I must have a body: it is a moral necessity, an 'obligation'.
And, first of all, I have a body because there is something dark in me.

G. W. Leibniz

A very impressive figuration and apowerful language make the photography of Dean West a process of “mentalphagocyting-images”, a source of a symbolic language and impetuous visualeffects.
Dreamy in narration, “over-real” at the surface, West harmoniously connectsbeings and spaces of an imaginary dimension, with semblants, languid creatures,charmant and dark too, with a glassy eye, who are inexpressible in theirunreality.
The scene of the sensations'collection created by West is always characterized by the silence and theimmobility of the experienced time: every lull is anxious but quiet, anunsettled but grave and solemn suspension.
The beings, the actors, the sets rule in a dimension where you lose the abilityto distinguish real from mental, phisycal from untouchable; all elements becomea transitive incorporation of the characters (of the photographic tale) in theidentity of the world around them.
Nobody belongs to the contestwhere is located by West: veryitem or animal, even every interaction is troubled because of a shockingextraneousness. This way, the cause and effect disappear in expressiveelements' relations. The expressive elements create instead incompatibleconnections, junction and disjunction. But it's hard to recognize thesesuspicious relations and it's harder to catch all the possible interactions.
West' pictures live withoutdestiny and story. The inner correspondences among the beings who illogicallylive together in a dimension (damaged worlds or colonized by animals places)look alienated and cold.
Pictures boast irrefutableelegance and sophistication; a classic perspective structure, central, from theRenaissance. The set design remember works by Vredeman de Vries, Raffaello orby Maurits Cornelis Escher. These theories amplify the suspicion of an“hypo-real” art: it's able to make up some forms of beauty and harmony in theprocess of knowledge; it forces imagination to overstep the frames of reality,out of control and out of truthfulness.
When the logical sense leavesvacuous places and relations, the obscure side of the soul surfaces, along withits silent fragility.
Leibniz asserted that the soulwas an obscure and inner process, inaccessible, but this dark nature required abody, a surface, a mask. The West' work perfectly places in the Leibniz'thoughts, because of the effort to join the inside with the surface. Heperfectly places between the silent resurfacing of the inner wishes, sensationsand anxiety, and the sudden mise-en-scene of statuesque and clockwork bodies,like dummies in a shop window ready to a deathly performance.

Locorotondo, 11/01/2011