Starting from the title of the most intense, interesting and symbolic statues we intend to not only analiyze the piece but also the concept of time that is enclosed within it. However, this can be done only after suggesting some more complex considerations. Beginning from the idea of time that is sufficiently abstract, clarifying it and therefore allowing the other ones to be along side it.
Metrics, rhythm, harmony for example, idioms of greater adherence to the quality and syntax of the image. Likewise, referring to the speculation on such a concept, one must say that it probably is one of the most incisive subjects for the philosophical thought: from Parmenides to Plato to Aristotle to Kant and Bergson: and for that matter, a load of literature: suffice to refer to the “Proustian rechérche”. The concept of tempo, closely related to music obviously, the meaning above mentioned, has “iconographically” interested figurative art consolidating itself according to the historical and cultural situations, cryptic at times, explicit at others, and furthermore references to be discovered in the morphological results. Considering the matter vertically, time defers to the fundamental concept of historical memory. A circular reality that could make one think on a Platonic horizon. It was and It will be. The same way that is becomes a conjunction between time and eternity. Memory. A process that ranges, encloses in a unity: a process that also allows the appropriation of the events of the cultural past, so necessary, actually indispensable, for the evolution of the present.
In each image, even the thematically furthest from the clarity of the reference, there is an implicit joining of the theoretical and objective reasons belonging to time. So much that other hypotheses, other than the ones mentioned, may come forth. Movement, stasis, contemplation, simultaneity, headway, existentially. The same melancholy (reminded by what Erwin Panofsky wrote) that brings us to the conceptual identity of Saturn/Time. Saturn, son of Gaia (the mother Earth) and Uranus (the sky), brother of the Titans in second lineage, Father of Zeus. He has in the classical images – from the paintings of Pompeii to the ones by Rosso Fiorentino, Bronzing some of Bernini’s drawings – a scythe and a clepsydra, this detail in particular, can be seen bent in the evolution of today, in Carnebianca’s sculpture – but his symbols are also a crutch and a snake that bites his tail. It will be understood that the mythological environment allows an ample development of solutions, all exact in front of the narration of Saturn. The same way that many different allegorical representations are bound to the “Padre Tempo”. From the time of “L’età dell’oro” during which Saturn reigned, to the representation of Virtue, Vice, Astronomy, to that of Fetonte, Hercules, Mars, to that of Hope, Faith, Truth, Innocence and justice including that of the Seasons, the Dawn, the Sun, the armilliar sphere and that of the universe, the Earth and finally Hell.
There where Uranus would throw each of his new borns, Gaia gave Saturn a scythe with which he could emasculate his father. It is from the froth produced by the severed genitals that hit the sea water that Venus was born. Themes up to here considered in a different perspective, also in an iconographic key. Our present however would seem in its own way to hide from the works of the imagination more or less mythological; from research and furthermore of subjective identification.
One will have to approach in a different way “Il Tempo” by Carnebianca. The co-ordinates of which appear certainly allusive but not at all identifying. It is a bronze sculpture dating from 1981 – recognizing however that the same concept spans the entire range of his imagination: one only has to look at paintings such as Metamorfosi dating 1970 and Vita nel tempo from 1979: the same way as one would think of sculptures such as Distacco dalla materia made in 1977 and Noi e I’origine from 1982 and Attesa from 1980 – sculpture, that as we were saying earlier, should be considered in an exquisitely realistic/symbolic fashion. lconographically, Carnebianca recuperates divulging the sense of the motif of his above mentioned sculpture Attesa and, interjects therefore, by subtraction and increases. Both values considered in a clear allegorical manner. It concerns a man (Di Genova says its a woman), if one considered a androgynous nature one would not be far off either from the truth or from the usual sculptor’s solution, sitting in oriental meditation style. Already in this reference (that implies contemplation) is important in its own right related to the specific thematic. The observation of a tempo that means, that is measured by wide and deep perspectives. Here enters another idea of psychological reflection that is equally important in order to better understand the significance of the sculpture. The 1980 sculpture is rendered armless by Carnebianca. Now this could obliquely defer an ulterior condition of time, not only considered as an “interruption”, but as an exact reflection of terms, of historical memory. It’s probably not even worth remembering, in fact, that the great sculpture of the past has reached us at times mutilated of arms or sometimes completely headless. The hands, however, remain on the knees in the exact yoga position: thumb and middle finger joined to form a sort of “short-circuit”. Rather like hypothesising the connection between space and time. The raw material is rendered very smoothly, so as to suggest the slightest vibration of a tendon, or a muscle. It would suffice that one could see the nerves on the neck. Formally sculpture is considered a pyramid solution, which, translated onto a plane, the form is nothing more than the invocation of a triangle and, furthermore equilateral. A significance that according to the various cultures, takes on more than one value, each one of which in any case is convergent. On one side it reminds us of the ideas of divinities (meaning eternity and therefore belonging to time) of harmony and proportion (morphological elements of the image no doubt timeless themselves). On the other hand, according to the ancient Mayas, the triangle symbolised fertility. A term that in its own right suggests the quality of a time that reproduces itself and regenerates. The same way it is superfluous to recall that in the Hebrew tradition the equilateral triangle represents God.
Following the symbolic decryption, one surely remembers the significance in alchemy of the equilateral triangle. Significance that belongs to “the heart”. It reaches us just in time to consider the circumstance in which the sculptor created, in the thorax of the character, a rectangular empty wedge, in which, attached on a string and therefore removable, a bitten apple.
Undoubtedly a pendulum, this being another strong warning for the concept of time, but also a reflexion on origin. Is it not therefore the apple, trope of the original sin, and another sculpture called Noi e I’origine, snake with a human face, that with volutes entangles itself on a chair?
One could hence argue that some of Carnebianca’s works are reciprocally bound, always attaining to the clarity of a single significance. The problem, if any, would be to asses if all of this is born consciously or not. On the other hand the converging multiplicity of the references would lead one to think of a non-casualness. Therefore going back to the pendulum, or “heart” one could say that the “Pascalian” reasons are probably yielded by the artist which obviously recall an omni-felt sentiment. This way hypothesizing both the oscillation of sentiments and their strengthening or cooling, on the contrary, with the rhythmic passage of time, conception of which is enriched by rationality, since the sculptor “sees” a watch embedded in the character’s forehead.
The watch (beyond its specific allocation in thought and therefore of rational) who’s numbers not only recall time but also reason. In this view then time is as much rationality as sentiment, in reciprocal exchange and evolution. Carnebianca, in who’s sculptures at times, appear formal solutions that ideally refer back to the triangle: for everyone’s benefit we shall hint to the conception of Enigma from 1988 (a work in which other symbolism intervene, but that does not interest us at this stage) to which the sentiment of reason or the sentiment and reason, if one likes, are remitted. It is here that the final analysis of this sculpture is completed. The eyes. One present, polychrome and descript (like in the ancient sculptural texts) the other absent. Extrospection and introspection. As if to say that the character on one side views the world and on the other he scrutinises himself and within himself.
It is Enzo Carnebianca’s way of interpreting thematic in both an iconological and iconographic manner.