Maca - Museum of Contemporary Art, Alcamo
artist Nelle Gevers
curated by RISA - Research Institute for Spontaneous Action
artist assistant Anna Brussi
graphic design Francesca Maciocia
documentation Giovanni Bozzoli
research Claudia Lombardo, Leonardo Ruvolo, Ignazio Messana
sound design Giuseppe Calamia
set designer Gabriele De Giovanni
executive producer Francesco Stabile
The gestation and curatorship of the project was shared by Nelle with the members of the association and with some local figures and businesses; specifically, prof. Ignazio Messana, Ideas to Embroider by Gina Fulco, Arte Inox and Abate Demolizioni. The artist's research initially focused on the area of the free thermal baths of Segesta, the Freddo river and the archaeological areas that branch off along its course. From the inspections carried out, together with prof. Ignazio Messana, finds and materials have emerged suggesting fantastic conjectures about the rituals of the civilizations that inhabited these places. The memory of these actions that celebrate the relationships between humans and non-humans are inscribed in the landscape. A first part of this research emerged with the "Hydropilgrimage to Crimiso" held on 8 December 2019; a ritual linked to collective feminine practices and to the divinities who inhabit the river. “Hydroemergency” is both a ritual and a story, what remains of this process made up of images, stories and symbols.
Posto Segreto, Alcamo
Video by Piero Ramella and Lucia Palladino
Posto Segreto, Alcamo
curated by Lucia Palladino/Piero Ramella
“Space was holy to
the pilgrims of old, till plane
stopped al that nonsense”
(W. H. Auden)
The landscape is a cluster of relationships from a specific point of view, which includes the point of view itself. Therefore, it becomes what it is in the relationship with a body that continues to transform it: the landscape becomes a body and the body becomes the landscape in a continuous interdependent transformation process. The landscape is thus a space of alterity which can produce infinite points of views, without being reduced to them and preserving its opacity. The Pilgrimage project is born, indeed, from the urgency to take a political position against the aesthetics of transparency. Beyond its democratic facade, the “transparency society” is the dictatorship of the self where no otherness is allowed. We believe that in order to transform information into resources we need to preserve a certain degree of opacity: accessibility implies loss. We intend this practice as a form of contemplative activism which can transform our sight on the world around us and therefore the world itself. Pilgrimage is part of a research project started in 2012 by Lucia Palladino and joined by Piero Ramella in 2017. In the years it has been developed both through our shared artistic practice and through many public workshops. It is part of our research project in A.PASS Post‐master program (Brussels).
Casa degli artisti
Via XV Maggio 29, Alcamo
Curated by R.I.S.A. Research Institute for Spontaneous Actions
We imagine the house not as a simple guesthouse, for the exclusive use of artists in residence, but as a multifunctional space co-managed and cared for the cyclical activation of temporary communities. Art is political when it becomes an instrument of social emancipation accessible to all. For this it is necessary to remain within a legal sphere without however wanting to limit the possibilities of the communities and instead trying to develop diplomacy discourses regarding the subversive possibilities of art in contemporary society.
From ACTION to COMMUNITY: performing together
Text by Leonardo Ruvolo
Photos by Giovanni Bozzoli
Why should contemporary art be interested in community approach?
· knowing everything that happens
· profiting from being everywhere
· having relations with everyone
What radical community(ies) put on the table today, on the altar of its own sacrifice, is: no money in exchange for something/nothing. What I experience living among communities, temporary or less, organized or not, is the fact that all the actions they perform are done for the sake of the community existence itself. This has nothing to do with the art system idea, producing contemporary aesthetics, ornamental artefacts and speculative financial-based value objects.
What is community art?
Assuming capital as pure automatic code, crunching data and rendering reality, imposing a totalitarian connection of personal durations, functionalized to the general machine, community is a barricade against this latter stage of territorialisation. First, the community wants to prove that money-flow can’t break relation links between communists. Art produced, not considering money as a necessary a-priori, is always avant-garde. Further, community arises from time to time around a common goal. And because every single individual has its own proper strategy about the immanent fact of being here, in the world, community is ontologically temporary. It lasts till the moment when at least two of the communists will perform together in any action. For these two reasons, the community aesthetic embodies its own survival strategy, or the whole set of strategy implemented by the communists.
Which strategy does the contemporary radical community implement?
Community it is committed to define a strategy to survive rather than aesthetic. Its success depends on the fact of its pure existence. Economic inequality brought the community to rethink what are the conditions of existence, starting from the fact that it is not money-based, but time-based. Conditions of existence are those that answer the question “how long do you want to stay in?”
