Rebecca Russo collection contemporary art
Arts has always anticipated social changes, but its therapeutical power is a more recent discovery, especially in the case of contemporary arts in the broadest sense of the term. Rebecca Russo, psychologist and psychotherapist as well as collector at international level, has developed a scientific concept, in which arts is used as a mean for curing soul and body. Whilst speaking with her about aspects of her life, marked by arts and strongly attached to arts, I had the definite feeling of wellbeing, a mental state that has become harder and harder to achieve especially with newly met people.

Tobias Zielony - Laser
Tobias Zielony – Laser

Her voice is sweet and melodic and has the power to conduct our soul to the exact comprehension of her passion and belief in the project “Videoinsight®”.

Rebecca Russo is, in my opinion, a great dreamer, who is able to make her beliefs concrete, and not only that. In the exclusive world of arts, pretty closed and twisted on itself, where the posses of arts work is more and more related to narcissism that affects the universe, the ability to combine beauty, courtesy, vision and humbleness seems impossible. Anyhow the more time passed to understand and to unravel her concept of “arts as a cure”, the more I had the sensation of talking to a person like this, unique in the most authentic meaning of the word.

It has been very hard for me to recap the long talk I had with her, especially in the format of a Q&A, but I tried my best, setting aside the pleasure of meeting her in her enVironment, between Torino and Bologna, where her Videoinsight® center, her Videoinsight® Foundation her collection and her work are located.

Question: What moment of Your life made you realize that Your passion for contemporary arts and Your activity as a collector had the power to interfere with the mind, people’s souls and had the ability to influenced them positively?

Answer: I have experimented the cure of arts from my early life. Staring at artistic images, drawing, painting improved my mood, it relaxed me, made me happy. As an adult I have become a promoter of changes: I cure myself and others through art. The intense and conjoint experience of art, of life and of the clinical activity have helped me intuit the preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative potential of arts work. I firmly believe that it is mature to overcome barriers and the separations between human resources in order to integrate the points of view, extend prospects, obtaining a interdisciplinary vision.

I have collocated an arts work in my professional studio in an instinctive way. It was the lightbox entitled “La buona novella” (2007) of the artist Robert Gligorov. The patients themselves spontaneously decided to utilize this artistic image, expressing attraction, emotive resonance, projections, interpretations, narrations, memories. They got nurtured by the work, they interiorized it, dreamed of it, connected it to their lives. They have showed me the privileged mean for the help, for the cure. From that moment on I have decided to show some selected art works from the collection Videoinsight® to medicate and to promote change.

Changing means dying and being reborn. An arts work can change lives. Arts cures the psychophysical wellness in all phases of life. It is a virgin zone in which everyone dreams can be projected, a regeneration is witnessed; it’s a chance for the integration, the overcoming of issues; it’s a symbolic zone in which of is possible to experiment ideas and feelings, revise, express new attitudes, increase the experience of pleasure, decrease the displeasure. It’s a potential space between yourself and the external world in which it is possible to train and to confront each other, through symbolic representations, with the needs of interiors demands and external requirements.

Arts is not a way of escaping reality, but a tool to confront it. Arts does not only cause contemplation to happen, but also action. Promoting the exploration in the interior world, the self-awareness, the elaboration of profound conflicts, the transformation.

Robert Gligorov - La Buona Novella
Robert Gligorov – La Buona Novella

Q: In the “Il Manifesto dell’arte” You wrote, you argue that arts causes “insight”: awareness, intuition, interior vision and solution. In practice, what changes did You experience from this type of activity?

Arts is an extremely intimate, projective, interpretative experience. It dismisses me from the noise, from the superficiality. It makes me explore unknown territories, break down walls, overcome boundaries, break the habits. It renders my life immortal and eternal. Arts and life are fused together, intimately correlated. Every person accomplishes a creative, artistic, original, unique experience through out the process of their personal development. My life influences the arts I look at, love and choose. On the other hand arts influences my life, transports it and prophesies it. The story of my life is twisted, it matches with the story of my art.

