Nicola Baratto e Yiannis Mouravas
Legame immisurabile
curated by
Giulia Monroy
Sant’Angelo Muxaro (AG), Sicilia
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The origins of Sant’Angelo Muxaro run back to ancient times. The archaeological relics that have been discovered reveal human settlements in prehistoric, Hellenistic and Arabian periods.
Baratto & Mouravas found fertile ground for their research in this location, and during the site visit for Una Boccata d’Arte, they had the opportunity to explore the link between past and present, a recurrent theme in their artistic practice which they define as “Archaeodreaming,” and which explores the relationships between archaeology, dreams and mythology. From their engagement with the village, a universe of references, forms and archetypes emerged, culminating in the design of a spiral-shaped seat alongside the entrance to the primary school.
The organic form of the spiral encourages reflection on the cyclic patterns of time and of human experiences, representing nature’s lush growth and its perpetual motion.
A visual and sensorial short circuit is created as Baratto & Mouravas employ, as the support for their seat, a loose interpretation of an amphora with cusped handles, observed at the Agrigento Archaeological Museum and originating from the cave Grotta Capreria, dating back to the 11th century B.C. These amphorae, originally used for rituals and funerary purposes, become structural elements, giving the objects new meanings, underlining the passage of time and the continuity of cultural expressions.
Legame immisurabile (Unmeasurable bond) translates a relationship of constant exchange between counteracting conditions and forces, actions and reactions, that control the cosmos. The spiral as a form of infinite expansion, and the fragility of clay, become a pillar for new thoughts. If it be true that “form follows function”, the work becomes not only a place of rest but also an opportunity for the community to gather and celebrate its own history and identity. It is an invitation for participation, a meeting place where people can share dreams, ideas and hopes for the future, creating an emotional and spiritual connection with the places and cultures of the past.

Artwork:
01.
Nicola Baratto & Yiannis Mouravas, Legame immisurabile, 2024. Clay, ionized iron, wood, 44 x 600 x 540 cm approx.
Piazza Aldo Moro (behind the Church)

Imagining new functions that archaeological artifacts could have in public space, the work re-interprets the vases found in the local necropolis as the supports for a spiral bench where there is an immeasurable bond of summer chatter and caresses, between cicadas and shooting stars.

Nicola Baratto (Montebelluna, Italy 1989) and Yiannis Mouravas (Athens, Greece, 1986) are former research fellows of the Dirty Art Department at the Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Their practice is based on ‘Archaeodreaming’, an experimental research method they developed that explores history, mythology, and the overlays between archaeology and dreaming. By creating connections between archaic and contemporary cultures, they develop poetic and nonlinear narrative forms, intertwining field and archival research with unconscious experiences. Their works unfold through multimedia installations, films, artist books, and sculptures. They have received international grants such as the Mondriaan Fonds, the Stimuleringsfonds, and the overseas residency grant from the XII edition of the Italian Council award. Recent exhibitions include A Rave Down Below at Elevsis, European Capital of Culture, Eleusis (GR, 2023); 2012 Never Happened at In Debt, Amsterdam (NL, 2023); and Prospects and Concepts at Art Rotterdam (NL, 2023).

OUR RESEARCH CONSIDERS HISTORICAL ARTEFACTS SUCH AS MAPS, SHIPWRECKS, RELICS, AND VESSELS AS TIME CAPSULES THAT MIGHT FOREGROUND FORGOTTEN HISTORIES. DIGGING INTO THESE OBJECTS AND CASE STUDIES, WE INVESTIGATE HOW "ARCHAEODREAMING" COULD BECOME A METHOD FOR RE-ENCHANTMENT—AN ACTION TO CONTEMPLATE SOMETHING INVISIBLE AND UNKNOWN—ENGAGING WITH PROCESSES OF MEMORY AND IMAGINATION.

Sant’Angelo Muxaro (AG)
Sicilia

Perched on a chalky hill in the Sicani Mountains, Sant'Angelo Muxaro was founded in around the 16th century, in an area so ancient that myth and history are intertwined into a unique tapestry.
The hillside slopes feature numerous cave tombs, dating back to the 9th century B.C.: a vast necropolis of what must have been a flourishing Sican settlement from the Bronze and Iron Ages.
The largest protohistoric tomb in Sicily is also located here: the “Tomb of the Prince” consists of a double circular chamber, the first of which is 9 metres in diameter and over 3 metres high with a tholos dome, similar to the royal Mycenaean tombs of comparable age in Greece.
Monte Castello is the site of what remains of an ancient Arab stronghold Qalàt al-Mushar'àh (giving origin to the name Muxaro), probably built on the remains of another Bronze Age fortress: Kamikos, the fortress-city of the Sican king Kòkalos, may have stood here. According to legend, Kòkalos hosted Daedalus, the ingenious architect who fled from Crete and built superb fortifications for the king.
Caves of speleological and naturalistic interest can be seen in the Grotta Sant'Angelo Reserve, while the fascinating “Vallone del Ponte” karst system unfolds along a valley with a tributary of the Platani River.
Visiting Sant'Angelo Muxaro enables you to experience an ancient and authentic Sicily, made of myth and history but also of flavours: as generous and exquisite as the local population.

Thanks to: Mayor Angelo Tirrito, Deputy Mayor Gianluca Di Benedetto, Silvia Giarratano, Pierfilippo Spoto, the community of Sant’Angelo Muxaro.