Touroperator Art Exhibition catalog - English -

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Diario di Vite dal Mare di Sicilia


Diario di Vite dal Mare di Sicilia A CURA DI ANNA FIORENTINI


MASSIMO SANSAVINI presenta TOUROPERATOR Diario di Vite dal Mare di Sicilia Musei San Domenico Palazzo Gaddi ForlĂŹ 23 settembre 2 ottobre 2016 Bruxelles, European Parliament, Building Altiero Spinelli 15G346 60, rue Wiertz, B-1047 Brussels 14 -17 novembre 2016 Testi Valeria Arnaldi Pietro Bartolo Daniela Brignone Davide Rondoni Massimo Sansavini Fotografie in studio e opere Graziano Bartolini Fotografie a Lampedusa e pagg.11,24,38,46,48,52 Massimo Sansavini e Giulia Sansavini Fotografia a pag. 58 Leonardo Michelini Ringraziamenti Comune di Lampedusa Procuratore Capo Dott. Renato di Natale Giusy Maria Clemente Abbattista Leonardo Michelini Claudio Rizzi Damiano Zoffoli

con il patrocinio di

Massimo Sansavini


It is the story of an unusual journey...

Journey report, Massimo Sansavini, artist What I’m going to tell with this exhibition is an irregular trip. This is a sort of reverse journey to the Island of Lampedusa. All began at the end of the 2013, it was October when newspapers and medias reported the news of a shipwreck in the waters off Lampedusa, in which more than 360 people died. A tragedy going through the medias along with emotion and solidarity from many people. Until that day the tragic events happening in the Strait of Sicily were known, but they just passed by silently, as many facts that happen, but without really affecting us. Since that day, my attention focused on this issue: castaways, landings, and people seeking to reach Europe from the African coast. Even if the news were similar and continued one after another constantly and regularly, it was clear that, one day at a time, the tremendous phenomenon was growing and going out of control. The 3rd of October became the national day for the victims of migration, since that day, however, the number of victims is increasing relentlessly. For this reason, as an artist, I decided to commit to give a voice to this reality so that contemporary art can contribute to a wider awareness to this phenomenon we have to deal with. The issue of the migratory flows in the XXI century is the key topic for our social changing and for the one of the generations to come. The changing of the political geography is revolutionising the assets of the national organisation, and therefore integration and multi-ethnicity will be issues supposed to deeply change our society in the near future. Divisions among peoples, fear of losing self-sovereignty, are some of the most common and immediate emotional reactions. The consequences are the barriers on the Austrian border, on the borders of the Eastern European Union and on Turkey; the people’s reaction in the UK, that think to an unsafe future for themselves due to the migrants. Generally, for the Europeans there is a lack of knowledge on this issue. For this reasons I believe contemporary art should raise its voice. I think this will be an irreversible changing, to be recorded as a major global event and remembered through the time. A UN study states that in 2050 the Italian population will be by one third composed of migrants. The overall number, however, won’t exceed 62 million people. Maybe nowadays this is not the most appropriate way to speak about migrants and migrations. We can however define this movement of populations as a real diaspora. Who decide to reach Europe make that choice because of survival needs, because they’re forced to leave or deprived of the most fundamental human rights in their homeland.

Many people do not survive this exodus. Medias sadly report countless shipwrecks, in which who has left lost its hopes and expectations on the seabed between Europe and Africa. For the spared ones there’s nothing left to cry for, not a place where to place a flower; for this reason, I started to care about these realities, seeking to look into the motivations, the choices made by those who left. Erich Fromm could be quoted, explaining that having exploited too much the poorest countries without having rewarded them is now producing its effects. As an artist, I tried to catch some aspects I think of primary importance. Understanding the Middle-East reality, investigating on conflicts and on political, economic and religious conflicts. However, what predominantly emerged is the suffering of people, men and women, seeking for the hope of a better world. This path conducted me to go back on the migratory flows up to Lampedusa; I brought my requests to the political and institutional authorities. The Prosecutor General of the Court of Agrigento authorised me to collect parts of the confiscated hulls used by migrants, to be destructed as corpus delicti. I went to Lampedusa with two associates to complete this project, with material and equipment to collect some parts of the hulls stored the former US base “Loran”. A photographic and video documentation was realised. The collection of this selected material, documented and catalogued has been used to create works of art that represent the seabed; the same seabed where the shipwrecks occurred. Every work is composed by a number of elements equal to the victims of that shipwreck and the title the day of the tragedy. The title of the exhibition, “Touroperator”, is referred to the people smugglers. Massimo Sansavini

