The Drawing of Words , Edit Expo Pordenone, 1994 - Castello di Belgioioso, 1995

The “ writing “ is that created by markers but only black ones are used.
The illustration looks as if it has been issued from a fish eye or from a wide-angle lens of a “ bright room “. But having noted that, one has still understood nothing of Fabio Sironi’s invention; nothing of his heaping together of signs and, therefore objects; nothing of the obsessive presence of cords, wires and tapes and of fragments, left-overs and tangles.
The world which Sironi represents is a world without people as if suspended beyond time, beyond events. It is, however, a world that is not at all naive, it is rich in history and culture. Perhaps we could come closer to understanding his story if we understand something of Sironi’s choices, of his relationship with the traditions of illustration.
Let’s look at the tangles, the ever present remains, the entire editorial area of the most important daily newspaper depicted as an abandoned battle field.
There is no relationship here with Dada, if anything the relationship is with Surrealism of Tinguely, or of Magritte, of Ernst or Dalì.
But the subtlety of the ideas that are to be found in these illustrations, the profound sensuality, the refined ambiguity which is emaneted, is definitely from Surrealism, but as if re-read through Hugo Pratt’s cartoons.

Yet, there are a different energy in Sironi’s tale, in these rooms so full of events, the traces of which condense onto the encumbrant and trasgressive tangle of traces, left-overs, fragments.

The story of these rooms is not told in the somewhat bedragled language of the surrealists, there seems to be another, closer source of life. The other connection to be seen in Sironi’s “ writing “ is that with the language of English Pop, especially with that of Hamilton and Allen Jones. It is through English Pop that Sironi represents his personal form of “ estragement “, his recording of an event, his prompting of an analytical description without ever allowing himself be carried away by the story.
How is it that Sironi decided first to use Surrealism and then Pop to relate the dimentions of a newspaper and why did he choose not to represent people but only the spaces and memories of their existence? Why don’t we reverse the question: what could an illustration of a dayly newspaper containing, for example, a caricature of its journalists, workmen on the job, the Editor in his armchair ever have said to us? Sironi saw the newspaper as the empty stage of a Surrealistic play and he offered us the only “ true “ story wich he believes should be told, the story of objects that are entangled, overlapping, objects that are crammed in, objects piling up and objects getting in the way, these are the real protagonists of space.
Certainly, the language of Surrealism alone, with its obvious phallic symbolism, wasn’t enough to tell this story and so there was the idea of a “ cold “ transcription using Pop Art, cartoon and illustration techniques, and the use of the wide angle lens technique. The idea was to show the reader and, above all, the journalist that which he normally doesn’t see - the estranged dimensions of his work. This is the story telling about storytelling, a criticism through intense illustrations which are ironically connected to another form of narrative, that of literary “ writings “.

Arturo Carlo Quintavalle