A few months ago, in the middle of a lockdown that we will all remember one day with our children, relatives, friends and all kinds of acquaintances, I recklessly wrote a series of short stories about contemporary art, among which was a short divertissement on the phantomatic Galleria Buongiorno Arte Contemporanea (the Good Night Contemporary Art Gallery) that someone in the story cheerfully called Galleria Belladinotte (the Night Beauty Gallery) because it came alive with exciting shows only after dusk.
I was pleased to discover that in Chieti province, since 3 September, the town of Montebello Sul Sangro has opened its doors to the Buonanotte Contemporanea itinerary – an “unpublished and interdisciplinary project created by CASaA architetti” (i.e. Fabio Armillotta, Carmela Palmieri and N. Marco Santomauro) – to revitalise, through the gift of art, an ancient village called Buonanotte, the ancient name of Montebello Sul Sangro (the reader is invited to briefly browse the buonanottecontemporanea.com website).
This still baffles me and makes me smile, although I personally went to watch, in the company of the curator Maria Letizia Paiato and the press officer Marcella Russo, the fascinating works produced by a team of artists – Vincenzo Marsiglia, Jasmine Pignatelli and Artan Shalsi – who managed to harmonise the archaic with the present using intelligent creations. In fact, Paiato suggests that their works “engage in a dialogue with the village ruins, the wear and tear of time and the surreal absence of the human figure, contributing to the creation of a safe, experimental and poetic path, in which artistic research structurally responds to the village’s architectural needs for consolidation.
The key words of this elegant project are “ecology”, “identity”, “contamination”, “art”, “nature”, “architecture” and “care”, or rather “taking care”, according to the meaning proposed by Plato in the Πολιτικός: an exhibition in terms of a metaphorical itinerary which becomes creative through the urgent forces of art and, therefore, thanks to the precise work of aesthetic adaptation. Here, today, among the watchful silent houses and streets with memory, we encounter Kaleidoscope by Vincenzo Marsiglia, A Broken Line by Jasmine Pignatelli and BN_L_AIFE_20_295 by Artan Shalsi, all permanent works, examples of cutting-edge technologies that stand out in the landscape, inhabiting the place and sharing a new destiny.
“The heritage of a city, a region, as well as of an entire nation, is not only made up of great monuments but, above all, of the architecture where people live, work and meet every day”, states the project concept. “A project”, again, “where architecture and art can make Buonanotte attractive for future tourist and cultural experiences, situating itself permanently in the village’s itinerary.”
In this small village, between the Maiella and Bomba Lake, something new can be seen: could the avant-garde dream of changing life through art be coming true at Buonanotte?
A tiny thing