Works in Progress

What speaks is, in its solitude,
in its fragile vibration, in its nothingness,
the word itself - not the meaning of the word,
but its enigmatic and precarious being.

 Stephane Mallarme

The glory of the book as a work of art lies in the future,
once the electronic media and the computer have taken from
it the baser burdens it must still bear. Literature is a kind of self-contained verbal ceremony (Mallarme).

The festive state as a game is a rite - a rite de passage -
to be participated in only by initiates, participating sacrificially: com-memoration (Coomaraswamy).




Portfolios, Albums
and scrolls

Works in Progress









1. Wellspring of Golden Dust (Wang Wei and Pei Di)

Tang Dynasty poet, painter, and musician Wang Wei produces through his poetic technique an artifact whose contemplation can itself be an ecstatic Zen experience. Sudden knowledge however leads to grief, measured by movement from one time of pain into another. Contextualization occurs through allusion to Buddhist, Taoist or poetic texts.

Wang Wei transfers to his own spiritual experience the legendary trip of the Queen Mother of the West towards the jade Emperor. He explores the landscape of Taoist inner alchemy where the cultivation of stillness results in activeless activity. Word and symbolic image are objectified in Pei Di's response quatrain. Pictographs, poems, and etchings mix lights and darkness: a shared vision of a book which unfolds to reveal a rich textural world, probing of line, and interrogation of language.

2. The Artist's Gaze

Portfolio of dry point etchings
by Stefan Arteni.

3. Studio

Portfolio of dry point etchings
by Stefan Arteni.

4. The Monster After Hegel (Rodney Phillips)

Author derives from auctor, he who augments. Language is the precinct, templum. The poet is blessed with a singular, almost hallucinatory imagination, balancing convention and control, on the one hand, and spontaneity, on the other.

5. Homeric Hyms

The project is a visual exploration of the anthropology of myth and ritual and their survival in the psyche. The thought structure and behaviour pattern of ancient ritual and custom are still, due to cultural transmission and imprinting, apparent among European peasants. The art of poetry and the recitation become part of every festival. Speaking about gods is speaking in a highly stylized, artificial language never spoken at any other time, and generally associated with mimic and dancing. The Hymns are preludes to longer epics, usually as part of a solemn recitation.

6. Mythology / From the Fragments (Daniel Simko)

We feel our real life to be a deformation - sometimes greater, sometimes less - of our possible life. We are shipwrecked in our own existence. Our times form our destiny. The present, in which the past is summarized, is that portion of fate which intervenes in life. We remember the past because we are awaiting the future. But today, because of historical ignorance, man feels himself to be only a crippled fragment: while history moves, the stillwaters are made swift.

Making is in greek, poiesis. Cultivating and caring - colere, Cultura - are a kind of building. To be a poet in a destitute time means to attend to the traces of history that are often inconspicuous, like the owl, the bird with ever-dazzled eyes, watches the darkness.

7. A book that was never written:

The fragments of Attila's meditations on the Roman wars
for the first time unearthed, published in a single copy,
and rendered into English by Sol Invictus with numerous drawings, maps, and
adnotations by the author, and followed by the commentary of general Aetius.

8. Haikus (Kobayashi Issa)

Sumi monotypes by Stefan Arteni. Accordion/scroll format.


9. Decreated Icons

Mixed media monotypes by Stefan Arteni. Portfolio format.

10. Apollo and Marsyas

Mixed media monotypes by Stefan Arteni. Portfolio format.

11. Poems (Martin Heidegger)

Calligraphy by Stefan Arteni on marbled paper. Handscroll format.

12. Tempo Venne (Re Enzo)

The apocalyptic conception of knighthood as mystes, and milites dei which arose around the time of the Crusades converged in courtly romance and poetry (minnesong, canzone), developed in the context of the imperial court of
Frederic II, stupor mundi. It is the time of Saint Francis, Leonardo Fibonacci, Michael Scott, Reginald and James of Aquino, and the princes/ poets: Enzo, Manfred, Frederic of Antioch, Conradin.

13. Apocalypse

These things never happened, but are always.


The eschatologial expectation and final ekpyrosis is a descriptio mundi inversi (Ollson), a revitalization and reinterpretation of mythic material aiming to codify or restore cultural identities through revelatory systems of ideas: the evil seven in Akkadian incantation texts; the seven sons of heaven and earth against Thebes, each assigned his special destructive fate; Virgil on Octavianus: "the great cycle of eras is born anew"; the Book of Daniel based on the Greek concept of a succession of world empires, the doctrine of the four emperors reinterpreted in an apocalyptic fashion. For Herodotus apocalypto means "to uncover".


14. Collage Albums

© 2001 Stefan Arteni
& Myriam Arteni
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