April 20 – 23th 2017 | Opening: Thursday, April 20 – 06:00 PM
at Comune di Gradisca d’Isonzo, via Marziano Ciotti 49, Italy (For the occasion, a small talk with the artists)
The installation is accessible in the Torrione San Giorgio (indications at the entrance of Largo Porta Nuova), from 04:00 to 08:00 PM
The sound art installation PAN-ὀπτικός by Greta Lusoli tries to evoke and reconstruct in the mind of the listener the archetype prison designed by the philosopher and jurist J. Bentham at the end of XVIII century, born with the intent to make the jails more efficient, less expensive and easier to monitor.
This ideal architecture, which signed the transition to modern jails, provided only one warden who, standing in the centre of the building, was able to guard at the same time all of the prisoners in their cells developed in a circle around the central space. In this way the prison cells became transparent: the privacy of the prisoners and the preservation of their intimacy (so, their inner identity) completely disappeared, stoking a dangerous process of objectualization and dehumanization of the prisoner.
PAN-ὀπτικός works through a stratification of its deepest meanings. There are at least three intrinsic factors related to this immaterial but complex intervention of public art.
The first analysis is a sensorial one: to evoke the cruel architecture of Panopticon, Greta Lusoli project into the proxemic space of the listener a vibrant, deep, screeching and unpleasant sound that resonate inside the chest and memory of the listener with universal and archetypical echoes of a primordial energy, reminding to ancestral alert signals. In particular, it seems right to say that this sound seems to be the summa of all the alert signals coming from the animal world, including the most primitive ones whose have been extinguished.
On the other side, the chose of an architecture as a symbol of an unseen reality (but too much common in our contemporaneity) hit the headlines from a mathematic and conceptual proportion trough that the sound resonate in the space: the minutes within a year are divided with the numbers of prisoners that every year, today, are victims of conflicts. In fact, the sound reverberates every 5 minutes and 53 seconds, underlining the impressive quantity of war prisoners that nowadays still loose their freedom in conflicts.
Moreover, a perceptive and metaphorical analysis puts in relation the binomial see-being seen: even if we can’t see it with our own eyes, the vastness of the war conflicts can be perceived through our minds and can be strongly evoked by our emotions reflecting each specific locations in which the sound is installed. In fact, the installation naturally reflects the history of each space, highlighting their inner and invisible identity.
One hundred years ago, Europe looked like a big open-air prison: almost 15.000 people used to be trapped inside inhuman war jails and even more civilians were trapped between refugee camps and their own houses, living a life of destruction and deprivation.
Always a boundary line, enclosed by strong walls since the 15th century, the natural barrier of Isonzo wasn’t enough to protect Gradisca, a precious town and pearl of cultural diversity that during the First World War was under the Austro-Hungarian emperor and which was burned by the Italian army retreating from Caporetto. Strategic fortress during many conflicts, starting from the wars of Emperor against Serenissima, between its walls where trapped many prisoners. Here are taking shape the thoughts that, thorough the echo of Panopticon in the San Giorgio fortified tower, impart the fear that has left a mark in this boundary land.
In collaboration with the Municipality of Gradisca d’Isonzo