Emanuele Marullo
I figli di Afelio
curated by
VOGA Art Project - Nicola Guastamacchia e Flavia Tritto
Poggiorsini (BA), Puglia

An alien substance falls in Poggiorsini: it is a comet, or a fragment of one.
Forever a source of wonder, belief, and mystery, comets are cosmic objects with great symbolic value. In their singular plurality, comets are probably the origin of water on our planet, arriving in the form of ice directly from space. An essential resource for the life of terrestrials, water is a valuable substance that defines Poggiorsini’s identity, historically constellated by springs and fountains.
Lorica is a star made of copper mesh which, straying from its orbit in space, has become wedged into the town’s aqueduct tower. Lorica is in constant interaction with the cosmos: every day, in harmony with the Sun, it projects its shadow onto the building, like a sundial. Undergoing the natural process of oxidation, it will progressively age as a result of action by atmospheric agents. This artwork projects the territory into a cosmic dimension and questions its position on earth. What is the centre? What is the periphery?
Taking its name from the point of maximum distance from the Sun reached by a body in orbit around it, the project I figli di Afelio (Aphelion’s Heirs) challenges ideas of centrality and importance, marginality and periphery. The appearance of an alien body provides the opportunity to reconsider position, identity and relationships. This is what is suggested by Diario (Diary), a cycle of seven drawings on aluminium, which moves from astronomical to microscopic dimensions, evoking millenary archetypes, internal explorations, and traces of local life. An alien is a body coming from elsewhere, a foreign individual who stands out among familiar faces — an art object that plummets into the usual landscape.
The arrival of an alien generates the possibility of a reaction: a welcome. The work by Emanuele Marullo thus becomes the opportunity for a reflection that transcends hierarchical dichotomies such as self/other, and center/periphery, interweaving local and universal stories that combine matter and light, accompanied by Apnea (Apnoea), a symphony of underwater echoes by sound artist Alberto Papotto.

The project is implemented with the support of PwC.

Emanuele Marullo, Apnea, 2024. Sampling and soundtrack in collaboration with Alberto Papotto, 29 min.
Torre dell'acquedotto, Via Vittorio Veneto / Via Martiri delle Foibe, Poggiorsini

02. Emanuele Marullo, Lorica, 2024. Modular structure in riveted copper mesh, Ø 100 cm.
Torre dell'acquedotto, Via Vittorio Veneto / Via Martiri delle Foibe, Poggiorsini

03. Emanuele Marullo, Diario, 2024. 7 drawings printed on aluminum, 30 x 30 cm each.
Passage between Largo Tripoli e Via Diaz, Poggiorsini; or Largo Tripoli / Via Diaz, Poggiorsini

I figli di Afelio(Aphelion’s Heirs) is a mythological image that evokes a cosmic place: the orbital point farthest from the Sun. At the same time, it is a gaze set on a very close, earthly, and vital horizon.

Emanuele Marullo (Catania, Italy, 1989) lives in Turin, where he is a co-founder and active member of the Bastione collective, dedicated to promoting events in the fields of art, music, and performance. He studied at the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti in Turin and the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, completing his education at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, France. For several years, Marullo has been developing an environmental art pathway that leads him to explore natural locations where he experiments with connections and intentions. He has participated in various exhibitions and artistic residencies, including: Dolo, promoted by Home-Network at the Corte delle Dolomiti, Belluno (IT, 2023); Tell_us, promoted by Messy Lab with the support of Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo at Torri Superiore, Ventimiglia (IT, 2021); 1+1. 0 and Se non tocchi non cade at Villa Rey, Turin (IT, 2021); Land Land Land, promoted by the Bastione collective in collaboration with the Museo della Ceramica di Mondovì (IT, 2019); Circulart at Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (IT, 2019); Monza Biennale (IT, 2019); Focare at Villa Littorio in the Cilento Park, Laurino (IT, 2018); Les pommes des hommes at Associazione Barriera, Turin (IT, 2018); and Biennal d’Art Contemporain, Mulhouse (FR, 2017).

I make environmental interventions in relation to the landscape, often grafting them onto pre-existing architectural or natural forms, which I identify as geo-foundations. I am interested in the idea of sculpture as construction of the environment: a habitat in motion where being and their architecture are nomadic. For this reason, in my self-supporting structures, form and energy are closely intertwined.

Poggiorsini (BA)

Poggiorsini is a hillside municipality of ancient origins, with 1,290 inhabitants.
Set in a picturesque landscape, it offers visitors the chance to enjoy the unique Murgia landscape and to taste simple and genuine local products. In the 17th century, it became part of the Orsini family's property. They transformed the small rural village into a true urban centre, giving rise to the town's name. It was ruled by this family until the abolition of feudalism, decreed by Napoleonic laws in the early 19th century, and it was later annexed to Gravina in Puglia, becoming administratively independent in 1957. Its notable monuments include the new parish church of Maria Santissima Addolorata, erected after the earthquake in the 1930s, which caused serious damage to the previous church which had been built in the 18th century and was dedicated to “Santa Maria dei Sette Dolori” (Holy Mary of the Seven Sorrows). Places of interest include the old village, which developed around the Orsini farmhouse and, around the town, the various masserie (farmsteads), focal points in the ancient farming civilisation. The countryside around Poggiorsini has many olive groves, vineyards and vast fields for cereal crops; the wild flora includes more than 50 species of orchids.

Thanks to: Mayor Pietro Picerno, Councillor for Culture Affairs Mara di Palo, Councillor Giovanni for Public Works Sicolo, and the entire municipal administration, Apulian Aqueduct, represented by engineer Valeria Caporaletti.