With Degree Show One: Art now open, we take a closer look at some of our students’ final projects. MA Fine Art student Fabio Dartizio’s wide-ranging practice incorporates a myriad of sources from Cartesian philosophy to dating apps and religion to #YOLO culture.
Dartizio’s practice is multi-faceted in both its appearance and approach. It incorporates sculpture, drawing, fictional characters, written manifestos, video and photographic documentation of actions or performance. His sculptural constructions are made up of layers of images, objects and texts and elements often adapted from previous works. Through his own website and digital presence, Dartizio adopts the fabricated personification of The Last Genius on Earth – a grotesque figure obsessed with luxury brands, drugs, dating apps, beauty and brilliance. Pulling together a host of visual and theoretical references, Dartizio’s practice challenges the Western icon of the white, male, tortured ‘genius’, and established systems of knowledge and art.
For his Degree Show project, Dartizio has created an installation of multiple parts, collectively titled Catafalques. A catafalque is a decorated wooden framework used to support the coffin of the deceased during a Christian funeral. Projecting from the wall, Dartizio’s structures are comprised of stained wood and shiny enamels, with a colour palette that parallels the CMYK colour model of printing. Each disparate element supports wooden crucifixes, documents, photographs, solitary items of high-end clothing, stickers and handwritten notes. There are Images of hands, feet and roads, and photocopies of photocopied book pages. Central to one work is a photograph in which the artist licks a framed painting by Giorgio De Chirico.
The largest formation, Goodbye Cartesio looks like an oversized, nest, perching on top of coloured scaffolding. In the depths of the nest, a projection of the artist dancing appears. With no discernible face, his pink cap and red shorts stand out against the darkness of the interior. The work title references the Substance Dualism posited by philosopher René Descartes, which states that there are two types of foundation: mental and body. Descartes argued that the mental can exist outside of the body, and the body cannot think, allowing for the idea that souls or minds can exist independently of the physical world after death. Dartizio’s grey nest structure is based on that of a Diffulgia coronata – an amoeba which exists without a brain system. Goodbye Cartesio is a complex articulation of Dartizio’s personal relinquishing of the body-mind duality.
The tone of Dartizio’s work alternates between sarcasm, profanity and the infantile. Incorporating a multitude of philosophical and visual references, it avoids definition, allowing the possibility of constant re-working and transformation. As Dartizio uses his own presence, both digitally and physically, he challenges restrictive descriptors of masculinity and the Western construction of the male ‘genius’. Fragmented and non-linear, his practice questions the construction of defined meanings and the centrality of a single subject.