A glange of the physical eye is a type of funnel that, out of all that exists, only sees as mall part, namely the one which we call daily reality. However, the daily reality is not the whole reality. Beyond what we see, there is everything that we cannot see. Only the imagination, that wonderful machine which grinds the ancestral and personal memories,that is, the substrata of the collective and individual unconscious, without which man would only be a simple robot, with no past nor future, limited to the mere present; only the imagination, I said, can pick out in the inmost recesses of one’s being the expression of the chief characters of the past, in which the same imagination that now works was not yet there, that is, the mythical stories of”once upon a time”, exactly how the mythical stories and fairy tales all over the world begin. However, in the meantime,only the imagination can shape the dreams of our innermost desires, and in this way replace the re-emersion of the remote past on the beating pulse turned towards the future.Without these preliminary remarks we cannot understand in full the works of Enzo Carnebianca, sounder of ancestral memories that pave his collective unconscious,moulder of the desires that lodge in and agitate his ego.But art, which I will never get tired of repeating, does not draw directly from reality but, on the contrary, it stems from art,because, being speech, it needs to learn the language of art to express itself. So, here we are then observing Carnebianca, to talk of himself, his memories, his dreams, his desires, as all artists do, looking at ancient and contemporary art, in order to, then, on the reserves of others’ morphologies and syntax, endow himself with his own language, a language that in its morphological inflexion and syntactical constructions may reflect his own being and feeling.
It happens this way that the memories of Dalí, which are quite revealed in his women with drawers, even though bending to personal decline – see, on this subjects, Human-like (Rebus) of 1979-80 – may meet with those of Mantegna, making the Roman painter-sculptor navigate between the Scylla of the Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Dalí and the Charybdis of the Dead Christ by Mantegna, which happens exactly in the Apostolic Conception, a tempera set out between 1973 and 1975.Besides, the whole pictorial and sculptural journey of Carnebianca is a sequence of encounters, that sometimes may turn into clashes.Humanity for him is a victim of the traps of time that crushes the individual since infancy (Occaso, 1970) and transforms the integrity into imperfection (Time in Time, 1981-82). That is why sometimes a clock appears in the middle of the forehead in his bronze (The Time), just in the place of the “aina chakra” (the third eye), to signify that the temporal flow is the real steersman of life and mind. The “aina chakra” is possessed by everyone,but not everyone uses it. This is exactly what Carnebianca means when he puts sometimes a door-lock in the centre of the forehead, to signify the need of a personal key to open up the mind (and life) to the infinite horizons of prophecy and fantasy, which appears mysterious only to those whom to all appearances stop themselves, in other words, those who stop on the border of that which they see with the physical eye (Enigma, 1986). Carnebianca possesses this personal key, and it is with this that he revels the dispensation of his creative metamorphism, full of significant associations, as in Exaltation of the Senses, a work in which the zippers that close the eyes, the mouth and the ears of a woman sharpen her psychic dimension to the point of rising up in a double energetic presence of the opposite sign and outstretched towards other horizons. It would seem that Carnebianca here may want, with the instruments of Surrealism, to offer his contribution to rendering evidence to the truth, expressed in the last century by a romantic visionary like Caspar David Friedrich with his categorical imperative: “Close your physical eye so as to see the image mainly with the spiritual eye. Then bring to light what you have seen in darkness so that is reflects upon others, from the outside to the inside”. Carnebianca is an expert in these exercises of descensus ad inferos of one’s ego. He accomplished so many of them during the years, and every time he brought images to light, as well as discoveries, and motives to reflect them on us and thus make us reflects. Make us reflect on the emptiness of certain existences without personality, to be hung on a line of mockery like the washing in the air(The Skin), or to be shown as the ruins of our times, no more nor less the acephalous and mutilated torsos of the ancient world (The Mutes, 1980); reflect on the centrality of the subject of the “double”, expressed by him above all in his jewels (and for this, pairs of earrings are recurrent, but the specular double is used by him even in his rings); reflect on the blockage of life that sometimes reduces and individual to a sort of orange peel, nailed to his destiny (Spiral, 1987). There is sometimes a resipiscence of Egyptian expressions in his Sphinx faces, almost as if to signify that the time that passes has not changed so much, after all, the human nature. And it is for this reason that we often meet in Carnebianca’s universe inflexions of a various expressive and historical nature, so that sometimes there is the meeting between the classic and the oriental, like in that sort of bronze head that is Symbolism. Yet, it is the memory of Eden that our painter-sculptor insistently shows to have recognized in every journey into the hell of his ego. For that reason, the venomous nature of that psychogenic season, when the opposites were still indifferentiated, recurs together with the apple of the first disobedience, for which man became such, autonomous form the subjection to the divinity, and accepting all his responsibilities as free artificer of his destiny. in this way, that which for the Hebrew mythology expressed in the book of Genesis is considered the original sin, is in fact the “birth” of man towards civilization, that is, the liberation of the intra-uterine condition of Eden, a yet foetal stage of humanity. And while in Seat with the Serpent is expressed symbolically the difficulty to extricate oneself from the intra-uterine condition, definitely still with an animal instinct, in the bitten apple, which in The Time hangs in the interior of a woman’s breast who is seated as in a Buddhist meditation, is expressed the “birth” of humanity, for which this female image with hands but no arms, is described as the true essence of Eve of Time, who uses and destroys everything she creates with the impassiveness of being superior for her holiness.
So it is for this reason that the figures of Carnebianca are so often of hieratic steadiness, relentlessly silent and present, like the relentlessness of time that passes without a sound.
Giorgio Di Genova