15.MAY.2009   18.JUL.2009

ENZO UMBACA BOAT WRECKER

“The project conceived of for this exhibition, derives from memories of childhood places and those beaches where still now people go to the seaside in the summer, spending whole days near lots of old boats abandoned by the immigrants who landed on the Ionian shore.” The sea has always been a means of communication and of cultural and social development, especially for Italy and Southern Europe, which these communities perceive as a strong element of progress and development, synonymous with economic and cultural progress. What does immigration mean today? In which ways do we perceive it and how will it change our culture? We are in a way visually accustomed to these changes, but if these old boats disappeared from our beaches , how would we perceive the void that they leave? The void is the symbolic absence of those people from their places of origin and for some of them a real loss of life itself, of a dear one or of a family member. For “us” instead it is uncertainty, instability, fear of people who are different, of poverty, of responsibility. “While we are on this subject, I began to think that when the Italian beaches are cleared of these old boats only distant memories will remain and they will disappear as a noise-sound, just as one wave overrides the previous one”. The positive answer that the artist proposes is in the “recovery of meditation” while waiting for a new Phoenix to be reborn from these apparent ashes. Upstairs in the gallery, a sound sculpture, a 44 string harp, a kind of hybrid musical instrument, built with the wood taken from the abandoned boats, with the collaboration of the “Conservatory of traditional music of Calabria” and the photographer and member of the museum Luigi Briglia. A music performance will take place during the opening, where Sara Terzano will give voice to this special instrument. And upstairs also, two videos, “Once upon a time there were boats”, strongly nostalgic boat images, and “Nameless” where a tumbler practises near a group of boats. Downstairs, a sound installation: Pasolini’s poem ‘prophecy’ of 1964, recited by Toni Servillo, in a video downloaded from youtube. An impressive premonition of the immigration towards Italy, made by the writer 40 years in advance.Even if through strongly moving images and poetical sensations, Enzo Umbaca’s research confirm itself as an analitycal and sharp reading of the society, seen from the point of view of the poor. Considerations on poverty, cultural changes, but also on the close relationship that tied Umbaca as a child to thearchetypal element par excellence: the sea.


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