“Beauty will save the world,” an overused, idolatrised phrase – taken from Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot –has nothing to do with contingent reality, where it has landed illegally and improperly. A phrase from Big Brother in reality, a dangerous simplification coined by illiterates for tuppeny ha’penny trivialities. If not for high gain business strategies – designed out of the absolutist creed of international marketing. Beauty will not save the world. Not at all. Quite the contrary. If nothing else, the concept of beauty in vogue in this undifferentiated modernity of ours where reality is forcibly aestheticised, at any cost, of any quality and at every level. It is because we are all sensitive to the beautiful, hyper-aesthetic, ready to give our lives for this inner turmoil, the perception of which haunts us and to which everything else is a mere nothing, a bagatelle! “What did you study in college?” “Philosophy” “Oh, beautiful!” “This fusoplastica by Alberto Burri is beautiful, this chair by Philippe Starck, the guy sitting down there, that boat moored at Porto Cervo, the talcum powder beach of Watamu, that catchy phrase that escapes me now...” The fact is that we have lost the sense of words. And beauty has lost its ideals, its truth content. And to surround yourself with “beautiful” people and things is now ethically completely nihilistic, beyond any neoclassical or romantic canon. A great absurdity that is not anything, never mind a higher knowledge – as one might think of the nonsense of the works of Carmelo Bene and Antonine Artaud. But rather a kind of dissolution through mediocrity, a ragged silly ignorance. Beauty will not save anything. Always someone who wants to be saved! Rather, beauty is able to push the mind to a degree of damnation with no return. the best literature is full of it, from the courtly love of Guinizzelli to Baudelaire’s female vampire in decadent poesy that painted l’enfer of the femme fatale. In the end “beautiful” is for moderns what they no longer understand. That dulls the mind with a je ne sais quoi which seems to be a vacuum. And the absence of life, thought, action. There can be no aesthetics without ethics. Don’t try it! It’s a mystification! Because beauty without truth is a completely empty container.
Recommended listeling: "Magic shop”, Franco Battiato