PAV Parco D’Arte Vivente, Torino
Sopra i figli dei figli il sole!
When I was a child, I often asked myself if my life was related to that of people who had live din times and spaces different from mine.I thought that to each act corresponded an, even minimal, movement of energy, and that this energy, like that generated by the sound of a cicada, could influence the course of events and History.
My grandfather, Serafino Rossetti (1991), with his elegance and his long thin hands remind me of a pianist. He did everything but the pianist in his life. He was of noble origins, his family lived in Cerrito Guidi, in the province of Florence. His father, great player of “everything” (cards, horses, dices) and a regular prostitute client, lost a fortune. For this reason my grandfather’s custody was given to the Cioli family in Livorno, who owned the famous Cioli cafe and, at the age of 8, he found himself washing glasses behind a bar.
Then the wars came, the thousands of jobs one had to do for the survival of himself and his family and, finally, the railway. Serafino was incredibly proud to be chief engineer and to live in the city where the Italian Communist Party was born; for him, everything that came from the East was beautiful, even the Russian female weight throwers of the Olympics seemed to him some “pretty ladies”.
I spent most of my childhood with my grandfather, listening to the tales retracing history: the two world wars, the reconstruction, the economic boom. It was a world of minor stories, of marginal characters who contributed in significant ways to the great transformations of the twentieth century.
In the meantime, time passed and it wasn’t through my grandfather’s stories that I leaned about history anymore, it was history telling its own story, unfolding in front of my own eyes. I saw the tourist attack at the train station in Bologna, Ustica’s massacre, the fall of the Berlin wall and the attack to the Twin Towers, the Moby prince, the Amoco Milford Haven, Berlusconi. I saw globalisation happen, witnessed identity and individual freedom being pulverised by social networks, I saw the triumph of mass society and the world being colonised by international brands. History traveled through me and sometimes I travelled through it without realising it.
“Follow with your gaze these creatures flying in the sky: they don’t do planting nor reaping, neither have they got granaries to amass the harvest. It’s your father, the celestial one, who thinks about feeding them” (Matthew 6,26)
The goal in life should be, I think, to find the right place in the order of things: we didn’t make the world or ourselves; we live using life, not creating it. To think means to be free, unmanageable and unclassifiable. Every little daily act can be a small individual act of resistance to the ruling economic and political system.
I’ve always dedicated my interests to the minor figures who the official history voluntarily didn’t mention or deliberately kept to the “margins” because considered a source of disturbance or a destabilising force for the system itself.
I’m thinking for instance, to Masanobu Fukuoka, the father of shizen nŏhŏ, the agriculture of “not doing”: a form of natural agriculture done without the use of pesticides and idrocarburis and in total opposition to the western farming science. I am thining of Horace de Sassure, who invented the solar cuisine and Gogliardo Fiaschi, anarchic from Carrara who can be defined as the first Italian environmentalist. Or even, I’m thinking of the physic Nikola tesca, Serbian inventor and engineer, and of Pier Luigi Ighina, assistant of the more popular Guglielmo Marconi, and lastly of Ivan Ilich, who theorised the concept of de-growth.
A history of men who, with their ideas, actions and ways of living, have enacted a quiet, marginal resistance to the capitalist system and opened imaginary landscapes made of poetry, hope and, mainly, future. These are the personalities outside of history because against history before and after history. The project developed at PAV with the title Sopra i figli dei figli, il sole! considers the theme of resilience through a series of lateral considerations which reflect on the lower-case history, on the temporal mutations, and on the cycle of life opposed to eternity.
The idea is to intervene on the sculpture of an anonymous artist from the past century and the install the work in the museum’s park. Since I was a child, I have lived with this sculpture. It’s a plaster cast of a deer. I have always taken it with me, overtime I have moved home, thorough the course of almost XXX years. The paster is an incredibly frail material, not easy to preserve and so the sculpture underwent many transformation due to atmospheric agents and accidents: first it lost its ears, then part of the arts and, eventually, falling, it cracked in multiple places. The intention is to act a further transformation of the sculpture through a bronze cast. the result is a bronze deer with a sprouting potato on its head. I intend to place the potato in the sculpture as a constitutivee element of the sculpture itself; as an element natural which is mutating, a vital flux which cannot be controlled by men and which invites us to reflect on our relationship with the “Eternal” (represented by the bronze) and the ephemerality of the vital element which mutates in relation to external circumstances (the potato): it is a work that strives to resist through transformation and to adapt to the circumstances.