Sketches from Michele Trenti's essays

The Context in which We Express Ourselves

Appunti di Michele Trenti

Ultimately, what drives an artist to "express" that which he has inside is a profound need to bear witness to something that he feels belongs to a type of truth. From among other things, he draws a need for perfection that cannot accept compromise because it does not discriminate between different degrees of success but between two sharply contrasting categories: true and false. Beforehand, there is, however, an element that somehow determines this expressive need of the artist, and it is the fact that he perceives his own contribution as necessary because it was not expressed earlier—in other words, to the extent implied by the concept, it is "original". Now, the artist always works in a socio-cultural context. The problem is that, until a century ago, while this context was familiar to everyone, at least with regard to Western civilization, today it has been extended greatly, making it difficult to interpret in a single way. If the need unconsciously driving the artist is the one that says what must be said—in that moment and in that context. Although the meaning may not immediately be grasped from the outside—it is not easy these days to interpret the socio-cultural environment in which we live by intuiting what must be said. Yet it is this intuition that unerringly distinguishes the creator from the imitator.