The Celebration of the Living, 1 (2010)
On November 2nd 2010, the artist-run initiative “And And And”, – which was using the time before dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012 to consider with individuals and groups across the world the role art and culture can play today and the constituent publics or communities which could be addressed – invited Emilio Fantin, Luigi Negro, Giancarlo Norese and Cesare Pietroiusti.
These artists, in collaboration with Luigi Presicce, proposed to turn the “Day of the Dead” celebration into a new festivity “The Celebration of the Living (who reflect upon death)”. For this celebration the artists invited everyone to be part of the shortest and slowest pilgrimage in the world, that departed (and arrived) at Lu Cafausu, in San Cesario di Lecce.
A circular pilgrimage around Lu Cafausu, an imaginary place that really exists, an architectural and existential anomaly, a place full of potentiality producing metaphors and narratives. Lu Cafausu cannot be defined without generating a non-sense because it is a place full of history and meaning but nobody knows what they are. Lu Cafausu is a place around which the presence of death is floating.
Any day, the small building can in fact be demolished to accommodate more parking space for cars, or can also fall apart due to its precariousness. It could also be turned and frozen into a monument. Because of this feeling of the presence of death, Lu Cafausu is an ideal place for a new celebration. ‘La Festa dei Vivi’ is for those who, in order to give sense to life, reflect upon death; their own, first and foremost.
During the piligrimage the participants had the oppportunity to meditate and discuss on themes such as that of “vital death”, of “suspension on the threshold”, a precariousness that is physical, floating, enjoyable.
The pilgrimage was made of stops and very slow moves, to which every participant could contribute pushing, in the streets of San Cesario, a little boat full of books.
The pilgrimage, among other places and sites, reached the “Santuario della Pazienza” made in the early ‘70s by Ezechiele Leandro (1905-1981), a unique and extraordinary example of a mystical garden, a forest of sculptures, a temple or a cemetery, an irrapresentable site created by the artistic expression of a self-taught man, an artist whose position was beyond the division between low and high culture.