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The power of the hand: Fabio Capitanio's take on multiculturalism

Understanding the hidden connections among hands, brain and heart.

The power of the hand: Fabio Capitanio's take on multiculturalism

Claudia Astarita

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Communication is not complete without gestures. Or, using Fabio Capitanio's words, "Communication is the meaning within the art piece: the gesture, the thought, the feeling, embodied by their most common cultural representations, the hand, the brain, the heart. These are symbols of communication beyond the word, the language, and its complex grammar and syntax. These are symbols of communication that is direct, instinctive, and readily accessible to every human on Earth".

Mr Capitanio is an Italian artist who grew up with two passions: science and art. After becoming aware of the impossibility of abandoning any of his "loves", this Italian man ended up merging his artistic development with a brilliant academic career in science. The outcome has been an enriched artistic expression that blends the immediacy of visual art with a more conceptual representation, establishing a connection between the art piece itself and its rational perception.

In his current exhibition in Melbourne, Australia, hosted by the local Italian Cultural Institute, Mr Capitanio has put together the three ideas that, according to him, are behind communication, brain, heart, and gestures, displaying a series of clay hands.

Italians communicate through hands, everybody knows that, but what Mr Capitanio has realised after living in several countries is that hands are there to help people with different cultures, background, and speaking different languages to overcome the barriers created by these differences and make their communication more authentic, and even more intimate.

"In this exhibition, communication is established between the canvas and the sculpture, also. A dialogue between the imaginary space within the painting and the physical space of the sculpture, between the pigments and the terracotta, between subjects, objects and concepts. In this dialogue, it remains unclear who comes first: before the word, the gesture; before the gesture, the intention, before the intention, the meaning; before the meaning, the word."

Beyond the beauty of Mr Capitanio's compositions, his exhibition is pushing people, especially when living in a multicultural context, to better understand the importance of communication.

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