“We do not suffer from conflict, but from being able to bear too little conflict. By not being able to straddle the contradictions, to keep all the voices in play, to sustain the drama by stopping it from turning into a perpetual soliloquy” – Adam Phillips, British essayist and Psychoanalyst.
EC’s work handles conflicting ideas, a crashing of elements that could mechanistically retain their boundaries; oppositions that instead are complexly interpenetrating and actually related, occupying cusps or on the verge of collapse. As well as being a visual exploration – space, imbalance, complexity, matter and things falling apart – this (visual) metaphor perhaps relates to his ideas about human experience and cognition as being part of something whole and combinatorial rather than the splitting of human experience, cognition and expression into hierarchical modes of thinking or structures (“Descartes’ Error”). So EC works with the idea that opposition is necessary to life, to something integral and vital. The artist is interested in accessing (visual) babble and incoherent visual ‘utterances’ in order to approach or retrieve something unknown as opposed to relying on assertions and “branding”. There is no clear ‘aboutness’. Material floats in a someplace in between that cannot quite be named. EC feels and thinks that incoherence is something that has perhaps not been given enough regard or respect. It is frowned upon in our field it seems (yet is valued elsewhere, indeed it is vital to getting at the “truth”). This approach can lead to work that presents us with schisms or something that is difficult to “get a handle on”, possibly work that also belongs to “the category of the ugly”. We need not “only” examine this visually, as if visual experience is isolated in a vacuum, nor as something purely non relational. The artist inevitably looks at layers of potential meaning and experiences the work through many lenses – in relation to the ideas of Theodor Adorno about taste, harmony, dissonance, balance, beauty, the ugly and so on, Donald W. Winnicott’s ideas about transitional space, inter-subjectivity and the in between, psychoanalytic ideas about the unconscious, language, narrative and the value of babble and unedited material in revealing a richer ‘story’ and ‘truths’, for example. The often bureaucratic denial of that very incoherence and the unconscious being of much value in current painting discourse is something EC finds himself challenging; The often ruthless and measured translation of ideas, our myths about consistency and our value structures in the ‘culture industry’ seemingly being dominant forces at play and to play along with (including the artist’s statement). Intermediate areas of experience, inner reality and external life both contribute but one is not always certain how. Much comes forth from the sediment in the mind. Painted material she works on in the studio is broken down repeatedly, reassembled and becomes part of the fabric of the final painting. The artist also incorporates into the work discarded and dismissed paintings, suggesting finding value in unconscious material and bringing it to consciousness at last.
If we live in a culture that wants to know ‘what is that about?’ we sometimes miss out on a lot by disregarding the detritus, the stuff we cannot weave easily into our explanations. The leaps, gaps and cusps where things are on the point of collapse, on the threshold of their opposite ‘state’ or cross pollinating can be untidy things that oscillate too much to be concretely named, to be desirable or given any real gravity and value in our current value systems. To EC these states are importantly where so much is really cooking.
EC is a London born painter of Italian descent who currently lives and works in London. EC received his BA in 1996 from The Cass, London Guildhall University where she specialised in painting. Whilst there he was one of the recipients of a Sir Owen Rowley fine art prize. Since then EC has exhibited regularly in the UK and abroad, had solo shows in the UK and has work in private collections in the UK, USA, France, Germany and Italy.