VIVEROS-FAUNE, Christian, “VISCERALISTS” Spasticus Artisticus #1, pp. 9-11., Liverpool, 2010.

Spasticus Artisticus: A Brief History In Two Parts
Christian Viveros-Fauné

Part II (December):
Hello To You Out There In Normal Land/
You May Not Comprehend My Tale Or UnderstandThe above lyrics pull along Ian Dury’s original ditty, which, like most creative efforts ssociated with Spasticus Artisticus, sounds notes that are half battle cry and half frank appeals for understanding. Taking Dury’s mangled song title as a starting point, Jota and I sought out folks capable of coloring in the geeky, liberated character we outlined loosely — in pencil, not pen — for our wide-ranging display in Scouser-land.The character we sketched out is, in a nutshell, a freak, an oddball; a weird or “special” (as in “Special Olympics” special) figure that most folks would recognize on the street, even if they are unlikely to have taken full stock of such a character’s peculiarities in some time. Special how, you ask? Well, “special” in the sense that our research indicates that Spasticus Artisticus may very well be a subspecies of the genus Homo, parallel but different from the standard Homo Sapiens in that the sapere of this species is arrived at chiefly through a bizarrely esoteric pursuit — art making — that, for all intents and purposes, has been demonstrated to have zero use value in the cold, harsh, workaday world.Conversely, it turns out, the freedom inherited by the genuine article Spasticus A. is of what can be termed Olympian dimensions. Think of it : a life deliberately devoted to the exploration of objects and ideas that, for all their potential symbolic importance, no one asks these people for! The notion does boggle the mind. The real-world implications for such useless activity are huge (though similar efforts have been produced by artist geeks since time immemorial, they have recently been ignored in favor of far more moneyed, utilitarian distractions). Such an idea could confuse the categories of work and play. Idealism might make a comeback. Whole economies could come to a screeching halt, and I mean for real this time!

While all of the above seemed less than likely, Jota and I did recognize instinctively that among the many artists we know there are an awful lot of people who fit the fortunate if largely impractical profile of Spasticus A.. An abstract, visionary bunch, these folks are easily identified by a determination to doggedly follow their particular artistic obsession to its final conclusion, no matter how fantastic. Consider this example : a Romanian artist—the inscrutable Ciprian Homorodean—decides to raise the rather counterintuitive idea of coprophagia to alcoholic heights by distilling moonshine from, you guessed it, human turds. In another body infatuated case, the Italian collaborative Goldiechiari makes what appear to be snapshots of the cosmos loaded with pleasure craft designed, chiefly, to go up their cracks and bums.

What is certain in both these and other instances of model Spasticus A. behavior is this: that artists like these make work like this largely to point up its practical uselessness, even as they attract the attentions of others — often run-of-the-mill Homo Sapiens —to their impractical life projects. Scattered as they might be personally and geographically, these artists fit the mold cast by Spasticus A. to a tee : perfect freedom meets perfect superfluity. But, now, does the result engender perfect meaning?

However one answers this question, Jota Castro and I felt that it was our responsibility to bring as many specimens of Spasticus A. together for viewing at Ceri Hand Gallery at the beginning of the last year of the first decade of the new millennium. And so we have, for your general delectation. So, I say to you again: Hello to you out there in normal land. This time around, make the effort. Try and comprehend these tales and understand. You’ll learn a thing or two about the barmy, game some nature of art and generally be a sight better for it.


BARRIENTOS, Rose Marie, “VISCERALISTS” Spasticus Artisticus #1, pp. 36-37.ilus, Liverpool, 2010.

‘The transmutation of elemental materials into more noble forms is at work in Rachiu din Cacat si Pufoaica, a process reminiscent of the age-old alchemical quest to turn common metals into gold. In this case, Ciprian Homorodean transforms a most elemental material (foul faecal matter) into a clear, drinkable substance possessing unusual qualities not unlike those pursed by alchemists.

‘The resulting liquid is more that the bootlegged alcoholic drink it appears to be, it is a potion with high concentrations of tradition, social context, and personal experience. In other words, Rachiu is the transmutation of basic shit into concept art.
To distil the alcohol, the artist used an old recipe from Teregova (Western Romania), expanding the formula to include the universe that surrounds this home-made beverage, as well as its functions and effects in Romanian society. Rachiu din Cacat si Pufoaica is not therefore just the film nor the drink, it is a concept used by Ciprian Homorodean to reveal some folds of the social and psychological history of his country.’

Rose Marie Barrientos

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