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Dove la terra incontra il cielo

Pamela Diamante
Elise Eeraerts
Andrea Francolino
Luigi Ghirri
Carlo Guaita
Martinelli Venezia
Bea McMahon
Niamh O’Malley
Fabio Roncato

Curated by Giulia Bortoluzzi
exhibition views at Trullo Rubina, Contrada Menzella, Ceglie Messapica
Coordinates: 40.684996, 17.454718

August 6th – September 4th 2022


Photos by Marino Colucci

The project “DOVE LA TERRA INCONTRA IL CIELO” (WHERE THE EARTH MEETS THE SKY), curated by Giulia Bortoluzzi, presents itself as a reflection on the relationship between the traditional agricultural vocation of the Trulli and the importance that the observation and knowledge of nature, of the sky, has always characterized the work of the earth.


These ancient buildings, typical of the Apulian territory, are linked to peasant origins both in their architectural form and in a historicalanthropological sense - Trulli were originally built using rocks obtained from the stone removal of the land to make it more easily cultivable and were used to house farmers and animals. The trullo with its almost domed shape leaps upwards, and often shows signs and symbols belonging to different cultures (Christian, Jewish, Pagan, etc.) that refer to the knowledge of atmospheric regimes, the nature of the climate, and the observation of the stars. The relationship between the earth and the sky emerges, therefore, as spontaneous in the encounter with the territory, both from the artisanal and material point of view and from the more metaphorical, universal, and cosmological one.


The artists involved discuss the specificity of the place and invite one to observe the hosting architecture and the surrounding landscape that are able to ignite new meanings and sensations. The interventions exhibited on the artistic path “DOVE LA TERRA INCONTRA IL CIELO” (WHERE THE EARTH MEETS THE SKY), curated by Giulia Bortoluzzi, open a direct dialogue with the specificity of the place, without referring to the nature of the territory of the Trulli didactically, and inviting one to observe it under a different light.

Andrea Francolino’s (Bari, 1979) work Dalla terra al cemento alla terra al cemento (2018) is the visible and remaining impression of ground’s dust, a volatile and ephemeral substance; his gesture is minimal towards the natural phenomenon that he intercepts, showing the inexhaustible polarities inherent: the dust of the earth, the dust of the cement, are at the origin of human constructions, and connect the past to the present as well as nature to technical capacity, the earth to the sky. The atavistic encounter between Zenit and nadir, earth science and celestial science, is embodied by the work of Carlo Guaita (Palermo, 1954), an artist who is also a scholar of geology and astronomy. Opposites in continuousness, images of totality emerging in the encounter between science and mysticism, as in the case of Untitled (Volcanoes I) (2015) triptychs made with pigments on acetate sheets, which appear spontaneously from the spots of color as landscapes, without a defined time and space. The idea of an impregnable image, that continuously evades from the possibility of visually grasping it in its complete unity, is shared by the silent video by Niamh O'Malley (Mayo, Ireland, 1975) Nephin (2014). The artist circumnavigates the homonymous Irish mountain by filming it from the car window in an attempt to immortalize it as a whole. Other than just the small black dot that obscures the glass throughout the film, the road traveled meets curves, movements, or elements of the landscape that prevent one from seeing the peak entirely. Pushing the Earth's crust upwards, mountains and volcanoes seem to want to reach the celestial mantle. A utopia is accomplished, for instance, in Fabio Roncato’s (Rimini, 1982) video, The star's engine (2019), where the volcanic beach of Maratea bathed by the waves of the sea turns into a circular line, pulsates like a star in cosmic darkness or as a solar eclipse in the universe. The fading of nature into itself also occurs in the video by Elise Eeraerts (Mechelen, Belgium, 1986), Saint-JeanPort-Joli (2022) which documents the realization of the homonymous sculpture in compressed snow made by the artist in Canada. The architecture, built using nine times the same mold, reminiscent of the geometry of a hexagonal prism, is exposed to the climatic conditions that determine its deformation over time, to finally make it disappear completely bringing the material back to its original state. In the reflective white glacial landscape, the snow is confused with the horizon line, so much so that the earth merges with the sky. Even the five tables Inversioni (2022) by the duo Martinelli Venezia (Carolina Martinelli, and Vittorio Venezia, 1980) bring "heaven to earth" thanks to the due meters and a half of diameter irregular shaped steel mirror-like plane surface. This big circle anchored to the earth is in constant exchange with the surrounding landscape. Once again, local knowledge is linked to the most recent technical discoveries that allow one to look further or closer, to retreat, to push oneself towards the stars, to then return and root that height on the earth. This is reminiscent, for example, of Bea McMahon’s (Dublin, 1972) cotton inflatable tree tinted with vegetable natural coloring agents that are released in the wind in the surroundings of the property; her An olive tree made visible by light from the Dog Star (2022) shows to the stars the colors it absorbed from the soil of our planet, just like the Apulian olive trees, to which it draws its inspiration from. The olive trees have been inhabiting for long years the earth illuminated by the same star, Dog Star, the brightest of all during the summer solstice. The earth as generative power is also the protagonist of Pamela Diamante's work, Aurora (2021), which presents a collage of fragments of Pietra Paesina, a Tuscan limestone formed fifty million years ago in particular geological conditions, with the phrase of Friedrich Nietzsche: "There are still many auroras that must shine". The image of the stone, resulting from the sedimentation of minerals and the passage of time, seems to represent the exact moment that precedes the sunrise, that last phase of dawn that embraces the landscape with that typical glow of rosy or purple color. This visual suggestion combined with the words of the philosopher evokes the idea of a circular temporality, the exact moment of the eternal return that manifests itself through the generating force of nature. Finally, in the unpublished photograph by Luigi Ghirri, Alberobello (1982) appears as an emblem of the entire path: an elderly lady is portrayed walking in the rain, under the umbrella, in front of Trulli. The Apulian territory has inspired the photographer for almost ten years able to capture a deep sense of tranquility, through the sunlight


