Flaminia Veronesi. A fish with arms and legs, Adam in penises and nipples, a mermaid with two legs and a tail. When does one employ fantasy?
Phantasia, phantasy and fantasy – Flaminia Veronesi
Phantasia in Greek as the origin of fantasy, to make visible as its definition; and the birth of phantasy, the world of imagination. An unconscious construction, wish, or impulse presumed to underlie one’s thoughts; the coinage of objects relations theory; the relation to objects as the means of personality organization and motivation, of Melanie Klein.
Its counterpart lies in fantasy, the apprehension of one’s mind towards an object of perception, the delusion of self through imaginations and reminiscence, to daydream through the conscious or unconscious wishes or attitudes, and the mediator between reality and the desire, as given by The University of Chicago.
In The Nature and Function of Phantasy by Susan Isaacs, fantasy resembles fiction and daydreams in a state of consciousness. While phantasy determines the content of the unconscious processes of one’s mind. The duality of fantasy blurs the reality, the quality and objectivity of one’s existence, and the hyperreality. This is term of Jean Baudrillard to identify the stimulation to models of reality drawn from ideas.
The fantasy genre in art: Flaminia Veronesi
In art, the fantasy genre portrays magic, supernaturality, speculations, and creatures. The interventions of the divine through dragons, sorcerers, mages, hermits, fairies, mermaids, nymphs, and sphinxes. The body of work of Flaminia Veronesi.
«Through fantasy and only if we possess the ability to use it as it is, discernment of what is happening follows, allowing us to play with it and express oneself rather than to be controlled by it». She grabs a pencil case and waves it to explain. «This is a whale, but it is a case made of paper at the same time. The awareness and truth in fantasy as museology and phenomenology given by nature to manifest symbols and rationalism. Moreover, the ability to converse about them. Not as a channel of escapism and virtuality of mind.
Then, the alphabet is another example of symbols crafted by society to convey messages and expressions through words and letters. Our mission pursues the mindset about religion and mythology. For instance, embracing them not as events of paranormality, but as knowledge to explain the history of humans and species. We have lost this capacity as we have subdued from reality without understanding that we can challenge fantasy».
A matter of percentage
Veronesi employs fantasy to address femininity and masculinity and one’s adoption of masculinity. This, regardless of sexuality and gender, the derivation of Western culture.
In biology, Professor Simon Baron-Cohen – a clinical psychologist and a professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge – indicates the balance between Emphatizers, one’s ability to empathize and communicate in the community and the foundation of feminine energy and Systemizers, one’s ability to analyze the systems in place and the root of masculine energy, during birth.
In his research, women fall in categories of forty-four percent having brains of empathizers; seventeen percent having brains of systemizers; thirty-five percent having brains of both qualities. While men nestle in fifty-three percent having brains of systemizers; seventeen percent having brains of empathizers; twenty-four percent having brains of both qualities; seven percent having brains of masculinity.
Anima vs Animus
These characteristics form in the womb, depending on one’s exposure to testosterone as a fetus. As a result, testosterone creates systemizers while estrogen manifests empathizers. A psychiatrist and psychoanalyst from Switzerland, Carl Jung, is credited with coining the term individuation. This means the path to one’s development or the ascent toward one’s destiny.
The elevation leads to the separation between the conscious and the unconscious, resulting in the wholeness of the psyche. In his theory, Jung explains that men bear the anima, the femininity. Women possess the animus, the masculinity. This happens embarking the individual on a journey where they come to terms with the evolution and equilibrium of self.
Flaminia Veronesi: Masculinity versus Femininity
In Veronesi’s belief, «we have been using too much of our masculine side from the mentality of the Western culture. My art showcases how the balance between masculinity and femininity occurs between a woman and a man. Gender restricts one’s individuality as it allows fear and shame. Our femininity and masculinity should not oppress us. But bask us in their presence and challenge the beliefs that have been established about them».
She interprets the interpretations of Adam and Eve from the Bible. In the Priestly Source, a source of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament, God created the living creatures, including a man and a woman, in his image on the Sixth Day of Creation, blessed the couple to multiply, and permitted them to take over his dominion, Genesis 1:1–2:4.
In the Yahwist source, another source of the Pentateuch, God created Adam during the void from the Earth’s dust, breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, bestowed him the Garden of Eden, a paradise and the explanation from the humans’ state of virginity to the cognizance of sin, commanded Adam not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge good and evil before putting him to sleep and taking a rib from him to create his companion, Eve, a narration of Genesis 2:5–7, 2:15–4:1, 4:25. Veronesi’s portrayal molds Adam from the Bible’s Genesis as a Cyclops in a body of asymmetry and pink made of beeswax, bronze, plasticine, and watercolor, with its body covered in penises, thorns, and tails.
