The story of another, if just as timely, Cavaliere is told anew in the City of Art. The city center – relives the tale of “Il Cavaliere Inesistente” as re-imagined by the Ligurian artist Giuliano Tomaino. Italo Calvino’s novel about the Knight-in-armour … without a body, who by his sheer willpower fights in Charlemagne’s army famously speaks to modern man’s inability to be genuine – “it’s possible to be, without existing.” Tomaino is the trickster spirit of Italian art; he is known for boldly subverting the urban space with his whimsical signposts and challenging the viewer with his iconic archetypes. Here he breathes new life into the Cavaliere and his story, and through this theme haunts the Roccaforte (the fortress overlooking Pietrasanta,) the Church, the monastery, and the battlefield – in short all of the locations in Calvino’s story.
Pietrasanta hosts… and that may not capture the extent of the show; it’s a far-ranging exhibit of Tomaino’s works. In fact you’ll see his works in the Piazza del Duomo, as giant projections, and in the complex of Sant’Agostino, as tree-shaped “narrative history” of Pietrasanta, in the Church of Sant’Agostino (one of the world’s most intriguing exhibition spaces) as shamanic pilgrimage to the houses of the holy. And then, yes, there’s more… look in the outskirts… and in the Marina for red silhouettes… phantasmagoric shapes… hands, rocking horses, human figures “chatting” with one another and with us, as seemingly unwitting protagonists in an engaging and fantastic narrative.
The show runs from the 17th of December to the 12th of February.
Much of the work is in the open spaces in town. The Church of Sant’Agostino and the Chiostro are open from 4pm to 7pm. The show is free and open to the public.
There’s a map of the sprawling exhibit to help you along.
Here is a link to a Wiki-Spedia (the wikipages for the Provincia della Spezia e della Lunigiana.) page – in Italian – on the life and work of Giuliano Tomaino.