That’s the plan

So far I have accomplished the first stage: 7000 plastic bags moulded in to their shape. These will go on top of 1000 bamboo sticks.  Cutting and collecting bamboo canes will engage me next. The third part for the preparation of the green house installation at Casa Didun is to attached the ‘heads to the canes’.
In the fifth phase I will plant them into the ground while before that, the fourth phase, will consist in organizing the opening event: a small town festival amidst  the artwork inside the green house with food and music. A pot-luck with music and art!
There will be another phase to work on: getting in touch with local schools to try to get them involved if not just for one workshop as well as contacting local administrations and business to have them participate in any way possible if not just to introduce them to our programme and open their eyes of what is happening around them!
This will take up to December, right before Xmas. 
November seems to be a dead period here anyhow, so Monica and I are thinking to take advantage of the upcoming festive moods!

In November I will also be working full time helping out my parents. This won’t leave much room for art. It takes time for one person to make art work as well as to organize an art event and set the foundation for an artists programme. 

So if you are out there and have any ideas on how to help out gives us a shout! Maybe you could help by promoting this venture!
Last week my friend Ilia kindly drove down from Milano to introduce us to her friend Corrado Elena. Corrado is a passionate culture lover and the organized of Villa Faraldi Art Festival. Villa Faraldi is a lovely little town nestling in the nearby hills of Diano Marina (http://www.villafaraldifestival.com/).
I am hoping that our meeting might lead to future art collaborations between Dolcedo and Villa Faraldi spreading culture, art and any other exchange of any other sort whilst providing artists with new exciting opportunities.

Here are few pics of how bits of the 7000 plastic bags have spread around taking over space. Now they have been tamed and squeezed in to big laundry bags, stored until I am ready to set them up in December.

Answer to my erratic jogging thoughts

I thought I paste below here Jennifer’s reply to my erratic jogging thoughts.

I think her writing is much more to the point and clearer than all my words, what she wrote is exactly what I mean!

I am so glad that Italy preserves history, this is drastically important. But, of course, it must make new art history and not let the past stop the new from happening. While conserving and making available precious and essential antiquities, it must also participate in creating a fresh, GREEN contemporary art history that will ALSO change the world. The Great Repressed in America is, in fact, history, as we rush to constantly make it new (so said Ezra Pound). Somewhere we have to have a balance.


SO RIGHT!
thank you Jennifer!

ERRATIC JOGGING THOUGHTS



I went jogging, a drizzly October day.  

The mist binding the silver leaves. Argent drops sprinkling off the sea breeze.  
I sweat my way up the invisible path breaking through the olive groves. 
Pregnant branches brush against my dry skin. Tiny oval fruits getting ready to be wed. 
Soon white nets will dress them up into a dreamy winter landscape
Only then will the elves come out on the terraces to start their festive dance…

 

 

A LUCKY HYBRID

Like Dolcedo Italy lies in a particular position. As a hybrid creature myself I cannot help but think of it as a fortunate advantageous point. Italy is nor West or East, not South or North not Rich or Poor. It could be all or none of them. That might be the reason of Italians lack of assertiveness, a typical Levantine skill!  

Italy is mediterranean!  Not making the most of its luck.

“In the end we are levintines!” Would surrender in a sorry nod my friend Gianni. 


While jogging to clear up my head I started to wonder if everything I wrote so far on Casa Didun does make any sense.
I am aware of the many contradictions that muddle my narration. In the end I am hoping that someone will be able to read through those entangled lines and weave some sense out this skein.


A bundle of words are an emotional loving attack. In my case a critique to the excesses of the past. A critique to the new excesses of the future. A critique to the leading examples today.
More than ever, today, I fear the imminent explosion.  The excesses clashing with the realities of the unprivileged ones: young people, the poor and the environment.


Years of history have not made us wiser. We have instead evolved into estranged beings. 
There is a huge big mixed bag out there. Have we reached the right maturity to pick and choose the good from the bad? 

A bit of this and a bit of that. A bit of good and a bit of bad.

What are you doing?

SHHH, I am cooking!  
100 gr of past 
1 oz of present 
1 cup of future 
one spoonful of hope
a pinch of luck…..

smells good, what are you cooking?

It’s a new recipe!

….stir gently to avoid lumping…..

BOOOM!


In the end the beauty of our world lies in life’s contradictory nature that drags us through its fluxing intangibility. Forever unconquerable, always mysterious, never obvious, impossible to pin down or to define. So why try to be coherent? There is always a new twist around the corner awaiting.