Escapism: self-escaping from reality
The American Psychology Association defines escapism as the tendency of the mind and self to escape reality through fantasy, leading to evidence or symptoms of neurosis. In this disorder, irrational fears, thoughts and acts of obsessiveness and compulsiveness, states of disassociation, and reactions to depression come into play. Instead of wielding escapism, Veronesi adopts fantasy as a driver to realize her art. Not as a medium to journey and remain in her daydreams, the action of what escapists put forward.
Neel Burton’s belief
Neel Burton – a psychiatrist and philosophy professor at Oxford in England – says the roots of wonder lie in Aristotle’s Metaphysics when he says wonder has led philosophers to self-reflection, puzzlement, and philosophizing as an escape from ignorance, a conclusion that Aquinas agreed too, since philosophy arises from awe and reverence for wonder, and is bound to myths, poetry, and fables. Burton then explains the complexity of surprise, curiosity, joy, and contemplation in wonder. One’s state of consciousness, and the delivery of beauty, the unexpected and rare, through marvel, the brim of astonishment.
The manifestation of the divine
In Veronesi’s wonder, «when we encounter beauty in the world in its highest form, the manifestation of the divine. During my childhood, I had already experienced this wonder through fantasy, welcoming how I stayed in two dimensions, the parallel. But still having the ability to pull myself back from it as I extract ideas in this domain. I infuse them from my sculptures into my audience, placing them at the threshold of their dimensions and fantasies, an act of observance».
She sculpted two human legs whose body carries a basin with colored flowers, and grasses are strewn across the space; trees that have been burned; a mermaid with two legs and a tail in red; two dragons, one in white and the other in blue; purple and red, clouds in white and blue that form the waterfalls; and a t-rex in orange. Veronesi crafted a boat over two legs of an ostrich and in the shape of a jeans pocket. She carved an angel, kneeling on cardboard without clothes in their orange hair and red, yellow, green, and blue wings.
Veronesi modeled a woman without clothes lying on the floor, white skin, pink nipples, gold hair; her head over her left arm, her left leg arched; her face tilted while a pangolin in blue nibbles on her vagina. She forms two legs and components of a human onto a fish in blue, swimming in the sea with rotating arms and legs instead of fins and a tail.
Entering consciousness and tapping into euphoria
In 1972, Italo Calvino, a journalist, and novelist from Italy, published Invisible Cities. A conversation between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan in the emperor’s garden about the former’s voyage. He described a city of overpopulation where no one could move. A city on the verge of destruction from the pile of garbage circulated its walls and interiors.
Whales socialize and communicate through three noises: clicks allow them to navigate and identify the objects within their surroundings, their discernment over which animal appears as a friend or predator, whistles, and pulsed calls, the squeaks, squawks, and screams, to lure in friends and acquaintances in the socialization. Inspired by the novel and the sensation of whales over what they feel having their world below them in the sea while humans live above the water, Veronesi sculpted a whale stuck on a stick, grinning in splatters of white and pink over its gray body, and with a city made of sloshes of paint and bits of trash draped around a tower resembling a colosseum, a tail of cotton appears in the background as the smoke of the city.
«When I make something, I enter into my consciousness and tap into euphoria to understand the message of my art. It is about making, the craftsmanship of it. At times, my work expresses not my creativity but my availability to use my resources. I spend twenty percent of my time sculpting and eighty percent of the time looking at it. When I make art, my presence weighs more than the techniques».
Redefine archetypes through archetypes: Flaminia Veronesi
She holds her first solo show at the Castiglioni Gallery in Milan, the exhibit of Adam in penises and Eve; the Garden of Eden; the interpretation of the Bible; the mermaid; cyclops; a fish in human legs; and a pangolin eating a vagina.
Flaminia, Veronesi’s first name, which originates in Latin and signifies the keeper of the flame, disassociates herself from Flaminia Veronesi, aged twenty-four from Milan in Italy who studied art in London in the United Kingdom and has worked as a Visual Merchandiser, Illustrator and Product Designer.
She utilizes her fantasy to redefine its archetypes through her playfulness in communicating tragedy and catastrophe via a sphinx, dragon, mermaid, or devil to represent masculinity and femininity in men and women. She quotes Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales through the child intuitively comprehending that although these stories are unreal, they are not untrue.
Through her body of work, she disrupts fantasy and escapism and questions femininity and masculinity. She employs the Bible and Mythology, the reverence of symbols, animals, and interpretations à la Flaminia Veronesi.
Artist based in London, working on personal and commissioned projects in Art, Set Design, Visual Merchandising, Illustration and Product Design. Veronesi’s first solo show was held at the Castiglioni gallery in Milan.