by Angelo Crespi

Looking at the photographs of Beat Kuert for the very first time, I don’t know why, but I was fascinated by the grainy reconstruction of an early twentieth-century hospital scene.

Then I realized that the file has Salpêtriere written on it, a famous Parisian hospital which owes its name to the fact that it was once a gunpowder factory, saltpetre (salpêtre) being a constituent of gunpowder. Later, towards the end of the nineteenth century, it was converted into a psychiatric hospital under the guidance of the great neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot.

I then discovered that a series of writings superimposed on Beat’s images were taken from the Voynich manuscript, a bibliophilic riddle, an ancient mysterious illustrated codex, probably written in the 1400s in an unknown language which has still to be deciphered, some believe it is a treatise on alchemy.

The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who acquired it from the Jesuits College of Villa Mondragone near Frascati.

It cannot be pure chance that holds together all the things that each of us perceives in the work of Beat Kuert, or perhaps it is chance which holds everything up. Sometimes, things that are far away in time and space are united even if there seems to be no causal connection between them, that is to say they do not seem to be bound by any visible chain of cause and effect.

The work of Beat Kuert takes place on different conceptual and performance planes that only at the end, after a long working process, translate into images. Images of rare evocative power that give rise to an installation which is in turn the last frame of a stratified path whose main theme is the body. “Furor Corporis”, the fury of the body. 

The poetic aspiration, the violent passion, is a dazzling katabasis, almost dreamlike, in the depths of our being, where nudity and movement is intertwined in an ancestral way, giving shape  to symbols and signs as if in a dance. 

So two bodies that move together, or rather do not move and stand still as the figure on a Chinese jar that is motionless yet at the same time in eternal movement thanks to the strength of the form.

"Furor Corporis" Performance during the opening of the Exhibition of Beat Kuert`s work at MAC in Milan. Choreograph by Anneli Rainoldi / Production: Francesca Martire