It is on the rough terrain of the psyche that the stories of the Neapolitan artist Rosy Rox intersect with those of Ovartaci, whose biographical and creative biography developed entirely within the walls of a psychiatric hospital. Rosy Rox’s latest performance work Ad occhi aperti (Eyes wide open) is devoted to (presumed) madness and the possibility of regeneration. Its conceptual and iconographic universe is intertwined with that of Ovartaci, whose entire oeuvre is characterised by the dream of escape, a fantasy world made up of female silhouettes with feline traits, dolls, mannequins and hybrid visions and which, as is the case for Rosy Rox, are the subterfuge for escaping from the imprisonment of the body, the mind and society. By anchoring herself once again to an archetypal psychology, in the performance Ad occhi aperti, the artist uses the image as an inner form, the form of the soul, a translation of the intangible thought that lies outside the realms of language. Using her body, she writes a minimalist choreography, going back over experiences, restoring to memory the motionless time of suffering, an inner time that observes the present and transforms it, re-semanticising darkness into the hope of light. Light and shadow, rationality and unconscious are inseparable pairs in the artist’s grammar in which it is always shadow that crystallises the moment, that links temporality and eternity (Rosy Rox) and that represents the submerged part of the self.
A profound sense of melancholy brings together the poetics of two artists who are separated by a wide gulf in terms of time, context and language, and yet are inextricably close in their attempt to overcome, through the generative force of creativity, the chains – both metaphorical and actual – imposed by society.
The eye of the doll, a childish fetish and simulacrum of the artist, is the aesthetic and cognitive device which, like the surrealist iconic eye, enables Rosy Rox to see the invisible, an “inner eye” that observes the unconscious in order to achieve, through the revelatory mechanism of art, the redemption of the artist and women in society.