The Oblique Look

The Oblique Look
The Oblique Look

The word oblique is used in different contexts, from the mathematical and geometric to the grammarian and figural, up to military. In our case, we are interested in the context in which obliquity is linked both to the representation of the vision and vision as an attitude. The representation or oblique axonometric is not perspective and was preferred by ancient for a range of clearness and measurability. Its history is more one thousand years old being used by Mediterranean and Chinese people, who continue to prefer the parallel projection to the perspective. The use that Leonardo himself did of the parallel projection is really a significant signal in the context of the Renaissance perspective.

The absolute dominance of the representation of perspective made it impossible to focus on other modes of representation that long-lasted and had an equal importance like perspective, starting from vascular representations of ancient Greece to the Pompeian frescoes, from Byzantine mosaics of the Italian Renaissance, up to the return of the axonometry within historical Avantgarde (Scolari).

Without going into historical implications, this diversity “dissimilar” of the representation of vision is of our interest because it confirms that the look of vision is not trapped in the laces of external codings, however important they may be, but on the contrary, it cohabits with other ways, equally valid and fundamental of vision. So the oblique look is this different and “dissimilar” capability that the artist moves towards things and the world in which he lives and symbolize.

What does it mean for you to work on the image?

Do you give a unique meaning to “the world” or do you mean it as a plurality of meanings?

Can a transversal look give an opportunity to provide other “reading keys” different than those encoded on the reality and on our being in the world?

What is contemporary and what it means to be contemporary for you?

Who is the artist getting you a deep impact? Why?


Sibyl Cohen

What does it mean for you working on an image?
I work on an image that refers to an idea and then return back to be image.

Can the image be “world” as plurality of meanings or do you attribute to it an-univocal meaning?

It starts with the univocal meaning of the artist, however in front of the spectator it can turn into a plurality of meanings.

Can an “oblique glance” give us the possibility of another reading in comparison to those encoded, on the reality and on our being in the world?

The concept of “oblique glance” it means a plurality of meanings that are not into the artwork.

Who has been the artist that has had a great impact on you? Why?

What impress me is art in the world, art as a theme.

What is contemporaneity and what does it mean for you?

Contemporaneity doesn’t exist because is diluted during the time: we can’t be contemporary, because this means that we don’t have substance.



D Cosa significa per te lavorare sull’immagine?

R L’immagine è quella che incontri una volta nella vita, ti apre il suo grembo e non ti abbandona più. Si apre, si chiude, si sviluppa, si attorciglia, è il sogno lungamente atteso e visto in un brevissimo instante. Devi coglierla e sovvertirla.

D Può l’immagine essere “mondo” intesa come pluralità di significati o attribuisci ad essa un significato univoco?

R Concetti, idee, forme, esposizioni, comunicazioni sono aggiunte a posteriori, dormono con essa, la quale, unica nella sua potenza, dispiega il suo potere infinito. Tutto il resto non è che ripetizione.

D Uno sguardo obliquo ci può fornire una possibilità di lettura diversa da quelle normalmente codificate nella realtà e nella nostra esistenza?

R Lo sguardo obliquo è il coltello di Leibniz, taglia e discetta le infinite piegature del reale nella monadicità dell’istante unico.

D Cos’è la contemporaneità e cosa vuol dire essere contemporanei per te?

R Essere contemporanei significa entrare e uscire contemporaneamente da uno stato, da un’ebbrezza, da una storia. L’essere con-tempo o fuori-tempo produce, insieme, una Stimmung (disposizione di spirito), uno stato di contemporaneità non contemporanea.

D Chi è stato l’artista che ha avuto un grande impatto su di te? Perché?

R Raffaello per questa sua sorta d’essere dentro e fuori questa contemporaneità (sua/nostra) produce un massimo di reattività, dalle infinite implicazioni, è oltre e sulla superficie, in lui l’immagine perde il suo carattere di forma, collocandosi nella zona che è appena più sotto e appena più sopra del reale!

Image is the one you meet once in your life, it opens its lap and does not leave you, for ever.

It opens, it closes, then develops and winds, it’s the dream so long waited and saw in a very short moment. You have to catch it and overthrow.

