Naples is certainly the starting point for understanding the work of Cyop&Kaf. Naples, a city that more than any others manages the difficult task of harmonization of the extremes. It is this coexistence of conflicting opinions that allows a broad and free view of the society, and that allows the development of the critical sense so much opposed to those who would prefer the proliferation of one-way opinions, overcrowded and do-gooders.
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, Goya would say, and numerous provocations to which we have become accustomed over the years Cyop&Kaf have precisely the objective to awaken us from our slumber, showing a degenerate reality in which consumption defines the existence and where the market is the only meeting place between people.
The characters of Cyop&Kaf live among the decaying walls of neighborhoods abandoned to themselves, burned pearls, shapeless gems, nestled between the glossy in rich neighborhoods, to show that the most precious possession we have is not always how, and especially where, we'd have expected.
You could talk at length about the work of these artists who took the thankless task of keeping us vigilant about what is happening to our consciences, but we are talking about a work, Odysseys, who manages once again to surprise us and to remind that the artist's role is to flip, twist our point of view, so as to keep us always careful about the various attempts to make us helpless slaves against the advance of a 'ochlocracy that elevates the indifference of the surrounding reality as a totalizing paradigm.
Today we can choose which content access and what not, carefully selecting what most tickles our interest. This activity, which would seem a victorious vindication of our personal freedoms, is nothing but a tool in the service of knowledge sectorialization: the value of information which provides for a variety of news is something to be removed, because being extremely competent in a particular area creates a sense of arrogance that makes us no longer closer to the unknown. This makes our skills enslaved to a commodifying logic that it takes highly skilled and lowly "relatable" because having relationships means having the humility to learn from the other and it is risky for the market, to have as interlocutors individuals who spend their time to discuss, meet, associate and not to consume the goods that this merchandise society produces and can’t stop producing. Odysseys tells us a possible alternative, a reconquest of our autonomy in the development of critical thinking.
Odyssey, before being an exhibition, is a precious book that tells, through the works of Cyop & Kaf and lyrics by Enzo Avitabile, the stories of uncommon characters that are ignored or excluded from society and that internalize ambiguous scenarios triggering a process of reflection on a humanity divided between the desire for redemption and the indolence of the resigned.
But why Odysseys? As already suggested by the title, it tells of arrivals and departures, of dropouts and hopeful itineraries that crash against walls not only of racism, but mostly of indifference. The multitude of people who try reaching, often with tragic endings, places once considered hospit ble, today is a background news that does not generate more interest, if not some trivial circumstance comment.
We are strange we human beings: the multitude can not make us any effect, we see it far away from us, but only if it is offered to us the image of an individual, here is that our consciousness is awakened, we get angry because this image remembers us that we are all individuals in the multitude.
Despite the attempts to individualization, of self-affirmation at all costs that are now proposed as the standard of living, Cyop & Kaf come to remind us that we are inextricably linked to the others, that we will always strive for social gathering, because alone we will never define our identity. Cyop & Kaf try to direct us towards the only possible way: the return to politics. Politics as faculty to choose, not as a repetition of behavior distant from the common reality, but as a spur to dialogue, to confront. Activities, these, which are increasingly being forgotten or even derided and hampered by patrons of the now sadly decaying palaces of power.
By looking more carefully the characters that populate the Cyop & Kaf universe, you immediately realize that the figures, despite maintaining an anthropomorphic form, are deformed, flattened, twisted: the more the context within which they are classified is degraded, the more these figures will be monstrous. In this sense it can be said that the art of Cyop & Kaf has an urban vocation: the context, in fact, powerfully determines the growth of individuals. Experiences like Misentropia, Buio and Cemento, to name a few, testify to the unflagging interest of the two artists for territorial redevelopment.
The human being will always be tainted by the places in which they live and the protagonists of Odysseys are no exception: reporting on their own bodies the teachings of the source culture and welcome on their skin signs of the new culture, whether it has accepted them, whether it has excluded them. So religious symbols, calligraphic signs of near and distant languages, the need to drink and eat are all there on the tormented bodies of those who live between two worlds, not that of departure and destination, but the one hoped for and the one with that you have to interface with.
Master Enzo Avitabile, with the onset text "Diridin Diridon", helps to influence predominantly the public by offering a simple interpretation, but full of charm, often onomatopoeic that contribute to form a fuller image of the little book: to each illustration of the words in "Diridin Diridon" echo in the mind, creating unexpected connections, in a very successful marriage.