First, we have to clarify private and individual conditions of existence
1. which are your minimum living standard (how)
2. my time for the community (long)
Then, we can start to discuss which are collective conditions of existence
· property ---> from ownership to usership
· food ---> growing it, supply it locally, not buy it
· expenses ---> everyone contributes because of its income and its wealth
· alliances ---> private sponsor, better if you bind them not through money
---> local institution, ask for assurance and spaces
---> get in contact with community around you
Why erase any theme, topic or issue? And how is this related with object oriented ontology?
Conceptual frames are boring. No one likes to be trapped in anyone else’s fantasy. Topic or issue, as well as doing a collective project for the sake of participating, is not the right way to free collective entropy; that is community engine. Living together and doing things together imply a series of functions and objects, which represent the nearest infrastructure on which a community will expand its power of attraction. Discovering the function and creating the objects are the crucial direction followed by the common action. In this way, the community avoids being trapped in a specific aesthetic, everything is possible, the future is open. There is actually nothing that can’t be approached through community art methods.
Who takes care of the time we spend together? What’s the relation between patience and time?
In their duration things appear and persist in their actuality. Time is the continuous comparison of different duration. This is why its duration is the measure of its success. Community, being formed by an individual human entity, has a fragmented lifetime made by individual commitment duration. The ultimate goal would be to develop a dispositive for which none feels trapped in the timeline of someone else. During a common duration, the time-keeper is the one taking care of the spontaneous agreement for which any timeline has not to colonize the other's timeline. Decolonization of other’s time passes through personal conflict, clash and riot. One against each other, community becomes toxic because it is manipulated and monopolized by those implementing consensus rule. Consensus doesn’t really work. That is why I believe in assuring a continuous dialectical conflict between the communists. At the very end, not everyone should agree on everything. Community lasts when each communist recovers room to make a decision. This process needs to be curated, protected and hidden. Out there, there are people with the worst intention.
Maria Santissima dei Miracoli
Via Raffaello n°3, Alcamo
Fresco and graffiti by Emajons
The writer is the author of the work.
I must first of all thank those who made possible the creation of the work. This mural. It is not conventional or easy to read. He wants to push the viewer's attention to stop a little longer than usual. It is also not conventional to have freedom of expression and language when painting in public places. Usually those who grant permission or are promoters of an event have a great interest in having the works made be appreciated by everyone, often at the expense of the artist's work and the intellect of the spectators. Works that are easy to read, easy to consume, easy to appreciate. I thank those who asked me to work, those who granted the permits, those who helped me and the inhabitants of the neighborhood, who gave logistical support on the days when I needed to leave materials and tools in their homes. I feel lucky that I was able to paint freely. For these reasons I feel entitled and obliged to explain the work in order that it is at least partially conceived. The technique oscillates between two main ones: the fresco and the graffiti. I wanted to leave parts of the wall as I found them, so that the paint integrates with the substrate and the underlying layers. The materials used are 95% eco-sustainable. That is, 95% of the work, if destroyed, can be thrown to the ground without polluting. A small part of the bottom was prepared with concrete to solidify the wall in poor condition. I am thinking of a fixative that can be applied to the entire surface to protect and prolong the resistance of the plaster. The composition moves around the figure of a central woman's face, the Madonna, painted on the corner so that she can be seen changing by optical illusion looking at it from different points. The most imposing figure is a white horse with a dark head on which back there are two birds. To the right of the horse a yellow sun. In the drawing a Gorgon stands out. Ancestor of the Greek goddess Demeter and then of Mary for Christians, the ancient Gorgon represented respect for mother earth and her power was symbolically represented through an animal face in the body of an agile woman. These works are to be considered paintings: sometimes an embellishment, sometimes a story, sometimes a pastime pleasure appreciated by few. In addition to the work itself, painting a wall means intervening more or less on the urban space. For me in some cases, like this one in Alcamo, working on the street means living in the place for a few days. I would like that starting from a design we can really improve the quality of life of a place and I claim the right to report what I have observed. The space would be perfect for an associative place for passers-by: it could have a fountain and a few small benches, vases or a tree to provide shade, and a minimal modification to the ground to become a place where children can meet and play. The stairs have no easy passage for a pram or pushchair. In the whole street there are only inhabitants and no commercial activities therefore people would benefit from a meeting place. I don't know how to make formal conclusions. A greeting.
