Andrea Martinucci
Il tempo, come frusta
curated by
Giulia Pollicita
Letino (CE), Campania

Il tempo, come frusta (Time, like a whip) originates from Andrea Martinucci’s idea of digging down into Letino’s history. This attempt leads to the discovery of an insurrection by a small group of anarchists from Letino in the late 19th century. This episode becomes an opportunity to reinterpret the implications of living today in a village a long way from large cities, but nonetheless perfectly immersed in the present. This is the basis behind the invitation to the people of Letino, during a residency period in the village, to describe themselves and their concept of “resistance” by means of an object and a story given to the artist.
Andrea Martinucci’s project takes the form of a site-specific environmental video installation designed for the bar in Letino, nicknamed Che Guevara, one of the village’s most vibrant locations. The collected materials constituted the script and props for the video installation Monster Grabber, filmed in the bar during the karaoke night attended by the entire community. In the video, projected in a loop on the screen, a mechanical arm picks up, touches, or holds objects and their stories for a few moments, accompanied by the music of MaiMaiMai, who reinterprets in an electronic key traditional songs that are disappearing, of Letino and the region of Campania. Newspaper sheets on display inside the bar gather the original stories transmitted orally, rewritten and transfigured by the artist's listening.
Outside the bar, a painted addition to the now timeworn sign warns of the work’s presence and its continuity with the location hosting it.
Il tempo, come frusta
raises a question: who has the control and the ability to give voice to things? A higher entity, an entertainment machine, or the simple passage of time? Or perhaps none of these hypotheses?

01: Andrea Martinucci, Monster Grabber, 2024. Site-specific installation, HD video, color, sound, 18'45''
Original Score e sound Design: MaiMaiMai. Cinematography ed editing: Arianna Del Grosso. Set Design: Benedetta Maestro. Assistant Set Design: Eleonora Scarponi.
Bar Tomasone Rita (also known as Che Guevara), Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 8

02. Andrea Martinucci, Whips, 2024. 6 b&w xerox prints on 80 g recycled newsprint, 16 pp, 35 x 50 cm
Bar Tomasone Rita (also known as Che Guevara), Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 8

03. Andrea Martinucci, Welcome Monsters, 2024. Acrylic on wood, 96 x 96 x 1cm each.
Bar Tomasone Rita (also knows as Che Guevara), Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 8

I identified the bar as the best place to explore the tension between memory, distortion, and gossip. My ear retains the stories of resilience from the people I can now call by name. I will be the keeper of secrets as if I had made a pact with the mountains that welcomed me.

Andrea Martinucci (Rome, Italy, 1991) is a visual artist who splits his time between Milan and Rome. His artistic research spans a wide array of themes, approached through a multidisciplinary lens that weaves together elements of fiction and theory. While his main focus is on painting, his work also embraces writing and moving images. Martinucci's creations have been showcased in both public and private venues, including the Triennale di Milano; IUNO, Rome; MACRO, Rome; Palazzo Reale, Milan; Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong; Aldea - Center for Contemporary Art and Technology, Bergen; FuturDome, Milan; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; ZETA Contemporary Art Center, Tirana; Mattatoio, Rome; Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa; and Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Rome. In 2020, he was a recipient of the Cantica21 award. Italian Contemporary Art Everywhere, where he presented Turbomondi (Melodia), a video installation that became part of the public collection at the Central Institute for Graphics, Rome. His involvement in several significant projects includes Tonight we are young - New Italian Art at Triennale di Milan (IT, 2022), Fenomeno Pasquarosa, Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio, Rome (IT, 2021), Rereading the Archive, ICA, Milan (IT, 2022), and MANIFesta - Initiatives di II at MACRO, Rome (IT, 2021).

My research proposes to analyse the dynamic nature of memory, identity and communication in the context of our social and political landscape. In this context, inanimate objects take on the role of protagonists, freeing themselves from their conventional functions. This metaphorical approach serves as a method of non-verbal communication that develops through visual stratigraphies characterised by humorous, absurd and poetic tones.

Letino (CE)

The mountain village of Letino is within the Matese Regional Park, at a height of 1,050 metres above sea level.
Still today, this historic settlement retains its ancient layout, with evocative, narrow alleys that occasionally open onto panoramic views overlooking the valley below. The Church of Saint John the Baptist and the Castle, built on neolithic ruins, are of historic and architectural interest, and likewise the “Santuario della Madonna del Castello”, a building set into the settlement’s walls built during the 17th century.
As early as the Neolithic epoch, Letino was a centre of civilisation as a result of its green valleys, beech forests, springs and surface water features, which include the river Lete, known as the “river of oblivion,” fed by many springs, and Lake Letino, a hydroelectric basin famous for its natural beauty and its stalactite and stalagmite formations. An emissary of this lake forms waterfalls in the steep, craggy Valle delle Ravi valley.
Traditional Letino dress can still be seen in local culture: women wear hand-embroidered white blouses and long, dark skirts, over which there is a colourful decorated apron; their hair is in a plait or covered with a scarf. Men wear black trousers, a white shirt and an embroidered jacket. These costumes are used for special occasions and local festivities, and still today they highlight the people’s cultural identity and their links with Letino’s historical roots.

Thanks to: Mayor Pasquale Orsi, Deputy Mayor Oliviero Cristinzo, Vincenzo D'Alterio, local artist Angelo Ciarlo, Rita Tomasone, Giuseppe Tomasone and the bar staff, the people who joined the project and all the citizens of Letino for their welcome and support.