The press conference for the presentation of the works realized during the international contemporary art workshop held as part of the project is scheduled for Thursday 29 December at 17,00 "The Landing. Work for Migrant Humanity " aimed at the transformation of the Albanian patrol boat Kater I Rades in a work of art dedicated to those missing by sea during migration and coordinated by the Greek sculptor Costas Varotsos.
At the press conference will be attended by the Mayor of Otranto Luciano Cariddi, the President of the Biennial of Mediterranean Young Artists Luigi Ratclif, the writer Alessandro Leogrande, author of the essay “Il Naufragio. Death in the Mediterranean ”, Bruno Ciccarese, Councilor for Youth and Peace Policies of the Province of Lecce.
Eight young artists from Egypt, Syria, Montenegro, France, Albania and Italy participated in the workshop organized by the Artemisia cooperative in collaboration with the Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean.
They have created a research itinerary that, starting from the wreck of the Kater I Rades, has affected the city of Otranto, its citizens, its history, its role in the context of the south-eastern Mediterranean, the relationship with the migratory phenomenon that has marked the history and everyday life of the city from the nineties to today.
The result of this research are eight works conceived and realized during the ten days of the workshop using different materials and languages, from stone to wood, from mirror to plaster, from light to sound to photography.
The works, starting with their very location in the city, pose the problem of the relationship between the city, its identity and the sea intended as a relationship with the other.
Mohamed Ziada (Egypt) worked with stone, creating a boat whose forms date back to the Pharaonic myths that tell of how, through these boats, the souls of those who perished by sea in a better world where they could rise and live forever. Ziada wanted to dedicate his work to the souls of the Albanians who had perished on the Kater. It is possible to see this work, entitled Sun Boat, in the Castello Aragonese courtyard.
Raffaela Zizzari (Italy) has erected the oars, specially lent for the occasion by the fishermen of Otranto and Gallipoli, as a symbol of the landing places that for twenty years have occurred on the Salento coast. Twenty all different oars. Twenty as the years passed from the first landings. Row as men just landed but to remember how many an oar or rock to cling to have not found it. The exhibition with the titleVenti Remi is visible in the circular hall of the Aragonese Castle.
Sandra Lorenzi (France) has created two works. The first entitled The Ferryman is visible on the beach of the Factories Area. The installation refers to Greek mythology. The simple gesture of filling a rubber boat destroyed by the sea, lays the foundation for the construction of a monument that the inhabitants of Otranto themselves could continue to build.
The second work, entitled Sunken Promicises and located at the Lega Navale, was created starting from a statue of the Christ in cement and then covered with materials that evoke the underwater universe. The statue progressively loses its physiognomy to transform itself into a shapeless and organic fetish that nevertheless does not lose the effectiveness of the gesture of the arms extended to the reception.
Dusica Ivetic (Montenegro) It does not drown the one who falls into the water - but drowns those who do not understand. This is the enigmatic title of the young Montenegrin artist who has worked with different materials, creating an installation at the Matta Tower that wants to evoke the footsteps of the shipwrecked women of the Kater I Rades and, at the same time, remind us that the world is overwhelmed with useless words that clog up the hearts of men to avoid the responsibilities to which, instead, art reminds us.Victoria Leonidou (Cyprus) We are the title of the work of this Cypriot artist who starts with a quote from Julia Kristeva: "The stranger lives with us: he is the hidden face of our identity". In the contemporary world the migration phenomenon has assumed such dimensions as to influence the political, social and cultural spheres up to the problem of national identity. Victoria Leonidou's Work reflects on the relationship between the "if" and the "other", "we" and "them" and causes the viewer to seek the courage to look in the mirror to discover himself as a foreigner in relation to " their". The work is located in the new commercial spaces in the factory area.
Arta Ngucaj - Arben Beqiraj (Scaf.Scaf) (Albania) The artistic intervention of Scaf.
Scaf starts from that fateful Good Friday of 1997 when the Kater I Rades sank dragging Albanian citizens, mostly women and children, to the bottom 81. The work interprets the desire of the family members of the victims to actively participate in the project of the Municipality of Otranto to transform the wreck of the Kater into the symbol of all migrations in the Mediterranean. They are the ones who provided the images of the faces of the victims that represent the strong point of the intervention, Arta Ngaj and Ben Beqiraj. Other interventions will follow between the two shores of the Adriatic. The work is located in the new commercial spaces in the factory area.
Rami Farah (Syria) - The title of Rami Farah's installation is Black Box. Used to working with images and sound, the artist records a combination of voices and noises close to fear, uncertainty and death. In the alienating context of the basement of the Aragonese Castle the nightmares of the castaways are reproduced through a set made exclusively of noises and voices whose drama is enhanced by the total darkness that surrounds the installation. A state of alert that comes out of a black box, an object that despite its small size manages to document the greatest tragedies of the contemporary world.
The workshop is a part of the L'Approdo project. Work to Humanity Migrant that proceeds with the works of artistic revisitation of the wreck of the Kater I Rades by Costas Varotsos and with the artistic coordination of Giusi Giaracuni of the Artemisia cooperative. The end of the works and the inauguration of the work is scheduled for 28 January 2012.
Decisive for the realization of the workshop was the contribution of the Department of Youth Policies of the Puglia Region, the collaboration of the Biennial of Young Artists of Europe and the Mediterranean and of the Integra Association. The initiative avails itself of the patronage of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of UNESCO, of the International Organization for Migrants (IOM), of the Italian Committee for Refugees (CIR).