30 Years of Art & Culture in Italy and abroad
Genius Loci

Genius Loci

Visual Arts & Performing Arts

Genius Loci: The spirit of the place and the time

curated by Dores Sacquegna

From 14th to 26th July 2023

The second and last project of Baroque Blue Ionian Se-Art Residency entitled Genius Loci: The spirit of the place and the time begins on 14 July 2023, the art residency curated by Dores Sacquegna and organized by Primo Piano LivinGallery and which puts connections the Salento area with different cultures, transmitting a common sense of belonging to the Mother Earth.

An archetypal journey into the Cultural Heritage of Salento and its Genius Loci, between nature and architecture, between archaeology and contemporary art, between storytelling and the spirit of adventure. In residency in Santa Caterina di Nardò, eleven international artists, directors and poets such as the Serbian artist Nena Cirkovic (based in Austria), the English artist Gen Doy, the German artists Philine-Johanna Kempf and Elisabeth Jankowski, she lives and works in Italy, the American artists, poets and directors Jane Toby, Dena Haden, Dorothea Marcus, Allison McElroy, Maeve Maurer, Anthony Kyle Rotelli, Elizabeth Sher in dialogue with their Apulian artists colleagues such as Adriano D’Ostuni, Ka Corona, Monica Lisi, Claudio Longo, Sean Price, Claudio Rizzo, Massimo Ruiu, Salvatore Sava, Fernando Spano.

The Genius Loci or the spirit of the place, was in ancient Rome a spiritual entity that acted as an intermediary between the spiritual powers and man. It was that spirit that inhabited a specific territory with the aim of protecting and representing it, ensuring that harmony and balance were maintained within it. The modern world has forgotten it, binding it among popular legends and the Man-Nature-God relationship has been lost. The task of the artists is to collaborate with the Genius Loci of some mythical places in Salento located between the Ionian and Adriatic coasts. We start with the history of humanity, in the footsteps of the Uluzzian Man in the Porto Selvaggio Reserve Park, and then continue to Giurdignano among megalithic gardens and the legends linked to the garden of nymphs and children at the Massi della Vecchia in Giuggianello. Between visions of the Old Testament and connections of the Tree of Life in the floor mosaic of Pantaleone in Otranto and the frescoes of the Apocalypse in the Basilica of Santa Caterina in Galatina, the artists will finally land in Castro like contemporary Aeneas.

A journey into the past between light and darkness, between reality and the imaginary and a return to the present with the site-specific and site-inspired creations of Land Art artworks, multimedia installations and artistic-poetic compositions connected to a profound and universal symbology with the soul of places. A project that aims to bring out the Genius Loci, the entity-guardian and protector of nature and places, in the perspective of that perennial flow in which everything flows in harmony (Panta Rei, Heraclitus). The artist is asked to transform him/herself, to open to new dawns and to seek in the metaphor of space, time and flow, the path that leads to his/her own regeneration, that is, to that space in which to meet again and rewrite one’s destiny. A journey that will see them as protagonists as flaneurs, pioneers, emigrants, pilgrims, explorers and will allow them to return different from how they started, an initiatory path that transforms and that will remain imprinted in their memory.

Among the group activities for foreign residents, the printmaking workshop of experimental techniques entitled “Impress the Nature”. An event of TOTAL ART which ends on July 25th from 7.30 pm and which involves the audience in unique sensory atmospheres. The evening begins with the presentation of the project, of the artists and their live works but also with video projections in the garden of the villa in Santa Caterina. At 20:30pm the ritual and participatory ceremony begins, dedicated to the Genius Loci with The place revealed, by the actress and performer Paola Crisostomo. The journey continues with the Vibrations of the percussive breath: the sound revealed with the musician Alberto “Nick” Bolettieri and ends late at night with other sound incursions by friends and local musicians.

Primo Piano’s mission is to provide artists with a variety of stimulating experiences with which they can conceive new projects or deepen established creative practices.

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