Pachira plant, fishing boat, 8,50 mt
view at the exhibition,Ficarra_Contemporary Divan
Piazza San Mauro, Ficarra
The work made in Ficarra comes from a reflection started on 2013 on the concept of “taking care” of something or someone, thanks to the residency, Controcarretta-della-speranza, made in Pantelleria, one of the Sicilian islands involved in the passage of immigrants leaving from the African coasts. If we think about the “journeys of hope” taken by clandestine migrants, the first thing that comes to mind are the images of these people massed together one against the other on old boats that are often too old to travel and sink. When we see clandestine migrants landing on our coasts, the thing that comes to mind is tragedy, or perhaps it is more accurate to say the tragedies, that these men and women live. The first tragedy is the condition of life in their country that forces them to migrate. The second is the journey itself that can be fatal. The third is that if they manage to survive the journey, the drama continues once landed. Visually, the thing that impacts most on the eyes is the inhuman conditions on the vessels in which these migrants venture with. Old, unsafe vessels of the sea that once confiscated from the authorities, remain on dry dock until the day when they will be destroyed. The aim of the project is not to talk about death and suffering, but to give back life to these empty vessels. From abandoned boats of the sea; diaries of peoples’ dramas and vessels of death to new possibilities of life. The project involves the installation of old boats in squares, roads and roundabouts, transforming them into monuments that are a testament to life and to new possibilities for development. In fact, these boats will be filled with earth inviting the locals and visitors to plant flowers, seeds and trees as a gesture that will transform material waste into ‘gardens’. Turning ugliness into beauty, giving life where there is death, a gesture towards nature, in order to make everything “beautiful”, or at least reduce fear and make it more bearable. For this project, I brought a Pachira from my studio in Catania. A houseplant I found wilted during an exhibition in 2011. The relocation of the Pachira on the stranded boat hull is the first piece of a project of relational study on the urban context.