Diving into poetry
Letizia Calori & Violette Maillard
22 May 2021 > 22 August 2021
The ancient city of Roca is one of the most important Mediterranean emporiums of the Bronze Age, a nodal point in the trade routes linking the Aegean Sea to the Adriatic, an intense place that at the height of its expansion became the target of numerous raids until it became a den of pirates and was razed to the ground in the 14th century. Ancient civilisations, true protohistoric centres, which had a certain influence on the balance of trade in the Mediterranean and which, as a result of turbulent or traumatic episodes, reversed their evolutionary course and fell into oblivion. The morphology of these places, mainly characterised by cliffs of sedimentary rock, seems to follow the unfortunate historical path. The cliffs are particularly friable because they are made up of fragments of underwater fossil material layered with calcareous corpuscles the size of sand, and are severely tested by impending coastal erosion and the massive tourist presence that seasonally invades this part of the territory. Seen from above, the Grotta della Poesia takes the form of a large eye emerging from the centre of the archaeological area.
The cavity, which is also engraved with countless epigraphs that have marked the anthropised landscape from protohistory to the present day, was created by the collapse of the vault, which gave shape to a natural basin in which all of these temporalities we are analysing converge: the time of geological sedimentation and historical-anthropological time. A few metres away, skilled divers perform whirling leaps into the void, giving shape to a contemporary ritual. Throwing themselves off and climbing up the rock in a perpetual cycle that manifests itself around the singular community of the angels of Roca, guardians and visitors of the fragile cliff, steeped in history.
By capturing through photography a few particular moments of this popular phenomenon, diving into poetry cancels out the temporal variables inherent in the double movement in focus: the geomorphological one of the rocks emerging from the sea and the anthropological one of the bodies pushing towards the water. It investigates by subtraction the unexplored spatialities produced in the relationship between rock stratifications and muscular tensions, between movement and apparent immobility, restoring a memory deeply rooted in the forms and compositions of the substances.
of the 5th century BC, a representation that evokes another funerary painting, this time Etruscan, from the last decades of the 6th century BC. Both images, as in the series of shots printed on photographic film by Calori & Maillard, visually fix the moment in which the extreme limit of reality is overcome, where the fall and the ascent become a metaphor for human events and the cyclical nature of life. The exhibition is part of Scuola Popolare, a performance of words between gesture and architecture, financed under the extraordinary 2020 programme for culture and entertainment of the Region of Apulia.
Region of Apulia.