14.10 – I look at you because you look at me back. The therapeutic value of the fruition of a work of art

The etymological origin of the term “fruire” – to enjoy in English – derives from Latin: fruire, from frui, frui-tus o fruc-tus, to take advantage of something, to enjoy some kind of benefit, to be nutrished by it. The contemporary use of the term hasn’t changed and so if the object of the fruition is a work of art, to enjoying it means to benefit from the experience derived from its knowledge. However exists also another similar term: to contemplate. It is often connected to an act of passiveness but in the origins contempliári (from Latin con with the use of, templum the space of the sky, space or observation circle that the augure described with his lituo to observe inside of it the flight of birds) means to bring something inside your horizon and describes the act of who looks up to something that arouses wonder. The auspicious origin is what I would like to rediscover and reconnect to the prophetic character of art: <<To assess or to enjoy a work of art>> writes Giovanni Vattimo << doesn’t mean other than encountering a new world and trying to inhabit in. That is the real meaning of art (…) is the happening of a radical news on the level of being-in-the-world, it is the foundation of being-in-the-world itself.>>  So if at the origin to contemplate  meant to draw a place in the sky in order to observe the flight the birds and to read inside of it the opinions of the gods upon the human choices of livings, to contemplate a work of art is to rely on the flight of the artist to reach a knowledge and at the same time an enjoyment, that otherwise wouldn’t have be given.

>> Back