Clouds from beyond the borders

Catalog "Nuvole da oltre frontiera"
Published by Associazione Mirada, 2002

Clouds have always been in on the scene as what we call Western civilization was being created. From Aristophanes' Clouds (a parodic metaphor of the great philosopher Socrates)to the cumbersome clouds of Baroque, and very recent disillusioned Drifting Clouds of Aki Kaurismaki film. In Italian nuvole (clouds) are also the name given to those ever changing shapes which host words in comics (perhaps the twentieth century's most innovative form of communication, although earlier examples do exists).


Borders are lines that occupy our minds and our space. They provide the ABC of exile, of control and of the significance of the limit in contemporary culture. The cluster of meaning that spring up around this image immediately stand in a line in our imagination. Border signs exist to stabilize reality. The anguish that a territory with no limits would create must be defused by culture (a great anthropological intuition that Ernesto di Martino explored well): thus borders come into existence, marked by symbols. The most profound contradiction of human coexistence erupt around borders. But we are not here to philosophize and analyze, that's not our job. These are words and meanings around which images and experiences can be constructed. We are highlighting them in an attempt to explain how this exhibition with Joe Sacco came about.


Generally speaking, our projects spring from chance meetings that are always closely entwined with our lives. In this case it was the crossing of a physical border, the green line between Israel and the Occupied Territories. Upon our return, Gianluca Costantini (who creates comics) was waiting for me with Palestine. A Nation Occupied in his hand. The idea was a challenging one: to put together a project illustrating multiple perspectives on borders and on being “other” in the midst of those who are delimited by borders. And it was this aspect of Sacco's work that most enchanted us. Of course there is obviously his drawing skill too, his irony and self-irony (and indispensable ingredient unless you wish to turn into a missionary, teacher and/or rabble rouser), plus the narrative capability of the sequential art at its best. But what most attracted our attention and emerges from Sacco's works was his sense of responsibility for his own perspective, an awareness of his own limits and of his own border, which transcends the crossing of physical borders. The most impenetrable border are those within ourselves. Great Walls running across retinas and hearts.


The Nuvole da oltre frontiera project also takes advantages of R.A.M., which in addiction to an exhibition section, provides our guest artist with the opportunity to meet with young Italian artist. The project's virtual sound track – a concert with Radio Dervish – also originates from vibrations in sympathy with this investigation of perspectives, borders and (in their case) also languages. In a way they provide a link with Peshawar, Chiara Dynys' exhibition from last year. This network of cultural events that we have designed hints at ripples, and stones in a pond. Our hope is that something will remain of this “day”.