2023 – Potamoi – performative/mix media installation

(from Greek: Ποταμοί, “rivers”)
Lerma 2023
performative/mix media installation by Chiara Pellegrini

Those who fight with monsters must be careful not to become a monster by doing so. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into you.”
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The story goes that during the Middle Ages the inhabitants of Lerma went to the top of the rock and performed rites aimed at driving away negative thoughts and preventing disasters and famines. All the anguish and evil actions were poured onto that precipice and ended up down there, towards the river, in that dark tangle of deformed shrubs and trees, to feed strange monstrous beings: some have defined them as Ungumani, or a cross between humans and wild boars. These beings, thanks to their strength in the past, in times of difficulty, have helped many people with heavy work and provided precious suggestions on how to relate to nature.1
is the name I gave to this propitiatory mask, in Greek mythology it represents the three thousand divinities of the main rivers of the world known by the ancient Greeks and personifies one of the ancestral forces of nature.
Aprotopaic masks, in all cultures, have always had the function of warding off the evil one.
Potamoi, on the other hand, asks himself: what are the things that we give value to and that we want to save or sow? This is the question you will have to answer if you choose to wear the mask and carry out the “ritual”. The mask will be worn by the inhabitants of Lerma and photographed in the Ricetto square in front of the castle; the images placed side by side will create a sort of collective self-portrait of the country, a hypothesis for an “ideal city”.

1Tratto da: “La leggenda dei mostri della rocca di Lerma” di Marco Marengo


The art and the senses
Every means has its limits:
the music is blind,
the painting is silent
the paralytic sculpture || 333 00 00 333
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