Lampedusa island (Italy) September 2015

Protocol n. 4 the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights dellle and Fundamental Freedoms Article 4. The collective expulsion of aliens is prohibited. Strasburg 16.IX.1963

Abstraction of flesh and blood, distraction of spirit and conscience VALERIA ARNALDI ART CRITIC

Paper wrote in Italian, the translation is not of the author

Memory. Restitution. Reflection. Hope and illusion. Eventually, unavoidable, sentence. What’s behind appearance and colours -playful, apparently- of the works realised by Massimo Sansavini it’s not soft, it’s a deep and complex issue instead. The works have been realised with materials and tools collected from the hulls placed in the former “Loran” military base in Lampedusa; conceded for the first time to an artist. Small houses, sea-and-sky stars, spirals, twirls, small ships and hearts refer to the tragedy of the foretold news, sadly repeated, that tells every day the tragedy of the migrants. However, the migrants’ tragedy and emergency is soon after forgotten, confused in numbers so massive that, paradoxically, they lose concreteness and become surreal. The figures are getting higher and, consequently, less “alive”. Existences that, plunged into the abyss, first of all the abyss of the crowd, end up transforming into abstract concepts, lacking the matter of the existence. To this distortion by paper and ink that aggregates different individualities in a mere and indistinct quantitative calculation -for report and, maybe, survival needs- Sansavini counterposes the commitment of conscience and, underlined and reaffirmed, matter. Therefore, in his works is present the commitment of the memory that ties a story to every shape, name-less and face-less, without roots and personality, but, in the desperation of the end, rich in details on projects, torment, fear, dreams and ambitions. Promises and bets against time and everyday life. Against the destiny of geography and the (not) reason of State. There is also, even stronger and more intense, the calling to restitution as moral duty: restitution of a dignity, flattened in the number of the forgetfulness, of the indifference and commercialization of the bodies, that establishes a price for every life and possibility as from the beginning of a trade that is, not infrequently, a slaughter for both body and soul. In that abstraction, fed by flesh and blood, that becomes distraction in spirit, conscience, the reflection arises as social, and civil imperative, political as it recall the polis, the community of human beings united in the pietas, core of the humankind itself. A reflection that, to partially compensate, quits the abstraction of philosophy to ask for the dramatic emotion of empathy: the identification

of the Self in the Other, as awareness of a common tragedy since we’re all human beings. Without any historical, geographical, State or racial superstructure. Then, there is the hope. Not to be neglected its involution in illusion. Hope is the engine of the struggle, the sacrifice, the separation. Is that hope of life, fiercely betrayed after, that Sansavini lights up as denunciation of the emergency and condemnation of the emotional silence in which it plunges. Whence every symbol, intentionally minimal and familiar in the lines, studied to re-discover the naivety of the first childish looks to the world - here “new world” - in the essence of subjects and concepts, illustrates a chronicle page, an instant before its disappearance in the rapid, rushed, course of History. There are the forcedly abandoned houses, sometimes with barred windows that transform them into prison cells, to recall the life-not-life that determined one-thousand-and-one escapes, one-thousand-and-one deaths. There are spirals that recall merry ring-around-the-roses, which in the reality are whirlpools, “magic dances” of savage sirens that drive the bodies to the deceit of the abyss. There are stars, beautiful as treasures plunged into the sea, recall of lives and projects buried in the seabed that, turned upside down, in the blue vertigo, transform the bottom into top, enlightening new constellations in the sky. And there are hearts, of every dimension, multiplied, intertwined, joined or lonely. And then waves, hulls, tribal masks of divinity that don’t protect, but recall at every shipwreck its origins, blessing the silent memory. End again, propellers, storms, shooting stars that seem falling into the look as sparks of a far fire. There are “thorns”, geometrical dowels that transform lives in mechanisms, disclosing the potential of movement and construction at every meeting and union, underlining the defect of the mankind-contraption, deprived of some of its components. There are rudders, compass roses, waves. Elements that summarize the trip, cutting in the wood, worn out by the sun and the salt, the “wrinkles” of the strain, the tiredness, the pain. Of the fear of the unknown. And the scratches of the consumed life. Every star in the sea is a plunged body, lost by humanity. Every star in the sky is a soul re-conquered to the wake. To the peace. And in this puzzle of illusions and souls, of many unknown remained without gravestones, the playful shapes of Sansavini, submerged in the blue of the seabeds, don’t recall the terror of the departure, but the betrayed hopes of journeys began under the polar star of a future to be built and, in some cases, to be offered. In the adult “games” of the grief towards a different present, among the colours of tables different for subject and colours, the worsen breath of a conscience

