Out of a whole array of curves and simple shapes, Ariel Moscovici composes abstract objects using a “vocabulary” that is evocative of a dualistic world. Rather than “vocabulary”, “pictograms” might be a more appropriate term since images are involved. Such an alphabet does not serve to form words but a whole language of space whose hallmarks are above all visual and tactile. Moscovici’s shapes speak without speaking, thereby inclining one to bridge the gap between spiritual and material world. They belong to a collective subconscious which echoes memory. The sculptures are not a reflection of geometrical forms in a timeless space; they have a temporal dimension relating not to history nor mythology but to a world that predates history and fables, even while it is the very essence of stories and fables – a world at constant war with itself, wherein the protagonists are man and nature. It is a world of opposites: smooth/rough, glossy/matte, geometrical/irregular, concave/convex, straight/curved, round/square, polished/unpolished, full/empty, imprint/excrescence, horizontal/vertical, volume/surface. For Moscovici, this conjunction of opposites is characteristic of man’s relation to nature. Though himself a part of nature, man exerts will over matter, imposes his own vision, eventually transfiguring nature until it reflects his “inner being”.
Like Rimbaud seeking to write the silences, seize the inexpressible, freeze whirlwinds, Moscovici attempts to translate into images the fundamental rhythms of existence and the mysteries of nature. He too is a renovator of the most radical modernity, a modernity that does not seek to reproduce the ever shifting and accelerating movements of man’s surface intellect but follows the pace of the innate angst which created mankind and allows it to survive.
Abstract though they may be, Moscovici’s sculptures, in which space is given a spiritual dimension, invariably raise concrete questions. Their apparent abstraction conceals the interplay of ideas and forms - ideas such as tolerance, freedom of humankind and existence itself. Moscovici displays a profound humanism whose expression is anything but extravagant. The means are simple, the eye and the spirit directed inwardly. The works charm and seduce without needing to rely on their extraordinary technicity.
Art is a matter of intuition, of invention and is meant to be disturbing. Yet, it is no imposture. As a matter of fact, it is quite possible to disturb through recourse to tradition. Art has nothing to do with good manners or politics. As Chillida was wont to insist, sculpture is part and parcel of its environment; whether temple, monument or statue, it must always be true to its original vocation, which is to be an inhabited space. Here, one is facing uninhabited habitats, dwellings without practical purpose, where only the eye of the beholder will enter and find refuge and, alone, beget dreams of habitation.
Text by Raymond Crampagne
Translation: Robert Drew/Jacques Carrio