La Processione delle Pietre

Laveronica Arte Contemporanea, Modica / Italy

April 20–July 31, 2019
April 17, 2019
Laveronica arte contemporanea
via Grimaldi 93
97015 Modica Ragusa

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Within the frame of the religious events of Holy Week, the Processione delle Pietre will be a lay moment in which to acknowledge the value of active citizenship. It will feature various realities from Modica which—despite operating in different fields—share the ability to take charge of their own actions for the good of their own future and that of the community. On this occasion, they will try to take their strength beyond their courage: their representatives will transport heavy stones: an action that calls for a remarkable tenaciousness, just like that with which they carry out their everyday resistance.

Ever since the very dawn of history, man has constructed his relationship with the world through stones. We build our houses with stone, the central nuclei of our cities, and Modica is an example of this. Here the ancestral literally merges with the present: many homes in the old part of the city are extensions of ancient grottos inhabited ever since the Neolithic period. The local stone, which takes the name of the city itself, characterises the landscape: it emerges in the form of boulders known as balate and in the dry stone walls, rising through farmhouses and villas. It constitutes a key element of the historical town, and disappears on the outside beneath the identity of the new one. Where man lived in harmony with the territory and his history, the “strong” stone of Modica is the real protagonist.

On this occasion, the stones of Modica will be on the move, transported with the help of straps which, once donned by the participants, will allow not only for the lifting and shifting of the heavier and more voluminous stones compared to their simple bare-handed movement but, being designed for use in twos, will highlight the collaborative aspect of the operation.

The itinerary will cross the city of Modica to reach the public space par excellence: the square. Here, sitting on the very stones they have transported, the participants will talk about themselves, exchanging knowledge and experience, in a dialogue with the rest of the population.

Galleria Laveronica, as well as taking part in the Processione delle Pietre, will oversee the experience: the exhibition space will host the documentation of the preliminary work phases and of the performance, accompanied by the portraits and contributions of the people involved. An account of the ten years of activity of the Giuseppefraugallery collective will also be featured, comprising photos, posters, videos and other meaningful elements from its history.  

With the participation of the following associations: Circolo UAAR di Ragusa; CoCA Center of Contemporary Arts; Confraternita Misericordia Modica; Cooperativa Quetzal "La Bottega Solidale"; Ipso facto Sportello Antiviolenza Fuori dall'Ombra.

The Giuseppefraugallery collective (Eleonora Di Marino, Pino Giampà, Riccardo Oi and Davide Porcedda) was founded in 2009 in a territory characterised by major economic, social, environmental and cultural hardship: Sulcis Iglesiente, in south-west Sardinia. Devastated by the intensive exploitation of resources due first to mining and then to industrial activities, responsible for the poisoning of the land, water and air, not to mention the delocalisation of numerous factories, leaving a great number of people unemployed. The collapse of an obsolete, century-old model of development could not but be transformed into an opportunity: a dream of reclamation and cultural reconversion guided the finest experiences to have emerged from the territory.

From here arises the need to create a point of reference for contemporary art, a powerful means by which to read the past and imagine the future. The collective has always dealt with the main issues of the territory and worked to unearth its hidden aspects, in the attempt to provide the community with the tools needed to face the transformations underway with a critical gaze. From their earliest actions, in which they intervened directly in the rewriting of a long-lost popular tradition, the Carnival of Iglesias, to their arrival on the political scene so as to implement the notion of culture as the matrix of a new model of development, supporting factory workers in their campaign for economic reconversion, and from their work designed to sensitise the population with regard to themes of sustainable development and the safeguarding of the environment to the creation of a Contemporary Civic Art School, the collective has always acted through the fields of art and activism, experimenting with new forms of cultural resilience and resistance, setting themselves the aim of making a tangible effect on their reality, leading communities to come up with alternative and innovative forms of development.