A series of photos – etchings – depicting typical Mediterranean botanical species, which are threatened by bacteria and parasites (red palm weevil and Xylella).
The botanical species are photographed from far above, a different point of view from the standard garden fruition, as if external agents looking at plants, threaten their existence, unveiling, at the same time, landscapes of the production chains, well suggesting an aesthetic towards modernity without any deceptive simulations from idealized “past” forms coming from some “traditional” idea of garden.
At the end, the series is just another reference to the history of photography suggested by the works exhibited at the show The Plural always outweighs the Singular at the Radicepura botanical park: in this case, the fantastic and fleeting gardens depicted by the surrealists’ daddy, Eugène Atget.
“…there are ten, twenty or a hundred Mediterranean seas.
Around the Mediterranean there are not two places that are the same. Sicily, rather than combines the fragments together, split in two the Mediterranean. North against South, East against West.” [Fernand Braudel The Mediterranean in the Ancient World, The Penguin Press, London 2001 (f.p.1998)]
Two diagrams, installed in the outdoor spaces of the Radicepura Foundation, used to catch “impressions” like a photo-camera. Thus, their outcomes arranged – installed – inside the Radicepura Foundation’s venue.
The diagrams represent four Mediterranean areas, North/South and East/West. They are thought to be relational devices that let visitors interact with the Radicepura spaces; also, they are a tribute to the XX Century photographic social tradition of the physiognomic investigation such as that of the great German photographer August Sander.
(from the exhibition The plural always outweighs the singular, Radicepura 2018)
Diagram #4 (Gazebo) is a composition of four pavilions placed on the gardens nearby the Glasshouse of the Radicepura botanical park. Each pavilion’s roof with a different primary color, together they recall the communication campaign and image of the Premier League: the most popular national league of the most popular sport in the world. A real Photo-Booth (reminiscent of Franco Vaccari’s Live Expositions), built to let Radicepura visitors dive in the colors of the globalization, although amplified by the Mediterranean summer light, and be part of a video catalogue (Story) of a multitude of self-portraits (Selfies).
Diagram #5 (Garden) is a squared flowerbed, divided into four areas by two intersected metallic bars, that match with the glasshouse’s architecture, the congress hall of the Radicepura botanical park.
The garden aims to underpin the value expressed by the foundation as a symbolic and functional collector of an international community revolving around the Mediterranean, with a social portrait of Mario Faro – CEO of the Radicepura Foundation, and of his international relations. Relatives, friends, guests are all invited to suggest a plant example that can be representative of, on a subjective perspective, their own elective place. Plants become kind of a botanical “madeleine”. Displaced on the appointed area of the diagram, they create a Mediterranean garden made of simple forms and yet, while growing, rich and elaborated.
In the indoor spaces, paper sheets would have displayed as printed forms that describe each donator’s choice.
Unfortunately, the dynamics suggested did not succeed and the work remained unfinished, leaving the small olive tree donated by the Radicepura’s founder, Venerando, alone. That may be because relational aesthetics do not reach enough grasp in an environment such as that of a south Mediterranean country like Sicily, whose economy is actually dominated by relational capitalism dynamics? I’m not sure but, at the end, this is the “impression” produced by the installed device.
Solo show of a comprehensive collection of works
Documentation project of an art manifestation.
FICARRA CONTEMPORARY DIVAN, a program of art residencies and events in a small village located in front of the Aeolian archipelago and gate of the Nebrodi’s mountain natural park. Its aim to echo the best traditions of European and Western art institutions that have worked on specific areas in relation to international contexts.
I used my documentary work to question the landscape of and around Ficarra as an element of the political and cultural dimension. By processing images that can be highly evocative for a community that lives quite isolated in wintertime, given the weather conditions and the topography of the valleys of the Nebrodi chain, in Sicily.
Marking the geological forms of a region located at the meeting place of three continental plates allowed me to evoke a temporal and spatial dimension shared by both local people and artists, without interfering with the specificity of the artists’ works and realizing a communication-based project accessible to a wider audience.
Here in Ficarra, ordinary people are used to being involved with the “curiosities” of art and contemporary artists, and you often come across discussions and analysis, not at all intimidated, on the quality of the artworks and research. Similarly, it was fun to listen to people who, intrigued by the details of the images I showed them, tried to guess the location of a rock, a cliff, or even a volcanic landscape, revealing the centrality of this town inhabited by just one thousand souls in the context of a wider region.
In a nutshell, I wanted my work to question the dichotomy between the center and the periphery so important for balance, not only within the art system, but also within the political and economic worlds; I was trying to suggest the possibility that, although part of a small community, you can feel part of a larger one beyond the confines of any environmental boundaries.
Mineo (Homes for America), photo installation 2014. Inkjet prints on baryta paper mounted on plasterboard panels, variable dimensions.
One of the largest centers for asylum seekers in Europe is located in the former homes for the American soldiers stationed at Sigonella, which is itself the largest military base in the Mediterranean. The title (Homes for America) refers to the work published by Dan Graham on Arts Magazine, December 1966. Also, the documented landscape references the Townships photographed by David Goldblatt. Both references contain connotative meanings and suggestions that reflect on the meaning of citizenship in the era of globalization.
Naval Air Station Sigonella “The Hub of the Med” is a U.S. Navy installation in Sicily, Italy. It is located at some 40 km south of Mount Etna. Because of its location near the center of the Mediterranean Sea, NASSIG is the Navy’s second largest security command, second only to that located at Naval Support Activity Bahrain. In 2011, after the Navy considered ending its lease for family housing in Sicily, it had closed the Mineo housing area. Mineo housing area was leased by Pizzarotti & Co. to the Italian government as a housing center for asylum seekers, many of them refugees from the “Arab spring” revolts in Tunisia and other North African countries. It has since grown notorious in local media and among immigration advocates, who say the facility puts too many people in units, with little access to health care and little progress on their cases.
WELCOME “Benvenuti!” On behalf of the entire Housing staff, welcome to your new home! Our purpose is to provide you with adequate, safe, and secure living quarters, and to support you and your family while you reside in the Mineo Housing Complex. The Mineo Trouble Call Desk provides assistance to meet routine, urgent, and emergency breakdowns or repairs not deemed the responsibility of the resident in accordance with the lease. It is your responsibility to promptly report any maintenance issues which may cause structural damage to your unit or effect habitability […]
RESIDENT RESPONSIBILITIES Residents are required to keep the Housing staff informed of any changes in projected rotation date, home and mobile telephone numbers, or people other than immediate family living in your quarters. Preventive Maintenance Inspections (PMI) are a requirement according to the Lease and are not optional […] Be advised that you will be held financially liable for returning quarters to the original condition upon check-out […]
Guests are welcome to visit you and your family while you reside in the complex, but please ensure your guests comply with all Security regulations. You, as the sponsor, will be held accountable for the actions of your guests […] Maintain your household noise to a minimum, keep your yard and carport areas tidy and clean, and be respectful towards your neighbors […]
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VADEMECUM According to the Dublin Regulation (no. III 1. 604/13) you cannot decide freely in which Nation to request protection […] For the Regulation, a “citizen of a third country” is any person who is not a citizen of European Union or who is not a citizen of a State which doesn’t subscribe to the Regulation for doing an agreement with the Union […]
During the procedure to establish whether Italy is the competent country to examine the request for asylum, your status on the Italian territory is therefore that one of an asylum seeker […] The law establishes that you may seek the assistance of a lawyer. If you are unable to pay a lawyer, you may do a petition for receiving free legal assistance (sponsored by the Nation) […]
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