A protest “deliberately unappreciated”

(open letter from 25th February 2014)

Three weeks have already gone by since that fateful 28th January, a day in which after I had handed in to the authority a self-accusation, bringing to an end the performance at Circus Maximus which started on the night of the 24th November 2013. During this period of time many people have spoken about the happening using different keys of interpretation.  In many cases correctly but in many others unfortunately the news had been mystified and exploited, therefore I feel the necessity to make my point of view clear and put everything back into line.

The main reason for my reaction, in fact has been ignored, misunderstood or kept silent.

For those who know my work and my project “Inside Mondriaan” will also know how to reconnect the Monolith to my research, nevertheless I still need to underline in a categorical manner, that my intent was surely not  an abusive and cunning way to exhibit an opera in a public contest in order to gain publicity. The Media who stated this have misinterpreted the meaning of what happened in a superficial and incorrect manner.

The “Monolith” situated in that precise place, wasn’t an exposition of itself but represented the exposition of a “symbol”, which together with the action of an abusive occupation and an act of irreverence (which must be underlined – without any consequence of vandalism) I aimed to expose this objection:

  • I exposed and showed the absence and laxism of the Institution towards Art. The total disinterest of artistic wealth in this city and also for contemporary art.
  • I exposed and showed the total absence of control, above all to do with security, which had allowed me to position an opera of such dimension without ever meeting up with surveillance or security guardes.
  • I exposed and demonstrated obtusity  of the Institution towards contemporary art. An example on all banning was on Kentridge who wanted to carry out his project which would have improved the value of the Tevere’s river bank. I exposed a contradiction towards “protection” in which mentions the absence of contemporary operating in the city. A world  wide known Artist isn’t allowed an intervention, yet, I… who is unknown was able to install an opera of such dimension without the same institution… so very careful on protection and conservation of the historical wealth, not even noticing my intervening.
  • I exposed a total absence of a global cultural project as a city such as Rome, the world’s cradle of Art and of History of which it would deserve. Offering the expected dignity therefore catching the attention of world wide Artists. This would be a way to tow-in even the whole Art Market, on which moving here its own interests would surely bring a big revival even on economical terms.
  • I exposed the situation of total unorganisation of some museums in this city, an example on all Macro and partly to the Maxxi. Not to mention the “Palladium’s tragedy”.
  • I exposed and made public obtusity, of which doesn’t allow us to see what we have throughout the whole territory, a primary source of Art which really appears to be the last resource.
  • I exposed the incapacity of the Institution to transform Rome in the real world’s capital of Art, creating that “Artistic rising” which has always lacked. The one and only city with an immeasurable wealth, where every Artist would be able to “freely” display his own Art: from visible art to theatre, cinema, music and so on.
  • I exposed and made public the impossibility for many Artists to be able to have recognition of that what they do – unless he is an artist with financial capacity, then yes, he can have what he wants from prestigious exhibition areas up to “sided criticism”, also including the editorial sector with all the visibility one could wish for… as long as you pay!!

 This is what I exposed  and focused my attention on, pointing out all of the problems – In which I hoped for! I hoped that all of this would have infringed, thanks to this “steel Monolith”. I hoped that all of this would have had at least created a reaction of deep reflection on the state in which art is effused in this country and in this city, waiting to then see real facts.

Unfortunately due to superficiality of lack of listening or probably tendentiously to hide moral laxity of our institutions many headlines wanted to make the procedure look as if it was a way to self-promote, and in some occasions I have been criticized on personal matters as well as artistic ones. Even the critical opinion which has only to do with the opera, either they be positive or negative are out of place. Is it so very difficult to understand that to stop only on a superficial aesthetical and artistic adjudgement of the opera has hardly anything to do with what it represents and on the conceptual meaning of my procedure?

The success on the whole happening has been the duration of these two months, in which  “Place de la Concorde” remained at Circus Maximus in front of  entire indifference of the Institution which wasn’t able to defend the city but moreover had not even noticed my “invasion” until the day in which I decided to bring it to an end,  making a self-accusation.

All of which that has followed is nothing more than a perfect  representation of “The Cave myth of Plato”.

I therefore realize that I “probably” have fought uselessly for an ideal, a reality which is uncomfortable to digest.

Mine was a utopian dream. Anyway at least I reacted, I did something. I accomplished an act of love for this city – showing my face and exposing myself in first person. Also, nearly impoverishing myself and yet I am not regretful. Even though, now I realize, it’s impossible to believe that one can react for an ideal… but this is so!

Francesco Visalli