In the next general election, here in Italy for instance, why should young people vote for those politicians representing an old corrupted system that is desperately in need of renovation? 

Clean up your house first, then invite us in. I say! 

Tidy up your messy system and make it appealing for us.  When you are ready,  we come and vote!

Maybe only then real change and improvement can substitute the tired and saturated world of politics.

VISIONARY MONUMENTS

So while I am working away, unfortunately not just on my project at Casa Didun, although so far I moulded 2877 plastic bags out of 7000, I am also thinking:

Italy is saturated with monuments and memorials: an art form that requires huge budgets to keep its legacy and message alive.
Beautiful monuments to history. They’ re all over. They’re the Country’s cultural heritage. Italy’s pride. Italians struggle to preserve and not just financially.
All of them are fabulous, narrating the tale of our history; but the world has changed and we need to tell a different story now. 

As much as it is vital to remember the past I am wondering how to use art to transmit to posterity examples of altruism. Wouldn’t a ‘greener’ environment be a wonderful sculpture for our next generations to enjoy?
Maybe all the bronze horses and their marble pedestals would be better off too! Imagine: darting in the clean air, no pollution gnawing on hoofs or corroding the immortal rider!
My vision is to offer temporary, ephemeral, sculptural manifestations that can have beneficial lasting impact on communities, rather than add more bulky shapes, lasting forever until taken for granted. There is no more room left for imposing stiff presences that cost millions only to get eventually overlooked; mainly ignored because felt distant from people’s every day reality.

Don’t we already have enough monuments, memorials, buildings to maintain? The budgets for art are getting slimmer by the day. Technology labor being privileged over art labor or in fact over any other kind of labour.  How to fit the new artists generation into this tight panorama? How not to loose the artisan skills of artists’ craftsmanship? 

A lighter more flexible and humble art form that can squeeze in between the left over cracks of space, is my option. Personally I believe in the idea of transiency as a method. I like complementing what already exist, interacting with updated interpretations of the world to create a lively exchange between past and present.

How many monuments to nature, or memorials to agriculture are there in western modern world?

It seems to me that we are mostly surrounded by sculptures celebrating power, that is: war, conquests, wealth, religion or death.
Time seems unable to erode those chipped symbols but strengthens them instead. The reality is that they are stale now, hard to chew on and to digest.

The picture I have in mind for Casa Didun is that of a creative festival dedicated to Art&Agriculture that celebrates both disciplines connecting new and ancient forms that cannot be destroyed because even if ephemeral they sprout and bloom out of our souls.

We need art, we need more art to counter balance the dry rarefied air of technology. Let’s not have our human resources drying out in the aseptic breeze nor leave our spiritual fruits rotting on the branches of consumerism.

Let’s balance everything out in a colurful organic and lively scenery that breathes in a healthier environment.

My feelings are nor original or unique, many, many other artists have or are engaged with the same concerns, I only want to follow their footsteps.

THE ART OF PRESERVATION, NOT DISRTUCTION

Agriculture: the Art of regeneration.

Eating is not just to stuff ourselves with food but to celebrate the bondage that exist between our body and the rest of the universe. It’s from a patchwork knitted out of millions of invisible threads that we depend upon; local agriculture being a main thread if not the rope for salvation or at least a guide for better balance.

In the chain reaction of historic events, us the children keep being heirs of a left over world passed on by irresponsible parents.
The political circus that sadly entertains us daily, is clear proof of this fact. Especially here in Italy individualists egotistical interests rule over all the rest, leaving the new generations overwhelmed with having to deal with the aftermath of their parents’ world.

With depressing daily news as constant background to my struggle with my own beloved parents, I wonder if this could be the core of the generational conflict between parents and children.  Somehow I feel we are left to resolve problems we have not created and that have been imposed on us throughout the centuries. Quite a hefty weigh to carry, I say!

Since birth children are victims and scapegoats. Our function purely symbolic. Symbolic metaphors that fulfill the idea of future and freedom. Symbolic attentions is all we really get in the end.  Our parents too busy figuring out their unfair inheritance and having to look after old monuments rather than invest their energies to create the basis for a fair ground for children to grow in.

French obstetrician Frédérick Leboyer reported on how adults are the cause of babies’ unnecessary traumas. By privileging their needs over the newborns ones, adults breach right away on the baby’s right. Not a promising start!
Leboyer’s experience astonishingly revealed to me the general attitude of mainstream adults that probably only Freud will be able to justify.