that can’t -anymore- remain impassive, ends up becoming a monotonous tone, combining the illusions remained bud with the fade. Among these, the future of small corps hidden by the waves. Victims that move, in the pictures of the chronicle, but that after all, like any other, get lost… However, in the stories of Sansavini there are no tears. They’re not cut into the hulls. They don’t wet bright colours. No. Sansavini leaves them suspended between the eyelashes of the spectator, calling upon him for a deep sharing due to the communicative immediacy of the iconic synthesis and of that plea-art that transforms every work in warning. And, again, object and tool for the memory, restitution, reflection. No tears. There’s no time to chisel or sculpt it: tragedy over tragedy, the conscience gets used to. The experience teaches that is the repetition of the grief that makes it usual. It’s the repetition of the communion feeling, Sansavini hints us, that moves the souls, avoiding the torpor. As background of the emotional investigation, completing the requests and reporting the necessity, the pictures of the journey made by the artist to collect the hulls. The wood is there, in one piece, but in reality broken, dried out by the sun. There, silent, abandoned, missing their engines. Empty. More lugubrious and disturbing than the yells shouted for long moments during the journey. Not far, coffins piled up, empty, waiting, start “accounting” the death again, and telling the tragedy of the day after, without even giving the time to think about today. Star after star, Sansavini recalls the plunged lives. He offers them the joyfulness of the hoped and told game, offered as pledge for a better world to the children trapped, without any chance to grow up, in the eternity of a moment. He celebrates, work by work, every existence, taking away the voice of the words to strengthen the scream in the dates of every shipwreck; dates transformed in the titles of the works. He investigates the emotive reaction of an unconsciousness society, imposing and claiming for it. Life is in that used wood, in that cracks that look like scars, in that toys never used, in that death spirals that recall the vertigo of the childish ring-around-the-roses, when the happiness becomes a run and the lightheartedness turn into frenzy, when the children holding their hands with each other rotate faster and faster till they fall down. “O vos omnes qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus”

Art as a place of memory


The original work is in Italian, translation not provided by the author

The migration histories tell about instability, chaos, life experience, joy, misery, in a series of courses and recurs. They also tell about deranged mental structures, in the migrant people as well as in the society that host them, and about losers that still want to fight, wayfarers and improvised seamen, without experience of life, that didn’t surrender and that continue to hope. Among the stories, the descriptions: means to reach the freedom, wrecks and the objects that go back on the ground, patched sails, worn-out clothes, ripped and torn as the lives of who has survived, as well as of who didn’t. Irreparable losses, distressing absences that Massimo Sansavini elaborates and instils in polymorphic and multi-material works, catching the energy and the spirit released by the abandoned material. In this way, he operates a meaning transmutation, aimed to tell a new identity and convey a human experience made of joys and miseries, and the sensibility of those who, through the years, have searched for the dialogue with the migrants and with their past. Searching for a sense for this, the artist proposes a new historical perspective in which the human being has on one hand a role as living being, on the other one as individual placed in a determined historicity. The “boats graveyard” in Lampedusa, as is called the site where the ships used by the new migratory flow of the XXI century are pulled on the land, and from which the artist collected the raw material for the realization of its works, constitutes a recall to the life-death transience, to the material that changes. A recall to the historical period as well, prelude of a deep social and economic change, in which society, even if reluctantly, has to find space for the diversity. A changing that shakes the false certainties of the West and erodes the borders of the so-called normality. Sansavini gives a new vitality to the material that emerges freed from invisibility, creating, in this way, new semantic correspondences. He

