the framework of our reality, this manufactured and only apparently democratic logic reduces shared aesthetic sensibility to the lowest common denominator.
From this levelling down we can already see the outline of the model being, dubbed by Marcuse “one-dimensional man.” This is a man who wants and knows how to use sophisticated electronic gadgets but who is at the same time a new barbarian, incapable of understanding the secret suggestion of poetry, the emotional sense of a complex image, and the depths of his own true feelings.
The art world is not free from this process. But, as everywhere, we have generous and splendid exceptions to the rule. There are artists who work neither for the fashion of the moment nor for success at all costs, but who are driven by their own search for truth to communicate and share through their images.

It was the intention to include the work of such artists which determined the selection of exhibits for the museum. The truth and human complexity of the artists represented here, and their anguished, contradictory, and problematic poetical statements, the result of impassioned existential reflection, come together to illuminate an era in which unheard of levels of anxiety, brought about by political upheaval
and economic crises, falling stocks and dulled human consciousness, leave little space for poetry and beauty.
It is in this perspective that the collection, destined to be a permanent exhibition open to all, assumes a precise flavour. To believe in art, in its capacity to penetrate and to rethink radically the reality that surrounds us, in fact signifies holding open the door to the most worthy and responsible
human achievement and moral standpoint, thus laying the foundations for a different human consciousness leading to mankind’s betterment. In choosing the artists, the aim was to remain free of conditioning and prejudice, and to look only for quality and intensity of talent and above all
for intrinsic sincerity of intent. These artists represent a special sample of the linguistic panorama today present in Italy. From the most explicitly figurative to the most expansive formal or abstract images, these most diverse forms of expression are inter-related by a shared testimony. These
artists have all sought to express themselves in a vernacular that does not bow to established trends, that develops its own feeling, and its own motion and intuition without following a pre-determined path.
There in a nutshell is the motive underlying the selection of the works. It is the expression of a wish to testify to the validity of judgements on material objects and on life. What unites these works is an affirmation of independence, an aspiration to show in its entirety creative individuality,
without compromise and without any lowering of standards. I am also convinced that within the limits that the collection has to impose on itself, the direction taken is the right one, a direction that is worth
taking because it is not a priori circumscribed by prevailing selection methods which, as I said, are today strongly influenced by cultural fashion and the taste of an elitist market.
It is the sincere artists who are the standard bearers of a great and precious potential for an authentic freedom of creativity. The system that surrounds them, which we can with justifiable cynicism refer to as “the Art factory,” (to quote Argan) demonstrates itself to be ever more capable of trivial neutralisation, of subtle circumventions, and of creeping ghettoisation.
The more one talks of art today, the less one talks of the truth of the artists. Painting and sculpture become the real “dead language”, according to the tragic aphorism of Martini, when it is not their burden of humanity and true feelings which are sought and heard but their adhesion to the rules of the market and prevailing trends. These are the ideas on art which really count today while the objects themselves, with their burden of emotion and judgement that artists stimulate in their work, remain definitively out of the circuit. It seems they are of no interest to anyone, and least of all to the majority of art critics.
But this is not to say that all Italian artists today sign up to the formula of vulgar opportunism. Thus, the diversity and inflections, the linguistic and thematic traditions that many of them draw upon are in many cases the sign of a freedom that is in the first place ethical. And in fact such a freedom, encountered on a well thought out common ground, makes this collection interesting and stimulating. At the heart of the quest it sums up, one can discover, like a permanent centre of gravity, the sensitive presence of reality and of its lyrical representation, the presence of man and of his better sentiments.
That is, once again, the underlying sense we wished to give to this collection. It is an opportunity to know and to appreciate not this or that exclusive language, not this or that conformity to the latest “ism,” but the best talents, studies which stand out for truth, for sincerity, for emotional power and expression.
It is also an extraordinary opportunity for comparison and learning. The confines of the world are today ever wider, more evanescent. Yet in this era in which technology and communication allow for “a global village,” as McLuhan called it, we are seeing an upsurge of exaggerated localism, nationalism, and parochialism, and anachronistic attempts at isolationism. It is on this very ground that artistic culture and the aesthetics of the imagination can perform an important uniting role through exchange, curiosity and mutual respect.
It is, in short, from the rich differences in the accents of art that there surfaces the possibility of an operative community and effective perception: that the honed scalpels of sculpted and painted images may better penetrate the opaque surface of phenomenal reality to draw out the underlying existential and spiritual values and emotions implied.

Nicola Cesari

Other presentation of :

- Vito De Grisantis

- Monsignor Giuseppe Stendardo

- Nicola Cesari

- Vito Mele

- Giorgio Seveso