Sketches from Michele Trenti's essays

Symmetry

Appunti di Michele Trenti

Looking at the more general principles governing aesthetic perception, we find that everything can be reduced to a very few elements. Perhaps the only formal principle common to every work of art is the one that relates to our innate sense of symmetry. Achieving this balance, with its constant modification and re-formation during a job, is the basis for "reading" a work. The two original opposite and complementary forces of Eastern tradition, (the Chinese yin and yang) find expression in art through a tendency towards creating a symmetrical structure and a tendency towards breaking these symmetries so as to immediately find new ones, a productive and imaginative balancing act in which each element contributes to the work. The resulting process seems to follow a natural progression, in the infinite variety of its phenomena and the wonderful balance achieved. Take the fugue and the sonata, two well-known examples from music, whose rich and varied forms combine this idea of symmetry at many levels: from the formal framework to thematic relations, from ways of developing the material to the texture.