manages to assemble magmatic elements, creating unexpected shapes from an apparent chaos, from varying iconographies that refer to the plurality of experiences and traditions of the migrant people. Fishing boats, carrying food -life, therefore- become the means for an escape, symbols of a new life, but of death as well, and, once served their purpose, the structure is reborn as work of art, in a continuous life-death-reborn cycle. It is in this way voided from the original and dematerialised meaning to become other, an elementary image, and closer to the childish and ludic spirit, of which the pureness, the fragility and the joyfulness call to mind visions that look up to a becoming. A material permeated with an energy that operates a transmutation in something positive and that tells about hope; maintaining, however, a mystic sacredness towards what symbolize the disappeared life. The ship-object, realized by artisan hands, regenerates itself through a manipulation of the materials, prompted by an intimate impulse to create under unconditioned freedom. It keeps its chromatic differences, to redefine the message addressed to who wants to see truly. It exposes its formal structure to reveal the consistency and to shape its imagination, ennobling the poor materials and transforming the daily life into symbols. In every single fragment is impressed the story of a face, of experiences, adaptation, effort, courage, determination, becoming emblem of an opening towards new significances, and towards a new life. Every work recalls a simple and communicative dexterity and an artistic tradition, in which are merged the languages of the migrant peoples, partially Africans, inventive and vitals, intensely coloured and carved up, soaked in mystic sacredness, realized by assembling recycling materials. A poetic world that shows a need for peace and harmony and that desires to affirm the dignity of all peoples. The work of art becomes in this way the place of memory, as it allows getting and communicating the deep sense of the events, encouraging a common reflection, stating the tragedy of many existences, but also the foreboding of the salvific power of conscience.

Through art


I welcome with pleasure the invitation of Massimo Sansavini to bring my testimony in his report of a journey to Lampedusa through the art. The reality, true and alive for all the people of Lampedusa, that saw with their own eyes landings and people with their grief and hope, is different from what we see through the filters of the medias. It is difficult to explain to those who never experienced these tragedies the feeling and the state of mind of those who save, host and nurse the people who make it. I believe that facing the migration issue through the art, which uses a universal and transverse language, produces sharper and more lasting effects than other communication means. The pictures of Sansavini have the strong symbolic value of the wood of the hulls used by migrants. Realising works of art with that wood wrecked and burnt by the sun, about to become a “special waste”, is like to grow up a flower from the ash, a memory, something else that only the art with its beauty and its purity can give us. A testimony for the future, a way not to forget, and waking from the apathy and the drowsiness in which every day we risk to fall in. Art, thanks to its eternity, pays homage to all the victims of the shipwrecks. The humankind’s art fixes this memory that overtakes our words and becomes testimony to leave for those who are going to succeed us.

E se adesso il mare il mare si mettesse a cantare che voce avrebbe ? Immagina, con tutto il dolore che in lui è sceso... Un drago d’acqua piangente un’onda muta, immensa ? Canterebbe come un pazzo, uno che ha un peso infinito nel cuore ? Che voce avrebbe, la si potrebbe sopportare? con tutti i respiri chiusi degli annegati i legni, i sogni, gli scafi sfasciati canzone accusa verso i mercanti di disperati e verso gli egoisti agiati sarebbe cosĂŹ debole, intensa la potremmo ascoltare o diventeremmo di sale sule rive con il bicchiere in mano la carezza sospesa fattasi bianca, arida e lucente ? il sole diventerebbe un vecchio cantante blues la luna chiamerebbe le ragazze stelle per coprire i singhiozzi del suo a solo se il mare si mettesse a cantare

quella voce non ci lascerebbe piĂš ci entrerebbe nel fiato, una spiga di fuoco e demenza nello sterno la voce del tempo che lacrima e che cerca il ritmo eterno... Non canterebbe parole distinte solo la nenia dei nomi, la dolce dei nomi distrutta litania e quelli dei piĂš piccoli nemmeno lui li riuscirebbe a dire, la voce gli andrebbe via... Allora dovremmo coprirci con le mani la testa per quel maremoto e sussurro per il rovinoso cupo azzurro di quella canzone tempesta E chiedere pietĂ e chiedere canta ancora straziaci ma non lasciarci nel silenzio della malora Se il mare, se il mare si mettesse a cantare con tutta la morte e la vita che lo abita la sua voce sola troverebbe forse la canzone che ci comprende ma non ci consola la canzone che manca sempre sulla riva della storia alle nostre parole... Sarebbe la canzone del secolo, del grande funerale e del grande

battesimo. La canzone spasimo. Se il mare, se il mare che gli uomini fissano ci iniziasse a fissare mentre siamo qui attoniti desolati e iniziasse a cercare la nota tremerebbe in noi finalmente tutta la vita come l’attimo in cui siamo nati DAVIDE RONDONI POET

Lampedusa, September 2015

“Touroperator”, 69 X 30 X 20 CM.

