Tradition must not become a merely onanistic exercise

Luigi Caricato

Tradition must not become a merely onanistic exercise

Everyone is so intent on evoking existing traditions because they are incapable of creating new ones. Such insistence on the past strikes me as pure onanism. It is true that the past has important, fundamental lessons to teach us, but, as the writer Giuseppe Pontiggia rightly argued, the classics are our contemporaries, indeed they are “contemporaries of the future” precisely because they are always relevant and always a step ahead of us, even as the centuries go by: they never grow old.

If anything, the real problem is knowing how to distinguish what is “classic” from what is not, what is contemporary from what is old, stale and unusable.

For many, tradition means reviving the past, lock, stock and barrel, and reusing it “as is”, without even really knowing it.

Tradition is an easy way out for those who lack the courage or depth of knowledge to take a new direction and explore new territory, which is the only way to discover new languages and styles, and new paths to follow.

In this issue of OOF International Magazine, now in its third year of life, our collaboration with students from the Accademia di comunicazione in Milan and the Scuola Internazionale di Comics in Turin was fundamental. Have a look at their work and see how fresh and perceptive it is.

We should, then, not shy away from reshaping and renewing language, or from trying new experiences and ideas. We need new approaches, new visions, new concepts.

We hope that those who follow us along the path we have been pursuing over the years will be able to find inspiration in Olio Officina, and learn from us.

More than ever before, we need to reconsider the way we understand and communicate the raw material which is oil obtained from olives. The Olio Officina project constantly seeks to take new directions, but we need to find the courage to pursue them with conviction and determination. Tradition is a bluff if it is continually invoked like a fetish without knowledge and study. Tradition is here and now. Tradition means both being mindful in our own era and creating a new one, rather than just carrying on evoking and mimicking the past.

The editorial signed by Luigi Caricato is an excerpt from the seventh issue of the quarterly paper magazine OOF International Magazine. Buy the seventh issue of the magazine or subscribe HERE.

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