Site-Specific project, Palazzo Busacca’s archive at Scicli, project curated by Katiuscia Pompili/Parking 095, Catania, in the Collective exhibition and public event: “Nuvole: an aesthetic excursus through Independent Art”, by S.E.M., Scicli (Rg), Sicily, Italy
This project originated from the art residency that both the curator and I took in Scicli 10 days before the show. We were assigned the archive as a place to produce the work for and we spent long time reading the books kept there. We also studied the origin of the building and the famous history of the local man, Pietro Lorenzo Busacca, that four centuries ago left a huge capital to provide for Scicli’s inhabitants various needs. He created a famous wealthy charity which assigned money for marrying poor girls and supporting the local hospital. The archive, hidden from people until last month, collects the whole economic and juridic transactions’ history of the charity; documents and papers span from the beginning of the seventeenth century to the first half of the twentieth.
I chose five books that represented the variety of the data collected in the archive. I placed the books on a old oval table, paired 5 chairs and dimmed the natural light. I then welcomed only 4 viewers each time for just 5 minutes. They were finding me sitting on a chair, singing every data I was reading for them, changing chair and book every two minutes or so. The work was open to be experienced on the first day for 6 hours, the second for 8, the third for 5, till I lost my voice entirely. The decision to sing the archive relates to my need of adding a certain emotional warmth to data that lost their personal value long time ago, becoming just a collection of number and names that can be meaningful for historians but less interesting for common people. On the contrary I really wanted the inhabitants of Scicli to be captured by their history or at least to perceive some of it with immediacy.
Franco Migliorino, Roberto Castronovo,
Liliana Rendo, Giovanni Avola, Sergio Occhipinti