“18 July 2003”, 84 x 84 CM

“10 August 2013”, 54 x 64 CM

“9 February 2015”, 65 x 75 CM

“30 September 2013”, 67 x 75 CM

“30 June 2014”, 60 x 60 CM

Studio work

“Untitled”, 192 x 30 X 20 CM

“Untitled”, 187 x 27 X 20 CM

“Untitled”, 195 x 33 X 20 CM

“8 December 2015”, 48 X 48 CM

“Untitled”, 195 x 28 X 20 CM

“1 August 2011”, 50 X 50 CM

“27 September 2015”, 90 X 102 CM

“18 July 2014”, 150 x 150 CM

“8 Dicembre 2015”, 50 X 50 CM

“Stella Maris”, 62 x 22 X 15 CM

“13 April 2015”, 40 X 40 CM

“16 June 2013”, 35 X 35 CM

“5 December 2014”, 75 X 100 CM

“28 August 2015”, 253 x 132 X 35 CM

“3 October 2013”, 150 X 150 CM

“29 July 2008”, 160 X 60 CM

“27 November 2011”, 70 X 50 CM

“11 October 2013”, 90X 200 CM

Lampedusa, September 2015

Lampedusa, September 2015


MASSIMO SANSAVINI [Forlì, 1961] after studying sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ravenna, he was invited to Brazil by Fabio Maghalaes, Director of the Biennale of Art in Sao Paulo, where he spent a year and creates sculptures displayed at Mu.B.E in St. Paulo, and at the Museu Nacional of Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro, in the Italian Embassy in Brasilia and in Porto Alegre Museum. Since 2004 he works as a stage designer with Rai, italian TV broadcasting, realizing, scene of many programs. He presents his works in the exhibition “From Picasso to Botero”, curated by Vittorio Sgarbi. In 2006 he realizes for Germany “Neverland”, an exhibition on display in Berlin, Hamburg, Wolfsburg and Nuremberg, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; after presenting his work at ART MIAMI, and in 2007 the event of FTL Moda Fort Lauderdale in Florida, then exposes to the Gallery Center in Boca Raton in Florida. In 2008 he made the exhibition “Kindergarten”, exposed in Iseo, Milan, Venice and Seoul. In 2009 he realized for the Maison Enrico Coveri the designs of the spring summer collection of fashion fabrics. He took part in the exhibition presented by Philippe Daverio “A + B + C / Futurism” in Alessandria (Italy). He has created a monumental work placed in a round in Alessandria; In 2010 his works were presented in the exhibition “Road to Futurism” at the National Museum of China in Beijing and Guangdong Art Museum in Canton. In 2011 he exhibited at the headquarters of Il Sole 24 Ore in Milan. Rome Capital has realized Softhearth, an installation in the space of Santa Rita. Has made the boards for the illustration of the book of Pinocchio on display in Modena-Reggio Emilia, Cesena and at Macro Museum in Rome. It ‘called at the 54th Venice Biennale, exhibiting the headquarters of Reggio-Emilia and subsequently in that of Turin. In 2012. He presents the perfumes of Maison Enrico Coveri made with his images. He exhibits in the exhibition “The Disebocchio” curated by Alberto D’Atanasio at the Museum of Santa Giulia in Brescia, and at the headquarters of the Ex pawnshop in Spoleto. In 2013 are the exhibits upon a time at the MACRO in Rome and the tribute to Giuseppe Verdi at Auditorium Conciliazione in Rome.

Of 2014 are participating in Artour-O in Florence and the exhibition Naturale at the Palmieri Foundation in Lecce. Of 2015 are the group shows Table Covered Table Banned at Palazzo Chigi Albani Stables in Soriano on Cimino by Valeria Arnaldi and in 2015 at Palazzo Mezzacapo Palace in Maiori edited by Nello Arionte. In 2016 he exhibited in Venice at the Galleria Luce and Manni Art Gallery in Venice Lido.

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