I grew up being exposed to very imperialistic memorials. In Italy, influenced by the approach of the Roman Empire, memorials are big, heavy, brutalist, to my eyes they very often carry a sense of violence. When I was young I went to Berlin and I saw the holocaust memorial. That became my idea of a memorial, but it never felt right to me, the size of it, the heaviness, how austere it feels, it feels like yet another display of power, and many memorials in western culture do. I’ve been interested in memorials for a long time, the way they are conceived, the way they are made and the role they play in society in terms of cultural memory and the interpretation of life and death.
This installation is an attempt at making a memorial, one that felt gentle, that felt delicate , and at the same time elevated the majesty of humans. I wanted to make a memorial that didn’t cement down death but that homaged life, the memorial itself is alive, it’s dynamic, whenever a subtle breeze passes by the white curtains will gently move. This one in particular is dedicated to my grandparents, it feels to me like their last breath of life before reaching the infinite light.
years after the death of his parents, my dad was still processing the loss of his father, I remember him telling me a quote by an American writer “every time someone dies, it’s like if a library is burned”. I remember my father saying that it would’ve been nice to be able to make a visual representation of that sentence.
To homage that, this installation is accompanied by two books, one about my grandfather and one about my grandmother, each book is a collection of their lives: photographs, texts, letters…
Each book is placed in front of one of the white curtains, and a person, an actor, a “performer”, will be in charge of, once in a while, burning one of the pages from the books.