Anita Sieff has always held firm a precise idea in her reasoning, an idea
that, in the long run, has become the main point of her creative making:
Art must be conceived as a modality “to create the right space to experience
time as present”.
In other words, there is no separation between life and art, everything is solved in a narrow interstice, the same existing between Ethic and Aesthetic, between Beauty and Good. There is no separation because life and Art are perfectly in accordance and necessary one to the other.
Anita Sieff’s projects and works - the past ones as well as the new one called Tarot Bar - underline this particular way of thinking, recreating every time the place in which Art can easily succeed in symbolically manifesting itself through the value of reciprocity in the form of something we can call social sculpture.
Another consideration we always find as a statement in Anita Sieff’s projects – and I’m referring here in particular to the one of EthicsTv – is that in our contemporary world we are no longer allowed to live the dimension of space.
Anita has written: we are disinherited, we have no space than the one of our body, and most of the times we do not even know how to live it. In this landscape where the power you gain is strictly related to the space you can occupy, we – the disinherited – feel inadequate, like fragments, we try to give sense to our life, therefore we are mostly introverted.
Strong of this knowledge, Sieff always gives space to the concept of relation/link/connection in her creative process. Time doesn’t exist for her, while space does exist and it is here and now, in this up-side-down of thoughts, we should try to imagine the possibility of a place where the most intimate and the most public relation meet and find completeness. Anita Sieff’s current work called Tarot-Bar represents exactly this chance.
Reasoning on the process of creation as the settling of a relation and maybe as a sort of self-donation (every relation is in some way a gift of self) means therefore to think about the work of the artist as the place where the desire to donate and the desire to receive can meet. A place where a strong relationship of hospitality is established, even extremely inhospitable sometimes, but always a place in which the concept of relation seems to count.
That intimate and private link with the symbol that is ascertained in the reading of Tarots, inside the Tarot-Bar is moved into reality and in the public scene through conviviality.
What is the difference in entering the Tarot-Bar rather than a normal coffee shop? When I get into the Tarot-Bar I choose to participate in a creative process. The knowledge to share the work places us in relation with what we have all around. In this case, through the metaphor of Tarots it is possible to find answers to our own inadequacy and limits.
Putting ourselves in connection one to the other through the mysterious figures of the arcanes, means covering the main road of Symbols. Symbol not in the sense of sign, neither in the sense of sensitive manifestation of a character, but in the sense of foundation and celebration of an intimate and deep tie.
In the public sphere of the bar the work of art is lived as a symbol, understood as something able to re-unite and to establish a tie, a tie that every time can be related to hospitality, seduction, friendship, alliance, confidence, or of challenge, offence, provocation, deceit…
We start therefore from this concept, holding firm the thesis that relation helps in rendering possible what seems to be just a thought. But what kind of thought? The most useful components in order to define the territory of the relation, are those that every time lead back to the language of art and creativity: within the image or the action of an art work, as well as in poetry, we can exchange relationships, secrets, energies every time, without consciousness and without recognising this phenomena.
We know that relation indicates the ‘elsewhere’ of a lost alliance, the place of a wished union continuously crushed. It indicates an absence or a fundamental lack in the same moment in which it tries to overwhelm it.
Chiara Bertola, January, 2005