Nature and variations of the desire for a building or the girls in concrete
Motel Beach, Alcamo Marina
Text by Luca Ruali
Solar panel and smoke performance by Minkia Cavuru
From 12 to 16 October 1957 at the Grand Hotel et des Palmes, a series of summits between Sicilian and American mafia also established new directions for the international trafficking of heroin and indicated the Motel Beach of Alcamo Marina as an operational base. A designation that establishes a first confusion, when it indicates a subtle atmosphere of an economic boom and musicians far from the literary structure of the Palermo hotel. A slight modern ambition, which does not detect the allusion of the American title of the structure to unexpected desires from the codes that generated the small building, which instead seems to adhere for a decade to innumerable family practices from summer holidays. However, the terrible origin allows the methods of investigation and establishes an analog field that enables the recovery of clues and traces. The data are few: The Motel Beach had 18 rooms with 36 beds, restaurant, bar, dancing, two swimming pools, its own beach with 32 wooden cabins and 60 umbrellas and a large square for parking cars. But from the photos the rooms look like 12. From the central terrace overhanging the facade you can see what happens inside without any privacy. Are there shadows in this structure? Does the narrow body of the building hide 6 cavities? The trace on the ceiling of a leather soundproofing as soon as the building widens into the restaurant room, what does it indicate? Instead the structure is overexposed. Attics and thin walls in the sun, the 12 rooms are very hot in summer. The dance floor that reverberates and remains impassable until sunset. Even now dismantled and broken, Motel Beach reveals nothing but its lightweight concrete. As the only excessive dimension and the only mortal possibility, that of the pillars of the ground floor, double and even triple compared to the section necessary to support the little weight of a single floor. A structure that is not even able to host the projection of a hierarchy similar to the one that generated it. The 12 horizontal and symmetrical chambers; the decor that multiplies the bar model of circular table and colored chairs in woven plastic, with a few exotic episodes of sofas and upholstery. Another inadequate confusion or a diversion, a kaleidoscope, a mask. A Motel without shadows as without the branches of plants. Even as a ruin, nature inhabits it superficially. Motel Beach maintains the choice of a single sedimentary and limestone gradient from the broken marble around the swimming pools, to the concrete of the walls up to the desire for the beach crossing the road, allowing only the low hedges of the docks between the parked cars. How to build a feeling of revenge on a structure so fine that after a few seasons it must have shown signs of wear from the sea air, symptoms of the current one. What is the direction of a structure that becomes a ruin due to an erosion that affects its contours, blurring them, hinting at a summer proposal, a joke of light due to distortion of heat. And if the dark aspect is reduced to the structure, it remains confined to the pillars and beams and the vocation of this building is that of a memorial dedicated to those who disappeared in the concrete.
I have the will to believe that luminous circumstances are determinants of that mnemonic movement of recognition of spatial coordinates in a given interval of time. The materials that define the landscape, from rock to brick, by addition or subtraction, modulate the luminous architecture in which we navigate by arm. In conditions of zero visibility, the sailor equipped with a sounder, a weight tied to a rope, measures the depth of the seabed with his arms. The boom is also a land measurement unit. If we were to imagine throwing a sounder, whose weight is a small shard of glass, backwards along the timeline, we would perhaps be able to record the variable movement of the electromagnetic spectrum, through the cathode light of a TV against the glass of a window, in the gap between a sand platform and a concrete wall, or between the vertigo of marble. Light, carried in suspension by rivers, settles on the bed of watercourses or on land that has been flooded. Oxidizes pigments, on the shores of time and flint nodules. Breaking down, building and living, they aim to dominate the dawn and the reverberation, redesigning their temperature, refraction and absorption, beyond the natural order or the immediate aspect of the things of the world. If only we perceived the space, following a zeroing of the needs and living variables, we would perhaps be able to reabsorb the luminous data as the center of our crossing.
Motel Beach by Cave Studio Dario Di Liberti
Ad un passo dal... con Wi-Fi - Roberto Vito D'Amico with a text on New Sicilian Meddle Age of Leonardo Ruvolo
Of the Reinvention of the Sacred Image of Our Lady of Mercy
Via Raffaello n.3, Alcamo
Performance by Lorenzo Raspanti
Photos and set by Nicola Provenzano
Performer: Lorenzo Raspanti, Giuseppe Internicola, Mario Impellizzeri, Giorgia Diodato, Sarah Tarantino, Francesco Stabile, Gino Di Leo, Filippo.
Forgetful, now all blind, deaf, mute, do we drag ourselves joyfully towards an endless precipice? Or we can still hope to stop for a moment and try to go back, to re-tie the threads of a lost humanity, return to desire to live in peace and in harmony with all living beings, in nature, in this land that does not belong to us. Xo fragile in our infinitesimal time, similar to a light breath of wind, a mistral wind that carries columns of black smoke upwards, to obscure the immense turquoise blue of the sky.
Let's make a fire and then we draw
Sicilmarmi, Alcamo Marina
Painting by Lucio Maggio.
Sulfur and fire performance by Minkia Cavuru.
Photos by Cave Studio - Dario Di Liberti
We destroy complex ecosystem and create disorganized life, cement and iron crumble anyway.
In this chronicity we are primitive again, so let's make a fire and then we draw.
Isole dentro l'isola
directed by Davide Belinghieri
concept and research Leonardo Ruvolo
executive producer Francesco Stabile
with Claudio Oliva, Tobia Pollina, Salvatore Fundarò, Daniele Saullo