Plans for Installation
With just one week remaining I thought it'd be a great time to send an update on the progress of the installation as well as a bit more background information for everyone.
The majority of people that remain in the Mezzogiorno (aka Southern Italy) are the elderly, whose sons, daughters and nipoti (grandchildren) have left to go north or abroad. These remaining people are some of the same that left some 50 or 60 years ago for a brighter future and returned once their lives had improved. many of the houses and buildings in this region remain empty with only small gusts of people coming in for summer vacations or to visit their nonni on the holidays.
Calabria has a long history in crafts and farming, and with that, a strong tradition of working with their hands. Bergamot orange and olive groves, embroidery and ceramics are the things signature to this region. With that said, I believe that each person's hands tell a story.
Each pair of hands in the town of Monasterace will speak to the thousands of grapes picked, meals cooked, and years survived through a poor economy. For this project I will mold the hands of the citizens and cast them in resin, placing them around the walls of the city. I will be inviting both the residents and passersby to gather meaningful objects, "tangible memories", to be placed in and on them. This will create a kind of contemporary reliquary in the streets using the casts of hands from living, breathing people of the town. Please keep in mind that these plans are only preliminary, as I really want my time there to dictate what direction the installation takes. However, hopefully this will give you an idea where this is headed. The book portion of this project will also document the people and experiences of Monasterace and will be a more permanent and portable accompaniment to the installation.
Thank you so much for all of your support so far! With everyone's help, I'm confident that this project will reach it's goal and become a reality. Please consider contributing if you haven't done so yet and send along to anyone and everyone that believes that art can enrich lives.