HC “Fuoco Alle Galere” at Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels

By Last Updated: June 5, 2023Views: 383

Go to the bar within the morning, nod to the man on the espresso machine. Watch, out of the nook of your eye, how his wrist is at a proper angle whereas urgent the powder, simply the correct amount; how he screws the portafilter to the machine; and the way the steam passes by way of with the suitable strain. Watch the drops fall, one after the other, into the spotless cup. Settle for with a reliable eye {that a} minimal quantity of thick liquid, in different components of the world, wouldn’t be thought of one thing to drink. To be truthful, espresso on the bar is just not a drink; it’s concentrated sweat, an evening dew, a dense patina, a touch fairly than a actuality. Nevertheless, it provides you the impression that issues are as they need to be, that the world is starting this morning “because it ought to.” On this island, the place issues are higher hinted at than stated, one doubles in a steady ambiguity. There’s worth in absolute beginnings which might be introduced—however not declared, like espresso. Sniffing, stirring, sipping, ensuring the cup is sizzling, risking the lips or extra cleverly utilizing a teaspoon to put just a few drops on the rim to chill it down; there’s a shared experience between you and the barista, a have to show every day that you know the way issues ought to be completed. Just a few emphasize the consequences of espresso however all agree that it’s important; with out it there isn’t a level getting off the bed. In a land the place “going to sleep” means “to put down”, again in Demeter’s maternal embrace, staying upright is an ongoing problem. Previous the morning, espresso is crucial to get by way of the day, to complete lunch, to face the afternoon evil hour. There’s an intimate dimension to daytime espresso; it is part of considering existence, of accompanying it with a educated and by some means bitter nod: yeah, that’s proper. Or if you happen to sip espresso with associates, it’s mandatory to speak, to agree and deny. In a circle of associates the espresso serves to reiterate: after all, that’s it.

In some unspecified time in the future you lose depend, you may drink six or seven of them. After a sure second they’re the assent of the night, of the evening, of the wee hours. You look out on the balcony; you may’t get to sleep; you hope for the reduction of the marble slab of the kitchen desk. You make your self a cup of espresso. You sit up and start to assume that you’re the one witness of the evening; a skinny breeze is available in from the aircraft timber on the road. You set free a sigh, lookup and understand that, within the constructing throughout the road, an individual such as you is sitting and sipping her espresso. After which, if you happen to look nearer, there are three, 4, 5 extra balconies illuminated, extra insomniacs and extra cups.

This island of insomniacs and evening owls finds solace as the sunshine goes down. It accepts the burden and results of the solar, understanding how the sturdy gentle blurs the contours. Midday is the realm of complete ambiguity. Who is aware of what’s true and what’s not. So many phrases are wasted: it appears that evidently, he says that, relying on, mah, who is aware of. Borges declared that he was blissful in Palermo as a result of Sicily is the house of doubt, from Gorgia di Lentini, the sophist, to Pirandello, to Sciascia. You journey like HC and brush towards inexperienced hills of perplexity, golden sands of duplicity, agaves of thorns and wind, unlawful buildings that cling to the certainties of Etna to disclaim them. In each journey on this world you get loaded with impressions. When you carry them again residence, they flip the wrong way up, break up and don’t permit themselves to be grasped. Then it’s essential to settle for that you simply caught solely a component, that you simply didn’t see what was past the nook of your eye. You could return, revise, repent and switch round. Right here, there’s something that all the time comprises its reverse, the younger Kore kidnapped by Hades additionally turns into the Goddess of Darkness, the weeping mom who accepts the obscene jokes her associates play on her to consolation her. Right here the reflection of issues is all the time able to tease you slightly.

“Fuoco alle Galere!” (Burn Down the Prisons) might be the slogan of an absolute craving for freedom for all. Right here in Sicily it takes on an ambiguous tone. Within the island the place prisons are additionally the location of Mafia conspiracies, the underside of the realm of corruption, sure, perhaps eliminating them could be advisable. However to assume that this is similar Mafia that was damaged up by Falcone and Borsellino, the exact same folks may simply go for a stroll alongside the principle avenue. . . Nicely, that’s what boss Messina Denaro did (walked round his village for 30 years with out anybody recognising him!). Briefly, “fuoco alle galere” is a slogan that the mobsters made their very own, however it’s nonetheless a reputable aspiration of a wholesome society. If there may be one factor that Sicily teaches, and immerses you in, it’s the grey areas, the nuances, and never believing that black and white are sharply distinct. It is a wonderful base upon which to develop each a proper and casual itinerary for the creation of an art work, which may go on and discover backlighting. HC’s doubled cups, their ceramics, their portraits of Sicily in black and white, match into the chiaroscuro of doubt. They’re the bodily manifestation of those that arrived right here questioning if they need to actually belief what they’ve glimpsed: the lady peeking at you from the shutter, the gaze of the “double” saints like Cosmas and Damian, reincarnations of the twins Castor and Pollux rescuers of the Argonauts and all sailors. Ambiguity can be the splitting of the shadow that one discovers of oneself at sundown, the elusive twin-ness that every of us carries. The inseparable Cosmas and Damian, who can not dwell with out one another, may make use of our artists’ twin cups that play with their propensity to be doubly left-handed. Should you take your espresso with sugar, don’t overlook that you must maintain stirring it for a very long time. It brings out a slight ripple of froth and leaves, on the backside, the crust of a short lived victory over the bitterness.

—Anna Castelli, Franco La Cecla

at Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels
till July 1, 2023

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