allora & calzadilla in radiceterna
On the occasion of Manifesta12, Radiceterna presents a four exhibition programme curated by Valentina Bruschi, Ignasio Mortellaro and with the artistic coordination of Vittorio Rappa: Allora & Calzadilla, Katinka Bock, Bjorn Braun, Ignazio Mortellaro. The entire project references Pliny the Elder's Naturalist Historia (a collection of 37 books which treat, in an encyclopedic form, all the topics concerning Man and Nature, written around 77-79 AD). Some passages taken from the monumental work of Pliny are inscribed above the octagonal hall of the Gymnasium, the central building of the Botanical Gardens.
The first exhibition marks the opening of the project room with an exhibition by artists Allora & Calzadilla, that the curators have linked with the theme of the first book of Pliny's Naturalis Historia, Astronomy and Meteorology. The artists present the acclaimed video, The Great Silence, for wich they collaborated with the science fiction corker Ted Chaing who produced the story, that appears as subtitles, in the form of a tale by a parrot (of the endangered species, Amazona vittata) living in the Puerto Rican forest Rio Abajo, sharing its habitat with Arecibo, the world's largest single-dish radio telescope. Whilst Arecibo transmits and captures radio waves to and from deepest space, the images of the film flow with the parrot's comments on the search of forms of extra terrestrial intelligence, and it uses the metaphor of vocal learning - common both to parrots and to man - as an element to question the sound produced by the vibrations picked up by the radio telescope, that astronomers call "cosmic microwave background". The text by Ted Chaing was published in 2016 in two anthologies: Best American Science Fictions and Best American Short Stories. The audience of the work in Palermo will find a surprising connection whilst walking around the botanical gardens, inhabited by a large number of parrots that escaped captivity and have found here a favourable climate and shelter amongst the hollow tee trunks that have facilitated their reproduction. These parrots belong primarily to two non-native species, originating from Africa and Asia: the "ringneck parakeet" and the "rosy-faced lovebird". A migration of birds which references that of the different species of planes living in the botanical gardens, the source of inspiration for Manifests 12's theme and the idea of "planetarium garden", aiming to explore "its capacity to aggregate difference and to compose life out of movement and migration", as stated in the biennial concept. On show also, Deadline (2007), a video presented on rnonitor within the library space, created by Allora & Calzadilla for Parkett n.80, the prestigious art magazine who have donated to Radiceterna the 63 available volumes from their collection.