Pamela Diamante

Diamante's research is founded on the concept of complexity;
its essence is constituted by the theory of systems, emerging phenomena, and accidental and unpredictable events. Her practice unravels through hybrid languages, such as video, photography, and site-specific installations, that weaken or strengthen the nature of the medium itself. Between these
relationships is the reflection of scientific axioms and the analysis methods of mass communication. Multidimensional realities, fiction, and paradoxes of the post-medial society are staged by the artist. They show how the principles of
indetermination can be evoked by the concept of truthfulness: everything is relative to the observer's eye. Some of her institutional solo exhibitions include:
Stato di Flusso (2022), Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milano (IT); Le origini, la terra, il mare - Sta come torre (2020), Challet Villa Comunale Trani, Trani (IT); On/Off (2016), Centro de las Artes Visuales, Matanzas (CUB). In 2019 she won the award European Investment Bank Institute, Disruption - The imprint of man, Artists Development Programme, Luxembourg, and in 2018 the Italian-
Argentinian price for the arts, ICC Buenos Aires - Ministry of External Affairs and of International Cooperation. She has participated in international residencies in Buenos Aires (ARG) in 2019 and in Theran (IR) in 2017.

Elise Eeraets

Eeraerts has completed her studies at the Institute fur
Raumexperimente in Berlin and LUCA School of Arts in Brussels. Her work focuses on the direct intervention on space by making monumental and abstract sculptures. She conducts a study of the perception of reality through the creation of small bidimensional objects and multimedia works. Her research is conceived as a conduit between humankind and nature, exploring material transformations that originate from the environment; she is interested in the production processes of materials in different eras and cultures and the social impact of their making. She has exhibited her work in international institutions such as: Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (DE) (2017), Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp (NL) (2015), Galerie Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel (CH)
(2015), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (DE) (2014), Villa Massimo, Rome (IT)
(2014), Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (J (2011), Museum M, Leuven
(2011), Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik (2010), and Cité des Arts, Paris (2009).
In 2016 she won the Arte Laguna Price in the division of Land-Art in Venice and in 2017 the Meestreproef price from Team Government Architect Flanders. She has resided at Thread in Senegal (Josef and Anni Albers Foundation), Casa de Velázquez in Madrid and Atelier Calder in France (Calder Foundation).

Andrea Francolino

At the core of his reflections is the crack, in its universality and
'infinite variations', without criticism or prejudice. "Looking at a crack is like looking at the universe, I am reflecting on the sense of life and of things", writes the artist. Through a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses aesthetics, ethics, and ecology, in the 'evolution' of his artistic path, Francolino remains faithful to an idea of nature that is well spelled out in the term econcrethic.
Coined by the artist himself, it is the combination of three words: eco, concrete, and ethic, a definition that he uses for each of his interventions and actions that require natural materials. He is one of the four founding members of The Open Box, a non-profit space dedicated to art, put in place in Milan in 2015. In 2013 he won the S. Fedele 2013/2014 price. Between his most renowned and recent solo institutional exhibitions: Muse Novecento, Florence (2020/21) with the performance in Palazzo Vecchio and Muse Novecento;
Contemporanea, Brescia (2020); Spazio aperto San Fedele, Milan (2018); The Open Box, Milan (2018).

Luigi Ghirri

He began photographing in 1970, collaborating with conceptual artists, and then continued his personal research, organizing his projects into different series. With his work, he reflected on the structure of the image, which
manifests itself mainly in portraits of places in which human presence is rarely there. His best-known landscapes are those that narrate the villages as the emblem of an inner place; the gray and imprecise horizon brings him closer to the work of directors such as Fellini, Antonioni, and Zavattini. In 1977, together with Paola Borgonzoni and Giovanni Chiaramonte, he founded the Punto e Virgola publishing house. There Ghirri developed his book Kodachrome (1978),
which was the result of the research undertaken at the beginning of the decade.
In 1983, "Lotus International" magazine entrusted him with the assignment of photographing Aldo Rossi's Modena cemetery. He then began an intense work aimed at the analysis of architecture and landscape, producing volumes on Capri (1983), with Mimmo Jodice, l'Emilia Romagna (1985-1986), Aldo Rossi (1987). In 1986 he embarked on the project Esplorazioni sulla via Emilia, the result of the interpretation of the Padana plain landscape. In 1989 he published Paesaggio Italiano, and II profilo delle nuvole another naturalistic focused project that he worked on with Gianni Celati. In 1979 the CSAC of the University of Parma dedicated to the Italian photographer a large monographic exhibition, and in 1982 he was invited to the show Fotographie 1922-1982 at Photokina in Cologne (DE). In 2022 the book Puglia. Tra Albe e tramonti - Luighi Ghirri (MACK) is published, a collection of never-seen-before Apulian photographs.

