Marcello Maloberti ”Cuore Mio” at Maria Lai open-air Museum, Ogliastra
Marcello Maloberti ”Cuore Mio”, curated by Davide Mariani, is a project by the Fondazione di Sardegna and the Fondazione Stazione dell’Arte in the context of AR/S – Arte Condivisa in Sardegna e Sentieri Contemporanei in collaboration with the Municipality of Ulassai and ARST – Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti (Sardinian Regional Transportation Company).
Almost forty years after Maria Lai’s Legarsi alla montagna – Connecting to the mountain, the Fondazione di Sardegna and the Fondazione Stazione dell’Arte meet to create a project that is much more than a simple tribute to the artist from Ulassai, thanks to the intervention of Marcello Maloberti.
THE PROJECT: “CUORE MIO” – On 21 September, on the mountain of Ulassai, a permanent site-specific artwork will be inaugurated and will become part of the collection of the Maria Lai open-air Museum. The installation will be followed by a performance that, from sunset until late evening, will involve the community of Ulassai in the streets of the village and in the central square Barigau. These actions constitute the project “CUORE MIO”, conceived by the artist Marcello Maloberti, curated by Davide Mariani, director of the museum dedicated to Maria Lai, and promoted by the Fondazione di Sardegna with the Fondazione Stazione dell’Arte as part of the well-established production of works and projects of contemporary art on the regional territory coordinated by the platform “AR/S – Arte Condivisa in Sardegna”: an increasingly wide network of public and private bodies and institutions which has its driving force in the Foundation of Sardinia and which, on this occasion, also embraces the Municipality of Ulassai, Sentieri Contemporanei and the ARST – Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti.
THE PREVIEW: ULASSAI IN ROMA – The project was preceded by a preview that was held between 18 and 19 June at the MAXXI Museum in Rome, on the inauguration of the exhibition dedicated to Maria Lai. The two days saw the presence, at the entrance of the museum, of two security officers intent on supporting the road sign of Ulassai. Visitors were welcomed by a “living sculpture” that, thanks to a series of conceptual references, gave rise to a real “geographical skid”. Through the road sign, Marcello Maloberti ideally connected two distant but emblematic places of Maria Lai’s biography and path: Ulassai and Rome.
THE NEW ARTWORK FOR THE MARIA LAI OPEN-AIR MUSEUM – On 21 September in Ulassai, Maloberti wants to resume metaphorically the famous celestial ribbon that, in 1981, joined all the houses of the small village in Ogliastra to the mountain. It will be there, among the majestic Tacchi (mountains), that now, almost forty years after Legarsi alla montagna, the road sign will be placed vertically, like a flag, as to indicate the beginning of another country suspended between heaven and earth. It is a chequered flag, which alludes to Maloberti’s famous work, La vertigine della signora Emilia- The giddiness of Mrs Emilia (1992), in which the artist’s mother and grandmother are dressed in a red and white checkered tablecloth, in an atmosphere halfway between de Chirico, the Russian peasants of Malevič and the disturbing twins of Kubrick’s film Shining, will accompany the procession on the mountain, like a Chinese New Year dragon, for the inauguration of the permanent installation CUORE MIO which, from that moment, will become part of the collection of public works of the open-air Museum Maria Lai.
THE PERFORMANCE – After realizing the site-specific work, in the Centre of the town of Ulassai, Maloberti will give life to another “participatory” action, in Barigau Square, already the scene of another artwork by Maria Lai, Il volo del gioco dell’oca – The flight of the goose game (2003). The playful dimension of the artwork of the Sardinian artist, inspired by the traditional “Game of the goose”, becomes the ideal setting for the staging of Circus (2003-in progress), traveling campsite built by Maloberti, since 2003, in several Italian and European cities, such as Imola, Mestre, Palermo, Vitry/Paris and the Biennale of Thessaloniki.
«In Circus I did again the image I saw one day in Rome – says Maloberti – a tent of a street vendor of Indian glasses. There was a hanging mirror shining in the sun, I made the gesture again, the image two hundred times. Two hundred mirrors swinging in the air reflected the headlights of four cars parked around, with the car radios on, shining in the night. There was a very Felliniesque atmosphere”.
Like an abusive party, an Aladdin lamp, a city lighthouse, Circus is a temporary collective installation that lasts only one day. The mirrors reflect the surrounding architecture and, thanks to the lights of the four cars placed at the corners of the tent, create a sort of disco-ball that gives rise to a dreamy atmosphere, for the occasion, animated by the duo of Sardinian musicians Lilies On Mars.
Characterized by the absence of hierarchies, thanks to the role of the artist who shares the direction, Circus is an open space where architecture and man converge equally. Relationships are in fact the real fulcrum of the artwork that, in this case, is conceived as a device to trigger them: «it is a sort of work on tour that changes slightly according to the spirit of the city that hosts it – continues Maloberti – a device to live life that takes place within the work, where the interaction of the public is born in a natural way. I like to do and undo and reinvent Circus as a nomadic neorealist place a little magical. As when I was a child in the province and temporary attractions were brought to the square, such as the world’s largest whale in a truck or hot air balloons. In the performances I like to lose control of the direction, I like the collective body, feeling the energy”.
THE COMMUNITY – Maloberti has chosen to name his action CUORE MIO, taking inspiration from a story by Salvatore Cambosu (Miele Amaro, 1954), friend and mentor of Maria Lai, whose protagonist, Maria Pietra, turns into stone to save his beloved child, Cuore Mio, from eternal condemnation. «This inspiration also gave rise to the photograph chosen to represent the entire operation – says Davide Mariani, curator of the project and director of the Stazione dell’Arte Museum – in which thirty citizens of Ulassai are arranged around a boulder of the mountain with their arms outstretched upwards, eager to reach and support it at the same time. It is the image of a community that today no longer looks with suspicion at the art of Maria Lai. On the contrary the community is there, with her, to witness the deep bond between the artist and his roots, in a sort of declaration of love.»
At Maria Lai open-air Museum, Ogliastra
until 21 September 2019