ATLAS OF SURVIVAL (2018)
The idea of this project came together while I was working on my MA dissertation in which I have analysed in depth Aby Warburg’s theory of time as a vortex of non-linear époques, in which history is seen as a filtered narrative of the past. Aby Warburg used to address the history of art as "ghosts stories for adults". It is that kind of history which forms around dynamics of latent memories and awakenings. What has been destroyed? What is remaining and why? “Atlas of Survival” is an ongoing project about Sicilian history and its symbolic world, in which I’m trying to unfold the process of hybridisation that Sicily and more specifically the area enclosing the city of Palermo, my hometown, experienced. This geographical area has been always called "La Conca d'oro" (The golden hollow). The ephinet alludes to the concave conformation of the territory and to its fertility. It is interesting to note how the images that the golden hollow arouses are in total opposition to reality. The figures of the hollow are optimistic, happy and untroubled, and recall a dreamy imaginary past.They represent the inhabitants' wishes rather than what the Golden hollow actually is today. Questioning the rigidity of historiography, I am interested in what has been left out by the latter, and how Sicilian symbolism can be re-thought and re-understood. I do this by referring back to the Byzantine mosaics in which Christian images floats in immense golden backgrounds. In my images, where pagan and christian iconology is mixed together, the golden drape acts as a sort of Godly presence, filling the obscure gaps left out by historiography. The bold and sometimes kitsch language of "Atlas of survival" brings to the surface anachronisms and contradictions. If on one hand, some symbols have always been present to the eyes, yet their absurdities muted by the overwhelming and recurring aesthetic; others deal with "things" relegated in a dark limbo of knowledge where everything at some point turn in indecipherable hieroglyphs.
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