The Poetic Substance


“No vi el viento

vi moverse las nubes.

No vi el tiempo

vi caerse las hojas”

Eduardo Chillida


We are made of many things, but I would propose the hypothesis that we are mainly made of poetry. We are substance, noise, indefinite state. It will be easy to see, then, how we can recognise ourselves in beauty by contemplating it. We are an undulating whole of various forms. What Eduardo Chillida says is true: we can recognise a form in the cloud because it first existed in us.

Our creations are vibrations emanating from us and returning to us to be heard or seen, they are resonances, echoes.

This form of perceiving leads back to the dynamics that constitute things, not their representation; thus, the image, in illustration, becomes a sentence in the plurality of meanings. This, for some artists, is the current form of making illustration.

Thinking in poetic form means elaborating an amplified nature that extends perceptions into our actions. The poetic state offers us a primordial nature devoid of determined meaning, submerged in the background murmurs, which creates hooks being a temporal conjunction.

Certainly, the poetic substance engages us as users of the works. In this place, the otherness we are awaits us, the doubtful thought is there confirmed. The renewed form of the image that houses all that we are appears. The world, its poetic image, is a being with overlays, like us. It is an encounter with ourselves and with all that we are, an encounter that changes our perception of ourselves, as a substratum in the overlapping universe. Illustration is ontological form and the indeterminacy of a picture book returns as it returns in the morning, in poetic form.

Forty years ago, a group of friends decided to organise an exhibition of illustration. This is the 40th edition. For what purpose? To what end, we might ask? It would be natural to lyrically argue the answer, but if you asked a child, they would confidently answer: I don’t know. Perhaps this is the most certain answer. Nuccio Ordine had already elaborated on this shining philosophy. These circumstances of uncertainty are characteristic of the dreamer, the artist, the poet. Therefore, with this idea of poetic indeterminacy, we are bringing together a group of artists in this exhibition.

The idea of this exhibition lies in the substance of the artists, in the interstices they leave, to allow us to prolong the imagined, when we remember it or encounter it in dreams.

Thus, we have arrived at the 40th edition, with the proposal to linger in a poetic state, with the certainty that we are made of the same substance as dreams, knowing that they transform us. Let us not forget that the future and the past are contemporary. This awareness enables the future.

Gabriel Pacheco


Illustration by Giulia Cornaggia, Un luogo, Private collection, 2019