‘Per una nascita senza violenza’ (‘Birth without violence’) by Frédérick Leboyer, is one of the many books Monica and I have been sharing since college.  As one of those oblivious selfish adults (although I consider myself an adult in process, if not a child), I was surprise by both the pertinency and poetry of that book. In the beginning reading Monica’s books on birth and motherhood was a way for me to share her experience; maybe the only way to understand how to be closer to her new life as a mother. If that was the initial intent, I quickly grew fascinated by the subject and found my self taking notes while borrowing more books. It’s exciting to notice how this subject intertwines and links into the concept of my artwork.

These books provided the mean to open up our worlds and deepen our friendship. It’s in the pedagogic words of Frédérick Leboyer, Michel Odent, Rudolf Steiner we have found new common ground between our two different life styles: Monica as a mother and I as an artist. I believe that those books contain all the ideals and concepts that have lead to found this artists’ residency themed on Art&Agriculture.

The other day Monica quoted Rudolf Steiner and I thought of Picasso: children are born with the innate gift of creativity.  An attentive mother, Monica too was able to ascertain that. Sadly those treasures are generally not celebrated but suppressed instead. In any possible way the rules of our social infrastructure of pre-concepts and expectations destroy what should be preserved and in fact encouraged and supported. Rather than cherish our gifts we are taught to dispose of them for the sake of creative-less adulthood and destruction.
I still remember how back in the days, sparse art classes shattered my creative desire: raw impressionistic ‘Art Brut’ attempts disappointingly compared to the figurative scholastic mainstream. Instead I found artistic solace in what I called ‘conceptual’ dressing up: dashing clothing compositions unnerving the conservative local crowds. But that didn’t certainly fulfill my creative cravings. I suppressed them for many years and when they later resurfaced I was very fortunate to be able to catch up with that neglected deficiency broadening my horizons and my ability to view and understand the world.

As Michel Odent wrote in his book: ‘The farmer and the Obstrecian’, the prehistoric Neolithic era, when human aggressiveness was an evolutionary advantage, is over. The way for man to survive nature and other human groups was to grow and develop belligerence. Over time this process has reduced the ability of loving, including the love and respect for nature. But things have turned around, it is now a fundamental survival necessity not to destroy life and nature but rather the opposite instead.
We are the product of thousands of years of selection based on the potentiality of aggressiveness. How are we going to revert and stop the process?  The limits and limitations to nature domination have become all too clear now. But how to become a new human being and develop a new dialogue and respect for nature? How to unify with Mother Nature? Michel Odent’s answer is love! The ability of loving is an early experience that starts at birth, a ritual that has been corrupted and distorted.
This contemporary epoch  has been characterized by a deep lack of interest for the planet’s future and lack of compassion for future generations. Our ecological instinct is shattered  by a quasi genetical alteration of our capability to love. How to retrieve that ability?

Could agriculture lead us through that regenerating process? To learn how to care for our land that feeds our body and our souls feels right to me.

Through motherhood Monica has been transformed into a new person less focused on her individuality but looking out to the collectivity instead. Casa Didun is the result of hers and mine evolutionary journey that has lead us so far. Art&Agricolute is how we intend to tackle our concerns while preserving or resuscitating the good that is in the world: agriculture and creativity.

I am pasting here the synopsis of Michel Odent’s book that I have found on the internet and that can better explain the connections I have been making so far:

“While interchanging ideas the farmer and the obstetrician realise to what extent they both manipulate the laws of nature. They analyse the striking similarities between the industrialisation of farming and the industrialisation of childbirth, which developed side by side during the twentieth century. In both cases an innovation was usually presented as the long-awaited solution to an old problem. For example the advent of powerful synthetic insecticides has overnight dramatically reduced costs and increased agricultural productivity.” “Similarly, the advent of the modern safe technique of caesarean section offered serious new reasons to create gigantic obstetrical departments, so that all women could give birth close to operating rooms and specialised medical teams. But soon after the immediate enthusiastic reactions, a small number of sceptics expressed doubts and voiced fears concerning probable negative long-term consequences of the widespread use of novel little-tested attitudes or practices. Although repeated warnings went apparently unheeded, they motivated the development of alternative attitudes. Moveover they became the roots of organised movements involving increasing numbers of consumers.” At the turn of the century the history of industrialised farming suddenly speeded up. A collective global awareness was sparked by a series of disasters, particularly mad cow and foot-and-mouth diseases. In contrast, industrialised childbirth has not yet reached the same phase of its history”