The Celebration of the Living 9, Palermo 2018

The Fondazione Lac o Le Mon in collaboration with Galleria Regionale della Sicilia di Palazzo Abatellis presents the 9th edition of

The Celebration of the Living (who reflect upon death)
Palermo, 1–2 November 2018
a project by Lu Cafausu

foto rotoli
Cemetery Santa Maria dei Rotoli, Palermo. Ph. by Igor Petyx

The yearly appointment organised by Lu Cafausu – a collaborative art project by Emilio Fantin, Luigi Negro, Giancarlo Norese, Cesare Pietroiusti and Luigi Presicce – will be presented this year in multiple locations: Palermo, Amsterdam and Udaipur (Rajasthan, India) where different moments of sharing thought will be proposed.

The morning of the 1st from 11am to 1pm at Palazzo Abatellis, while contemplating the Trionfo della Morte (15th century), we will stop, together with those who want to participate, to reflect upon the poetic potentialities that spring from the awareness of human finitude and from death as a necessary horizon of meaning. Artists, curators and participating public will share thoughts, meditations and suggestions.

When we are dealing with death it is always about the death of “the others”, because we have lost contact with the vision of our inevitable destiny long ago. From this awareness, over the centuries artists and poets have seized the creative flash, and the splendid fresco preserved in the hall of Palazzo Abatellis proves it. The theme of the painting – inspired by the Apocalypse of John and from the fourteenth century took over the allegorical function of memento mori – and its original location at Ospedale Grande e Nuovo di Palazzo Sclafani are among the major sources of inspiration for the creations revealing the mystery of both the individual and the common dimension of death. A mystery and a poem that, affirming the real, they project it beyond the sphere of the finite, like the instant capable of constituting a channel of emotional communication between the living and the dead.

The night between the 1st and the 2nd of November we will wandering alongside the slopes of slopes of Monte Pellegrino, the sacred hill of Palermo. We will cross in absolute silence the woods that were partly destroyed by the enormous fire of 2016, we will walk in search of a point, a plant that is sprouting again and that for everything that can symbolise a gap, a passage that connects the world of the living with that of the dead. While waiting for the dawn to come, we will contemplate together the sunrise on the sea and share a breakfast exchanging thoughts and visions on the experience just lived, as well as the gifts, a Palermitan tradition.

The evening of the 2 November, from 7pm inside the crypt of Santa Maria del Piliere we will participate to Isolare, a silent intervention by Francesco Lauretta as part of the festival “Attraverso”.

At the same time in Amsterdam, in the ‘houseboats’ (floating houses) near Flevopark, we invite the inhabitants to keep in their mind a beloved extinct to spent together that timespan from sunset to midnight. For them hot coffee and something to eat will be served. It will be a moment of silent and conscious conviviality, that can be shared also with the companions that are alive.
The light of small lanterns and the water of the canals will accompany the silence and the shared presence between those who are alive and those who remember.

Everyone can give life to this invitation in the form he prefers, relying on imagination, intuition and storytelling. Will this presence/absence guide our steps and our meetings, and speak, like Beatrice, with and for us?

During the same days in Udaipur Emilio Fantin will organise a workshop-meeting on the relationship with the dead in order to bring out the peculiarities of the culture of the place.

Anyone who wants to attend the meeting at Palazzo Abatellis is asked to confirm their presence by writing to riccodavide (at) gmail (dot) com.
For the nocturnal procession on Monte Pellegrino please observe the maximum punctuality and we recommend to war comfortable and warm clothes. You are invited to bring hot drinks and sweets from the Palermo tradition of the Festa dei Morti to be shared with the participants.
Appointment for the climbing to the mountain: 5am in Largo Antonio Sellerio.

Thanks to Luca Cinquemani, Cristina Costanzo, Giorgia Crisci, Evelina De Castro, Giusi Diana, Donata Fasone, Claudia Gangemi, Paolo Gargiulo, Valentina Greco, Ignazio Mortellaro, Igor Petyx, Davide Ricco, Angela Serino.