Il Pensiero che non diventa Azione avvelena l’Anima (Words without Action poison the Soul)

(Words without Action poison the Soul)

[installation in iron, framed photographs, pigment prints on Hahnemuhle paper]

2018 – ongoing

The work is the fruit of a participatory project that engaged historical archives and mafia think tanks, relatives of the victims, schools, and libraries in Palermo and in the rest of Italy, in a journey to research the figures that characterized the fight against the mafia from the 1970s to the 90s. The approach chosen by the artist focuses on the personal and intimate dimension that is seen in the testimonies of magistrates, journalists, trade unionists, police inspectors, and private citizens who have spent their lives battling the mafia. Through photographic documentation, the project highlights everyday tools, such as speeches, registers, notebooks, and other notes that have been collected and stored in many private archives. The artist’s work is, therefore, an archive in progress, which, through an accessible, searchable and engaging installation, invites the public to delve into the daily life of these individuals. These leads were interrupted as they constituted a threat to mafia trafficking, and the artist reminds us that people have been killed precisely because they were far too virtuous by way of their actions. Each photograph presented in the exhibition wishes to highlight the importance of this constant action, beyond the iconology constructed around victims and heroes.

The archival structure, which externally appears as a single cubic body, is internally composed of 6 modules mounted vertically on drawers that can be pulled out as individual photographic racks, inside which photographs will be set in pairs. The viewer has the opportunity to physically “enter” the cube and to view each of the photographs contained in the archive in an engaging way. This installation, designed to make images easily accessible to the public, at the same time enables a personal and intimate use of the archive. It is also conceived as a stackable and modular structure and the photographs it contains can be, if necessary, removed and exhibited individually on the wall.

The project has been supported by the Italian Council grant, a competitive grant created and supported by Directorate General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries (DGAAP – Direzione Generale Arte e Architettura contemporanee e Periferie urbane) of the Ministry of Culture, Cultural Heritage and Tourism (Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo).