Utopian Experiment of Performative Land Art

by Noel Gazzano and Grace Zanotto

Apulia Land Art Festival IV Edition “Gutta CavART Lapidem” - 16, 17, 18 September, Bosco di Mesola, Cassano delle Murge (Bari)

In the context of the IV Edition Apulia Land Art Festival, Noel Gazzano and Grace Zanotto present the performative land art installation "Land Of Mine, I am Yours", at once "metaphor and concrete example of the possible, synchronous overcoming off all forms of violence - towards women, nature and all human beings". The two artists believe in art as a means of social transformation; their "utopian experiment" deals with and proposes solutions for the ecological crisis in Apulia, Italy's heel, where mismanaged industries and illegally buried toxic waste are causing a dramatic increase of cancer among the local population.



My Apulia, I am yours
Land of mine, I am yours
I enter you
I become dirt
I become uranium, cadmium, lead, dioxin
Plastic, glass, metal
Mafia, denial, unawareness
And then drop that livens
New thought that transforms
New reality that is born
River, strength, imagination, flower
Freedom that frees.

By employing hemp, which eliminates dioxin from land, Gazzano and Zanotto are transforming an ancient specchia (prehistoric construction chosen as symbol of the originally non-violent relationship between humans and nature) in a fitodepuration-plant. A wodden structure made with recycled materials emerges delicately from the top of the specchia, well-integrated within the natural environment; hemp sprouts grow and create the shape of a camouflage burka. A fitodepuration process is initiated: the plants detoxify land, water and rain.
Visitors enter the artwork one at a time, experiencing on their very own skin the growth of nature and thus our shared responsibility towards the environment. The landscape can be observed from inside the installation through an exagonal rim, the same shape through which women wearing a burqa gaze at the world. Various elements are crochetted - a traditional texhnique the meditative rhythm of which enables intimate understandings.
Drops slowly fall from above. Water, representing nonviolent thought, excavates and transforms the hard rock of violence (burqa and mafia-based code-of-silence): new life grows  - the new thoughts necessary for the radical transformation of the violent society we live in. Noel Gazzano and Grace Zanotto hope that, drop after drop, the experience of their art will trigger ecological awareness and responsibility for the common good.
The artists can be seen at work in the Bosco di Mesola on September 16th, 17th and 18th from 4PM to 7 PM.
Apulia Land Art Festival was founded by Carlo Palmisano and Martina Glover (Association UnconventionART per l'arte mai vista). The 2016 edition theme is the Latin motto "Gutta cavART lapidem": just like water, an apparently neutral and gentle entity, can shape hard rocks, in a similar way art disseminated in the territory can requalify it.
The hemp seeds were generously donated by Vincenzo Fornaro, owner of Masseria Carmine (Taranto), for years at the forefront of the use of hemp to detoxify land contaminated by the local ILVA industry. His corageous work is narrated in the docufilm "Non Perdono", directed by Roberto Marsella and Grace Zanotto, that will be projected in Palazzo Marchesale Miani Perotti (Cassano delle Murge, every day 9AM-1 PM, 5-8 PM.
On the contrary to what they want us to believe
change is possible because depuration is possible.
NON PERDONO employs art as a defence-weapon of liberation and purification. It is freedom of expression and social engagement. It represents the hero that self-sacrifices to allow a new beginning, a thought-bomb, the explosion that lifts the smog covering the city of Taranto.

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