Concepts, ideas, shapes, communications are added in a second time, they sleep with it, which, sole in its power, shows its infinite power. The rest is just a repetition.

The oblique look is the knife of Leibniz, it cuts and distinguishes the infinite folding of reality in the monadic of unique instant.

To be contemporaneous means come in and out contemporaneously from a condition, an history, an inebriation. To be with-time or without-time, together, produces a Stimmung (disposition of wit), a condition of contemporaneity not contemporary.

Raffaello for his condition to be inside and outside this contemporaneity (his/our) producing a reactivity, multiples implications, he is beyond and on surface (layer); with him the image looses its character of form, placing in an area that is just beneath and upon the reality.


Martin Gimenez

What does it mean for you working on an image? Can the image be “world” as plurality of meanings or do you attribute to it an univocal meaning?

The image doesn’t have a meaning: it’s a presence that realizes and it gives form to the order. For this reason, it doesn’t exist a “personal” world, but a “unique” world.

Working on an image means to adapt yourself to that order, and only in that way a person can reach a own “originality”


Can an “oblique glance” give us the possibility of an other reading in comparison to those encoded, on the reality and on our being in the world? Who has been the artist that has had a great impact on you? Why?

An “oblique glance” it is the only possible way to discover how much far or near you are from the “sense” of the order. In the respect of this affirmation, Fra Angelico it is the artist that has had a great impact on me.

What is contemporaneity and what does it mean for you?
Contemporaneity is the most rooted pretense of the present and belongs to the “time.”

It is therefore the more unselfish to the “art” whose aspired to “eternity.”

“Contemporaneity” it is a diabolic concept and not necessary



D What does it mean for you to work on the image?

R I extract information for my paintings by manipulating a photographic image of architectural structures, that are in the process of being built or demolished.

To create or recreate an image is building a model, a metaphor, a visualized, materialized process of reflective thinking – entering a dialog with the “world” – it is as much about trying to understand the world as to is to ask questions about it.

D The image may be the “world” as a plurality of meanings and gives it a meaning?

R Inherently artworks have a multiplicity of meanings – many are beyond the intention of the artist. The work is always part of the “world” and therefore it is contextualized by it. However, the terms, rules and intentions set forth by the artist invite the viewer to respond to specific aspects of the “world” leading to awareness, and hopefully knowledge, in his or her own specific “world.

D A look oblique can provide an opportunity to read other than those encoded on the reality and our being in the world

R Well, I think everything is somehow “encoded” in reality, but not all is easily visible or accessible for various reasons. The “indirect” or “peripheral” look at the world is an inherent chance to discover surprising connections, leading to different layers of understanding of reality, to unexpected conclusions. My ability to decipher reality changes with each newly informed “look” at that reality, which is, I think the fundamental goal and merit of art. The best works of art change my ability to read (understand) the world in and around me.

D What is contemporary and what it means to be contemporary for you?
R To be contemporary artist is at the same time a very easy yet extremely challenging task. I live today. Therefore everything I do or do not reflects that fact, one could say. But then again to be consciously contemporary artist is a incredibly demanding task – trying to grasp what it means to be contemporary, to find the essence of ones contemporary experience. Interestingly for us here is that the contemporary bubble is a place that has no perspective, no historical distance, and ironically, a direct look at the contemporary world proves most of the time to be a misguided illusion. One walks and works with the tools and the mind of past experiences and one tries to see and read and transform this experience into reason, sense.

D Who were the artist to have a profound impact on you? Why?

R Sigmar Polke for his humour in the most serious matters.

Bruce Nauman for his wit to transform visceral experiences into formal work of art

Bada Shanren showed me hat it is possible to express human tragedy the light way (Anselm Kiefer showed me quite the opposite)

Cy Twombly for his ability to develop his higly personal mark making seemingly far from everyday concerns, yet coming up with a successful visual language that reflects everyday experiences.

Jeremy Blake’s video work has reality and pure abstract forms interact in a matter that both become more compelling.

Joseph Albers for making me understand the action and interaction of colors I saw when I first fell in love.

Yves Klein for jumping out of that window and not getting hurt.

Prendo le informazioni per i miei dipinti manipolando un’immagine fotografica o architetture che sono in procinto di essere costruite o demolite.

