Guido Dettoni 1946, Milan – Italy. Visual & tactile artist.
His handheld Work (Shape) once enlarged it contain us so to be CONTAINED BY WHAT IS CONTAINING. Once reduced, it becomes wearable. The Shape (Sculpture), is also an experience becoming multisensory when accompanied by sound, fragrance and, eventually, by an edible element. The Sculpture, as well as the image, aims to be part of an interactive process, sensory and/or cognitive.
In 1998, it took place in Barcelona the first Exhibition of 33 reproductions of the artwork MARIA: a multifaceted ICON shaped to be held within hands that see it. Icon, carved in woods from all over the world. Music and a specifically designed fragrance, were accompanying Touch and Sight.
It represents Mary, the mother of Jesus of the Gospel, the one of the Sura 19 of the Koran, Shakti of the Hinduism, Kwan Yin of China, evoking the imagery of many cultures of the world.
It has been installed in thirty venues among Cathedrals, Churches, Universities, and Art Centres throughout Europe and Asia. MARIA is a permanent exhibition since 2002 in Assisi, since 2015 in Prague and Singapore, and since 2017, in Lampedusa and Florence. Work | Exhibits | Installations.
Since 1969, Guido Dettoni’s sculptures are usually born from the encounter between the hands and the malleable matter he shapes, almost always into blindness. THE HANDS SEE, THE EYES TOUCH.
In the 70s he saw that his way of working could become collective, thus he initiated the HANDSMATTER creative process.
The hands are one mirror of the other. Two halves forming the unity, the brain, source of the word. Hands-Brain-Word. With our hands, we manifest our feelings and emotions and can shape within us the surrounding reality, also because we are touching it and, at the same time, we are touched by it. (Guido Dettoni — Thoughts on art)
“How do we look at handheld shapes that are the outcome of an individual expression?”
Being blind or blindfolded we do it with hands, while sighted we do it also with the eyes and furthermore from different points of view. By unfolding the shapes in a plane spherical projection, they generate a 2D sequence of images, so we jump from tangibility to virtuality. Such sequence can become an aesthetic narration of the shape, and it may be shared in the computer environment, thus on the Internet. The initial hypothesis -repeatedly confirmed by numerous experiences- is that all shapes created by the hands contain information about what has stimulated their creation. This applies obviously to artworks reproducing what is outside, what it is seen, but it also applies to works that express and manifest what is inside: i.e. shapes blindly created without any intention to make something specific.
The interpretation of a shape is reached jumping from the 3D shape to the 2D images therein contained, which, once composed and assembled between them, might depict what has stimulated the creation of the shape itself. To accomplish this compositional experience, the creative process HANDSMATTER, so-called in 2000 by Guido Dettoni, incorporates a specifically programmed interactive digital application. HANDSMATTER has found various applications in the field of the arts, i.e. experiences in West Africa, Singapore, the Americas, and in some European countries; in the field of disability, i.e. workshops with deafblind people in Catalonia, in the USA, and Canada; in the didactic and therapeutic fields, i.e. in Catalonia, the Baleares and Italy.