Turin, September 10, 2022
Dearest Orson Welles,
I am writing to you from the future.
You know, the ambitious Mr. Kane of your film Citizen Kane has endeared himself to me.
Isn't his abode, a fortress to accommodate both the magnificent and the lonely, Candalù, a way to get closer to what he has lost, namely the childhood he never really had?
Who knows why what is lost always seems to have so much value, who knows if this childhood so often called into question is really the place of unbridled freedom we like to imagine.
Marco Polo named his remote homeland Giandu, from Xanadu, or Shàngdū.
Is it from there that he took the cue to name like that his protagonist's refuge? Did he want to tell of a remote, perhaps somewhat mystical place to which one can never return except with one's mind?
Wiame, Umberto, Camilla, are 13 years old.
In imagining an exhibition made by them, perhaps I was also looking for my own Candalù, a way to get away from my superstructures, to give other languages a chance to exist.
"Why do we feel uncomfortable in art spaces? What is art?" I could not answer all the questions with absolute certainty, but then again, I think this experiment would not have been possible if we had not allowed room for doubts without too much fear.
It was this freedom that guided us in a process that was so, in its own way, risky and a bit crazy, because it was collective at every stage, from the set-up, to the choice of the materials and the languages to be used.
A process that makes a mockery of hierarchies and authorities and trusts in chance, asking three people born in 2009 with no pretense of being artists or becoming artists in the future, to give all of themselves to make an art exhibition.
Orti Generali helped us a lot.
From their bamboo huts, Camilla, Wiame and Umberto searched the wildest part of the gardens for traces left behind by a world that did not yet exist. The finds, at first meaningless, slowly gave shape to XANADU', KANAGAROO and SANDALU', puzzles whose exterior became an augmented reality: the revelation of an interiority discovered along the way.
The huts, built by them with the help of Alfio, an ortolan and expert in outdoor architectures, have become exploratory bases in which to listen to the sounds around us, sharpen our senses, trust the unknown and what you do not yet know. The result was perhaps an exploratory manual, perhaps an artist's book; perhaps simply the memories of the days spent together, to be filled in future days.
Bringing everything back to Almanac was perhaps the hardest part: what is worth sharing? What can be art and what not? Do we write the last names in the press release? Are we artists just because we had an exhibition? What is a video shot by five different hands?
Finally, are the photographs taken by me too much? I chose three images where each of them was the protagonist, to not create any disparity. But Camilla, Umberto, and Wiame had a much clearer idea of the set-up than me: they chose the images in which the latent and liberating forces of new postures were perceived, in which the body spoke better than we did and told the story of the last half hour spent in the spaces of Orti Alti.
I hope, in all sincerity, that you will at least have some fun when you come to visit our exhibition, dear Mr. Welles. Have we succeeded in bringing different systems of thought together for a common purpose? I admit I haven't figured it out yet, but I confide to you that it was very liberating to forget authorship and to welcome even that which has no form as something valuable.
Perhaps you will understand me, perhaps you also tried to do something similar when you announced the arrival of the UFOs on the radio, instead of one of the usual interviews.
Thank you for making it this far,
I wish you a peaceful autumn,
see you soon,