Chárōn | Ferocia illuminata
Marta di Donna / Francesca Mussi / Vincenzo Zancana
a cura di Chiara Bevilacqua
6 July 2021 > 30 July 2021
Chárōn | Ferocia illuminata puts us in front of a burial ground, where the trees now appear reduced to sawdust and ash, to suggest an act of fall and elevation, the catharsis of a charred body, perennial memory of a lost solidity, extreme dissolution of the original form and function."
The three artists propose for the white cube of Lecce the second stage of Chárōn (Caronte) following the first intervention staged in 2018 at Spazio Serra in Milan. The project stems from the interest and research developed by artists around the problem of forest fires in Italy that, since the peak recorded in 2017 (over 140,000 hectares burned) to date, have continued to affect the entire nation. The intent of the work, say our, is to "put artistic responsibility at stake, to awaken public sensitivity" on such an alarming phenomenon. The installation created for Kunstschau, Chárōn - an enlightened ferocity, analyzes the disturbing phenomenon of fires in Puglia in the olive groves affected by Xylella.
If in the Milanese intervention the remains of burnt logs occupied the space arranged without life on the floor or in suspension highlighting some brass prostheses, in Lecce the box of Kunstschau turns into a new sepulchre, where the incinerated trees now appear reduced to sawdust and ash, to suggest an act of fall and elevation, the catharsis of a charred body, perennial memory of a lost solidity, extreme dissolution of the original form and function.
The dusty matter, generated by the final synthesis of burnt wood, is combined with a brass plate - referring to the legend of the golden branch of Aeneas, an initiatory instrument for the descent to hell - bearing the inscription "Cui Prodest" Latin phrase chosen by artists to suggest to the user to ask a question: Who benefits? From the background, posted on the central wall, a photo taken directly by the artists in one of the sites of Salento most affected, identified through a list provided by ACLI cooperative agricultural society.
The entire installation appears chromatically altered by a red plastic sheet that alludes to the violent blazing of flames. For the realization of the work, the artists have resorted both to the remains of fires directly collected on the fields and to the wood chips coming from the FIUSIS SRL of Calimera, a green company active in the production of clean energy from the waste of olive trees hit by Xylella, awarded in Brussels as a model of innovative sustainable development. A meaningful partnership that emphasizes how ecological consciousness can find space in economic processes cancelling the distance between ecological thinking and productive systems. In this sense Chárōn - enlightened ferocity exhorts the viewer to look beyond the drama, to grasp and support the rebirth of là of each death, individual transformation and collective change.