Hypermaremma, when art kisses nature
Ships that pass in the night, Ships that pass in the night: these words of enigma and slowness, written in blue neon, have been camping since Saturday, June 4, 2022, on the wall of the Aldobrandesca fortress in Talamone (Grosseto). They are a work by Maurizio Nannucci (Florence, 1939), among the protagonists of the fourth edition of Hypermaremma, a revolutionary program of art and territory straddling Tuscany and Lazio. Created in 2019 "almost for fun," gallery owner Carlo Pratis, creator and curator of the project, together with Giorgio Galotti (gallery owner) and Matteo D'Aloja (architect), tells us.
Hypermaremma is a dialogue between place and artistic intervention, "it puts the artists' vision and territory on the same level." The relationship with the landscape is "immersive: the works redesign and resignify it," Pratis explains. "The landscape becomes an integral part of the work, often of its very meaning. Most of the time, we start from the place itself, from our desire to reveal it and thus tell it through the artist's eyes. Starting from the place, we reason about what practice and intervention might be most suitable, so we proceed with the artist's research."
For example, on April 16, Giuseppe Gallo's sculptural intervention, I giocolieri dell'armonia (opening photo), "the first work ever that we manage to put in tangible dialogue with the sea," says Pratis, opened on the beach of Tagliata di Ansedonia, just as Ships that pass in the night is "a tribute to the nocturnal navigators, a blue semantic trace visible to those who cross in the dark the bay of Talamone."
These are monumental works with a non-transitory, exemplary character. They jar yet collimate with the anarchic nature of the Maremma landscape. They can inject energy into the future, as happened through the success of the giant neon Spazio Amato, by Massimo Uberti, installed in the annus horribilis 2020. The work is located in Terre di Sacra, part of the Lake Burano Oasis, and entrusted to WWF by the Puri Negri family. It was 1969. A sign to "affirm our will to preserve this territory," says Giulia Puri Negri.
Beyond their monumentality, are these works designed to transit or to stay? "They are increasingly having the character of stability. I think of Emiliano Maggi's beautiful work in Scansano, in the midst of the Morellino vineyards on the huge Terenzi estate. Or the one in the thermal baths of Vulci (Michela de Mattei) in the Latium Maremma. Spazio Amato is permanent, although temporarily removed for wildlife reasons (it will be reactivated on July 8, 2022).
The integration of land art with this territory is not only physical but spiritual. A kind of "beauty education." When we ask how the works are protected, Carlo Pratis replies that, in his opinion, "when something is wonderful, you don't dare to vandalize it. There has been no vandalism." The only case of "external intervention" in work was that of a writer who affixed his hashtag on Totem, by Moira Ricci of Maremma (1977): the fist of Goldrake, a robot from a 1970s Japanese cartoon, placed to protect the peasant spirit of those quarters undergoing "gentrification." This is not an act of vandalism but rather "a celebration."
After Gallo and Nannucci, other performances/installations are on the way. Claudia Comte's, in the valley of Pescia Fiorentina: a giant 110-meter-long inscription made of tree trunks from Mount Amiata. Francesco Cavaliere will produce a narrative/performance in the Archaeological Park of Cosa in Ansedonia; Gianni Politi in Talamone will stage an actual windsurfing regatta with sails painted by him; Guglielmo Maggini will intervene on Porta Medina, the seventeenth-century Spanish gate located in Orbetello. The quotations? "The works placed in the area this year start from 50,000 euros up to several hundred thousand euros. I would point out that smaller-scale editions of the original works are also available at significantly lower prices."
Like last year, an auction for these works will be held in September. This time the sale will fall to Sotheby's, in a logic of alternation (In 2021, it was entrusted to Christie's).