Sergio Cena

Sergio Cena was born in Turin in 1948 and has been living in France, in the Vaucluse since 1994. A painter and visual poet he has taken part from 1973 onwards in many poetry festivals both in Italy and abroad. Together with Arrigo Lora Totino he has performed many shows both of mimic recitation of the historical vanguard, particularly futurist and of gymnastic and sound poetry with the series " L'ora di cena da Totino"
(Supper time at Totino's, with a play on words based on Lora Totino's surname) and with his "Pappapoemi", or Eatpoems, poems to be gobbled up.Since 1980, the year it was founded he has been a member of the Italian group of sound authors "Il dolce stil suono" (a paraphrase of the name of the medieval group of Florentine poets to whom Dante belonged). He appears in the anthology of records "Futura poesia sonora -Future Sound Poetry- (Crampa Records, Milan 1978) both with texts of his own or with other contributors and lending his voice to a sound reconstruction of futurist

The visual works that we are presenting here can be divided into three trends of research. The first is the dactylogramme, with the sometimes exasperated use of the typing medium in sophisticated compositions where also his experience as professional printing and engraving expert played a part.
The second is the one which the author calls "Topogrammes": erased texts distinguished by the fact that the single letters that compose them, successively leave an empty space in the alphabetical succession. See for instance "The rest is silence" the phrase which concludes the tragedy of Hamlet. The text that follows is the corresponding reverse in positive.
The third research is given by the series of phantasmagoric images obtained by erasing by means of solvents part of pictures taken from illustrated magazines and the like.
This technique was introduced in the late 1960ies by the Czech author Ladislav Novàk with his "alchimages" and taken up again by Lambrto Pienotti about 1975 with his "visible-invisible" series. The main characteristic of these performances by Cena is not so much the ironic aspect as a feeling of the presence of intriguing mysterious entities.