Cage dress

In Pieve of Teco there is a path that leaves where the country finishes and comes loose along the torrent Arrogna, next to farm-houses, meadows, under the shadow of a wood, between old boundary walls and uncovered medieval churches, as far as the sanctuary of Madonna of the Fanghi. It’s a road that crosses the nature, and memory relates our history: the relationship between human being and the earth, the work of hands that dig, build in the respect of places, following the ansae of the torrent, the inclinations of the ground, the silent  stone, the flowing water, the wind between the branches, the steeps on the path. A man who tore up to the nature shreds of his lap to do sacred places where to work or to pray. In this contest also the work is sacred: a way to find a balance between survival and respect of nature, between the self and the world. The 12 artists, that in these two years gave substance with more than 20 works to this ambitious project of open museum, covered the path, listened it, stones, water, wind, echo of voices of women and men that along the path have walked, worked, sang, prayed, maked love, collected stones, wood, old implements of work, cult objects, and with new words the artists have repeated old speeches, perhaps forgotten, but always actuals, they sang old songs.
DeNNIS FAZIO with “Chi u ghè me”, a big rake planted in the stones of earth of Liguria, relates us centuries and generations of titanic work to rip to the nature rags of earth to cultivate and to the world a place where to survive, while with “Araknos” (Spider) shows us the traps of nature, our arcane scares, but also the thin beauty, the enchantment of these imminent dangers and their naturalness.
CORNELIA BADELITA hides a classic statue of the Madonna between shrubs and branches, simulating a finding again, perhaps reporting a condition of oblivion, with a simple gesture, in apparent agreement with place and its history, and perhaps for this apparent tautology subtly disarming.
FABIAN & BARNI (Fabiano Speziari e Patrizia Barnato) like ancient shamans place “traps” for spirits along the path (The hunter of souls) or build monuments, totemic objects: a big sphera of braiding branches, red stones, an arch of braiding branches to across, cosmic symbols, ritual passages.
SIMONE AZZURRINI in a “hortus conclusus” fencing in stones, rural and mystic place, that it was been a cemetery, builds an alchemyc architecture with iron, stones, rope, wood, fire: a mysterious totem in the middle of a sacred place (“New place”).
ELENA SARACINO does to rise (or to sink) a big half-moon and a star in the sea of grass, as two big and votive sculpture of arcane and astral divinities (“Descend the night).
With my “Astral course”, circles of iron, pieces of old barrels, I have related my wreck between sky and earth: between the stones of an ancient church ruins, my fossil ship is stranded in a circle of stones, the bow is mounted between branches of a small wood in the sacred place, the vault uncovered, iron woops suspended to recall orbits of heavenly spheres. Along an old wall of stones I have spreaded seven small cases of my memory (“Personal matters”) and on a tree I have hanged up strange fruits of a common memory about peasant world, buried by cement (“Strange fruits”).
Another exception to the welter of imaginary animals that emerge from time to time along path and torrent: insects or big spiders of wood or rusty iron (“Rusigno” of Seno and “Araknos” di Fazio), improbable post-modern monkeys made with pieces of an old bike or an old motor-bicycle (“Developing cycle” of Paolo Lo Giudice), whales made with crusty cement that playfully wink to Moby Dick of Melville, to the Leviathan of Hobbes, to the Whale of collodi (“Pinocchio come back soon” of Patarini, Fabian & Barni, Fazio), imaginary animals made with old peasant tools (“Imaginary animals” of Jane Rose Speiser), funny monkeys with big eyes, without body, in droves, fix you from the path (“The intruders” of Fabian & Barni). An extraordinary small bestiary by different modes (deformation, enlargement, disproportion, replacement organic-mechanical), key effect of wonder or dispacement playful or ironic.
And an additional speech exception is made for 4 works that could be called interactive and involves the viewer, transforming the viewer into a fullyfledged user.
DENNIS FAZIO with “Caress harmonious” invites the viewer to ring the work, touching it with a caress.
JULIA JORDAN with “In the shoes of the tree” shows, by means of some mirrors placed artfully into a kind of tunic of rope to spiral that spins around, what the tree sees, getting in touch scenery, viewer and the tree. The viewer, thanks to “Pinocchio come back soon”, enters instinctively into the abdomen of the whale, taking the place of Pinocchio, temporarily out. With “Creative space for lovers” the viewers are invited to leave a tangible sign of their love, take a picture and put it on Internet.
So, along the path, animals, objects, instruments, fossil ship, sacred architecture, interactive works, but non a human figure. Only at the end of course two works on the trees hint directly or indirectly to a human presence (female), or perhaps is better to say “hint to an absence”: a small dress of raffia for a little girl or for a young girl (“Dress cage” of CRISTINA CHERCHI) and the photo of a body, wrapped in a kind of sudarium, the cocoon of a chrysalis (“E Maris exiens” of ROSANNA PRESSATO).
What is the sense of this course? Perhaps this open museum advises that tradition and nature can become contemporary art. The contemporary artist can rinse the clothes into Arrrogna and to find again a sense to do art. Further the style and the market. To find a new relationship with public, with people: a direct, free and playful relationship, without solemn explanations or criticism, cryptic interpretations.
In the sign of game and wonder, of sound and dialectic relationship with nature and with the memory.
Virgilio Patarini

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