Creare o ricreare un’immagine è costruire un modello, una metafora, un processo materializzato o visualizzato di un pensiero meditativo – entrando in dialogo con il “mondo” – è molto di più che cercare di capirlo facendosi delle domande su di esso.

Le opere intrinsecamente hanno molteplici significati – molti vanno al di là delle intenzioni dell’artista. L’opera è sempre parte del “mondo” e quindi è contestualizzato da esso.

Comunque, i termini, le regole e intenzioni stabilite dall’artista invitano lo spettatore a rispondere a specifici aspetti del “mondo” guidandolo alla consapevolezza e conoscenza, nel suo specifico “mondo”.

La mia opinione è che tutto è in qualche modo codificato nella realtà, ma non tutto è facilmente visibile o accessibile per varie ragioni. Lo sguardo “indiretto” o “secondario” sul mondo è una possibilità intrinseca di scoprire legami sorprendenti, portando a diversi strati di comprensione della realtà, fino ad arrivare ad inaspettate conclusioni. La mia abilità è nel decifrare cambiamenti di realtà attraverso ogni nuovo sguardo alla realtà e questo credo sia il traguardo fondamentale e il merito dell’arte. Le migliori opere artistiche influiscono sulla mia possibilità di leggere (o capire) il mondo attorno a me.

Essere un artista contemporaneo è molto semplice ma nello stesso tempo è un compito estremamente impegnativo. Quindi qualsiasi cosa faccia o non faccia si ripercuote su questo, ma comunque essere un artista consapevolmente contemporaneo è un incredibile dovere – cercando di afferrare cosa significa essere contemporanei, trovare l’essenza d’esperienza contemporanea.

Interessante è per noi sapere che la bolla contemporanea è un luogo che non ha prospettiva, non ha distanze, e ironicamente, uno sguardo diretto al mondo contemporaneo si dimostra il più delle volte un’illusione fuorviante. L’uomo cammina e lavora con mezzi e attraverso la mente di passate esperienze e l’uomo cerca di vedere, leggere e trasforma quest’esperienza in ragione, senso.

Sigmar Polke per il suo humour nelle situazioni più serie

Bruce Nauman per il suo spirito nel trasformare esperienze viscerali in opere d’arte formali.

Bada Shanren mi ha dimostrato che è possibile esprimere delle tragedie umane in modo leggero. (Anselm Kiefer mi ha dimostrato proprio l’inverso)

Cy Twonbly, per la sua abilità nello sviluppare la sua impronta personale nel far sembrare staccate dalla realtà situazioni che riflettono esperienze quotidiane attraverso il suo vincente linguaggio visivo.

Jeremy Blake, con la sua opera fatta di forme astratte e pure che interagiscono con la realtà che diventano entrambe avvincenti.

Joseph Albers per avermi fatto capire l’azione ed interazione di colori che vidi quando mi innamorai per la prima volta

Yves Klein per aver saltato da quella finestra e non essersi fatto male.


Aga Ousseinov

Question # 1

Answer : To illustrate my inventions of impossibilities.

Question # 2

Answer : My images justify my creative thinking.

Question # 3

Answer : We can pass up the opportunity to look at something obliquely if we simply think about the work.

Question # 4

Answer : To be present in the moment, be aware of the past and emulate the future.

Question # 5

Answer : To these artists I’m most grateful :

Sergei Eisenstein ; For creating the strongest B & W moving images.

Niko Pirosmani ; For willfully naivety .

Georges Melies ; For combining sculpture, photography and circus.

Tommaso Campanella ; For writing one of the possible scenarios of my childhood.


Gorazd Poposki

The work I do consists of free forms. The material I use is white marble which displays the fluidity of form most distinctly. The play of light and shadow gives the work a greater dramatic power and clarity. The obliqueness comes as the result of the indirect approach to the subject. The work gives the chance of varied perceptions of it by the different viewers.

Being contemporary means living in the present.

The artists that i find inspiring are as diverse as are the subjects i choose to work on. Artists I have admired that i can connect with this cycle of my works range from Michelangelo through Jackson Pollock to Anselm Kiefer.


Read the Press Release (Italian/Engilsh)

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Denis Licul