Martinelli Venezia

The design studio focuses on art direction, product design, exhibition design, architecture, and interior design, exploring themes concerning the relationship between tradition and local knowledge, the properties of materials, and the technical possibilities of processes. Martinelli Venezia's projects have been exhibited in galleries and museums such as Musée du Louvre, Paris (FR), MAXXI, Rome (IT), Triennale Design Museum, Milan (IT), and The Aram Gallery, London (GB). Some works have been presented in the international exhibitions Manifesta Palermo 2018 (IT) and Porto Design Biennale 2019 (PT).
The duo collaborates with several Italian and international brands, including:
Abet Laminati, Alcantara, Atom, Colé Italian Design Label, De Castelli, Falper, Internoltaliano, Jannelli & Volpi, Lithea, Luce5, Martinelli Luce, Meritalia, Mingardo, Moleskine, Orografie, Premax, Diapositiva.

Be McMahon

Through installation, performance art, and video, her research
reflects on multiple conceptions of reality and their corresponding manifestations in the external world. Trained in science, McMahon combines
the use of mathematical and physical versions and associations, dealing with distinctions between objects, space and time, and symbols, with a poetic form of mediation between nonspeaking beings and the world. Her most recent projects include solo exhibitions: Floppy Forest (2021), Treignac Projet, Treignac (FR); Under Bat Hill (2021), W139, Amsterdam (NL); Rank, Billytown
(2017), Den Haag (NL); BOM (2015), CCA, Derry (GB-NIR); Cover (2014), Salzburg Kunstverein, Salzburg (A); Warp and Woof (2011), CCA, Glasgow (GB). In 2021 she performed for Ad ampio respiro at Rita Urso artopiagallery, Milan (IT); previously her actions took place in art spaces such as: Art Oost, PuntWG, FLAM VII Frascati Theatre, De Appel, Musiek Gebouw, Kunstverein and in Amsterdam (NL), Tunnel in Rome (IT), The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw(PL), The XII Baltic Triennial in Vilnius (LT); Volcano Extravaganza in Stromboli (IT).

Niamh O'Malley

"Working with the moving image, mark making and sculptural materials such as glass and wood, O'Malley's work attempts to contain and reflect the weight and wonder of the world in its becoming. It is the act of trying, in the face of predictable failure, that gives way to conviction and a sense of hope within the artist's work. Full of reflection, both literal and metaphorical, filled with absence and framed by negative space, O'Malley's work asserts something unstoppable about the human spirit, something that neither distance nor death can extinguish", writes Kate Strain on the occasion of the artist's solo exhibition at Grazer Kunstverein in 2018. In recent years O'Malley has also exhibited in dedicated projects: in 2019 at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (IE) and Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore (NSW); in 2015 at Bluecoat, Liverpool (GB); in 2013 at Project Arts Centre, Dublin (IE); in 2012 at Ha Gamle Prestegard, Neerb (NO); in 2010 at Centre Culturel Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz (ES); and in 2010 at Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (FR). In 2003 she received a doctorate of practical research from the University of Ulster, Belfast (IE). Residency awards include: Funen Art Academy (DK), 2014; HIP, Helsinki & IMMA, Dublin (IE), 2008; Fire Station Artists Studios, Dublin (IE), 2005-8; International Studio Program Residency at PS1, MoMA (NYC), 2003/04; and Northern Irish Fellowship at British School, Rome (IT), 2000. In 2022 she represents Ireland at the 59th Venice Biennale.

Fabio Roncato

After graduating in painting from the Academia di Belle Arti di
Brera in Milan, he furthered his studies by participating in 'Atelier Bevilacqua La Masa (Venice), VIR-Via Farini in Residence (Milan), Fondazione Spinola Banna per l'Arte (Banna, Turin), Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht) and Shanghai Prize at East China Normal University (Shanghai). Roncato develops a reflection related to the boundaries of visual representation by investigating forms, elements, and energies of nature and contemporaneity; the idea is to lead artistic practice within the criticalities related to the relationship between the understanding of reality and the limits imposed by the sense of perception.
Among the Italian art venues where he has exhibited his work: Museo Civico di Scienze Naturali, Brescia; Fondazione Imago Mundi, Gallerie delle Prigioni, Treviso; Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Palazzetto Tito, Venice; GAMeC
- Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, Bergamo; MUSE - Muse delle Scienze di Trento, Palazzo delle Albere, Trento; The Open Box, Milan; MARS - Milan Artist Run Space, Milan; Torre delle Grazie, Musei Civici di Bassano del Grappa, Bassano del Grappa.

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