Sketches from Michele Trenti's essays

Linguistic Questions

Appunti di Michele Trenti

A central issue for any artist aware of the meaning of his own work is the relationship between the materials he uses in his art and the feelings he expresses. Sounds, marks, colors, and movements are the secrets—and the mysteries—of their organization, constantly engaging the person who is about to create. Consciously or not, he is exploring how to use the elements of his language. Starting from the smallest elements, they may be assigned characteristics that make them suitable for conveying an artistic message (whereas the theoretician ponders the whys). The possibility of acquiring a sort of expressive "valency" is thus recognized through morphological and grammatical elements. This valency takes shape at the time these elements become organized into higher structures as they are joined to other elements. This similarity to the chemical concept of valency seems apt for describing the phenomenon of a language’s "molecules", those basic elements used to construct a work. It must be kept in mind that, in the case of art, the "valency" of a discourse’s cells is linked to the artist's relationship with his own language, and thus has a subjective value that develops through an evolution of his own feeling and an investigation of his own technique