Manuele Cerutti’s Elusione is an ode to Magical Realism. But not the kind of Magical Realism one might expect.
The Magical Realism movement took quite distinct forms where it flourished in literature and in the visual arts. The term was coined in 1925 by the German art historian Franz Roh, who used it to describe a new wave of Post-Expressionist painting in which, he believed, smooth photographic clarity revealed the extraordinary within the ordinary. When literary critics appropriated Roh’s term, however, it was to describe a very different fashion in writing: that of interspersing explicitly supernatural elements within largely naturalistic narratives.
Elusione abandons the traditions of its own artistic mode to follow this literary manifestation of the genre. Its magical aspect is palpable, and sharply contrasted with its mundane realism. That is to say that the human figure, his casual, contemporary clothing, the gleaming metal stool, the scrub marks on the floor, the perfect shadow; all render the glowing hand and the levitating hoop before it particularly curious and enchanting, simply by force of contrast.
Then again, that halo of light which encircles the man’s fingers (and, in fact, his entire body, albeit to alesser extent) is highly reminiscent of the radiance often surrounding depictions of the figure of Christ.In this sense, the mysticism of Elusione can be seen as reinterpreting one of the most recognisable symbols in the history of western art. It seems Cerutti has not turned his back upon his visual medium after all.