I live with and for arts every single day, suspended between the possibilities. It’s my passepartout for crossing the doors of existence. The art works I encounter are petals of mine. In my interior kaleidoscope arts and life compose composition that generate wonder, amazement. Arts is always current, because it’s circular. It’s anticipated, it predicts the future. It shows new horizons, evokes what is at the margin, yet invisible. Arts puts me in relation to myself, to others, to the future. It’s my mirror, makes me look forward, close and far, up and down, around, from an angle. Arts is my magic.

Sigalit Landau - Salt Crystal Bride Gown VIII
Sigalit Landau – Salt Crystal Bride Gown VIII

Q: In Your collection many operas that evoke physicality are present – not only aesthetically talking – dreamlike settings, metaphysic spaces, role plays and ancestral relations with parental figures: what are the feelings and emotions that drive this type of research?

A: The feeling that drives me is love. Love for arts, love for life. I prefer operas that tackle psychoanalytical themes. Arts enables to reprocess your personal history, redefine the self-image and the image of others, find out your needs, your talents, the orientations of your attitudes, it helps find the recreation of your own destiny. Our life is a result of creativity. Creativity is the ability of distinguishing thoughts and objects, new connections that lead to innovation. It’s an ability closely related to exploration, to adventure, to research of solutions, to cognitive originality, to divergent thinking, to conceptual smoothness, to the sensibility for the problems, the ability to re-organize single elements in a complex system.

Q: The system of contemporary arts is often closed and self-referential while in Your case its open to different audiences. In what way does this aspect please You? What should the system do in order to be more accessible to wider audiences?

A: Arts is for everyone. It saves life, beauty and goodness. It elevates the spirit. The human world is predisposed to arts, in any condition. Arts is inside any of us. Its magic is eternal, universal, traversal. I personally encounter, choose, live and share arts as much as I can. This is my mission. I carry the arts that cures all the human scopes, I share it with the purpose of improving lives.  The Videoinsight® Foundation inserts arts in hospitals, schools, working life, sports. The Centre Videoinsight® offers exhibitions and programs “Art for Care” for a wide audience, for the community, not only for employees that are around the system of arts. All projects are non profit.

Jonny Briggs - Supernatural
Jonny Briggs – Supernatural

Q: If arts really has the ability to cure, it can also due prevention of discomfort so much that museum visits are already prescriptions given in order to encourage psychophysical recovery. Do You think this system could be introduced in Italy and convince the skeptics?

A: Art calls. It’s inevitable to answer. The truth of the curing ability if arts breaks down any resistance, breaks every preconception or skepticism. The goodness of arts infects. The mission of the Videoinsight® Foundation is exactly this: introducing operas in social environments in order to prevent discomfort, recover resources, promote evolution.  

Q: What are the values that drive the choices of the artworks of Your collection?

A: Operas don’t have to be pretty, contemplative, but they have to predict the future, improve life, induce change. They must promote the psychophysical wellbeing, they must have diagnostic an therapeutic potential. They must engage everyone’s mind. The value of the artwork sits in the urge and universality of its physiological content, message and meaning.

The artwork must be recognized and assimilated, without provoking resistance, boredom, rejection, judgement, trauma. Because of its mysterious nature, it cannot result meaningless, trivial or incomprehensible. It must provoke narration, relationship, participation and gratitude; it must be altruistic, donate resources for the growth, open doors, build bridges. The pure artwork is a result of inspiration, of the genius, the expressive urge, the crisis, the lack, the pain, the research of solutions. The artwork that cures participates from fragile and intimate parts, from the most vulnerable and sensitive parts, suffering and hidden ones, that are the most malleable, open and creative.

Rebecca Russo collection contemporary art Rebecca Russo collection contemporary art Rebecca Russo collection contemporary art

Katia Tenti. Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved.

Category: Interview


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