Uncle Luisu on a bicycle
conflict between modern cavemen
between past and future
solved into a synthesis
tradition with its values
reconciled with the expression
of the most advanced civilization of machines
the old and the new world
dialectics of a comparison
but finally synthesized
in a change that won’t necessarily sacrifice
one in favor of the other.

from Vedere Tia Alena in Bicicletta, A. Gramsci, 18 Gennaio 1932 in Lettere dal carcere (freely interpreted)

The lamb waged war to the rabbit
the meek host threatening to dethrone
the native dictator
rabbit farmers’ monopoly was broken
profits of the young industry suddenly fell

Scandal, horror, batten down the hatches
big deal for a lamb defeating a rabbit.

from Agnelli e Conigli, A. Gramsci in «Avanti!», 4 Marzo 1919

Accommodated in Sardinia for a month
Feasts, toasts, handshakes.
Enthusiasm for the illustrious Italian
who made the effort
to bring his own precious self
among robbers
shepherds wearing the island’s furs
And the illustrious Italian, back to homeland
bragging as a new Christopher Columbus
discovers something
just to show
that he didn’t waste his time.

from Gli Scopritori, A. Gramsci in «Avanti!», 24 Maggio 1916

Antonio Gramsci was born in Ales in January the 22nd 1891. He lived there for just a year. Until the 40’s not many in Ales knew they had such an important fellow citizen.
His native house was occupied, after the Gramscis left, by Reverend Melis, and then transformed into a sports bar.

“Above the entrance, a plaque placed here in 1947, disappears in the middle of metal advertsing plates.”

G. Fiori, Vita di Antonio Gramsci

In 2017, the house where Antonio Gramsci was born, became a museum: “Spazio Antonio Gramsci”.
Listening Bodies is a Video Installation realized for the opening, on December 2th 2017.

Gramsci wrote, in a letter to Tatiana:

“I received the photograph of the children and I am very happy as you can well imagine. I was also very glad because I’ve been able to see with my own eyes that they have bodies and legs: for three years now I’ve only seen heads and the doubt was beginning to loom that they had become cherubs without little wings behind their ears.”

from Cherubini senza ali, Antonio Gramsci in L’albero del riccio, Lettera XLVIII

The installation Listening Bodies moved from the intention of binding the portraits of the inhabitants of Ales together with some childhood memories written in Antonio Gramsci’s memoirs.
The attempt was to try to give a shape, a structure and a sound to some of his childhood memories, transferred to nowadays Sardinia.
Filmed Portraits of citizens of his native town, who were asked to listen, and sometimes read, various fragments of Antonio Gramsci’s letters inside his native house.
A work of relational art that tries to bring back Gramsci to Ales and to his fellow citizens, not just to give a shape to Gramsci’s portrait, but to try to give shape and structure to some texts that give us an image of Sardinia at that time, listened and recited by his fellow citizens today.
We found Tia Alena (aunt Alena) inside the body of Tziu Luigi (uncle Luigi), we looked for Donna Bisodia, Mr. Sias and Mr. Camedda.

With Listening Bodies, for the first time the portraits become full figures, and the setting is more evident.
It is of basic importance that the three screens where the work is projected communicate between each other and also with the audience, intended as a fourth screen. Everybody standing, listening.

Made for Spazio Antonio Gramsci (Ales, OR)

ITA / 2017 / 17 min.

Concept: L’Ambulante
Direction: Gaetano Crivaro
Assistant director: Margherita Pisano
Editing: Gaetano Crivaro
Sound: Margherita Pisano
Organization: AnnaRita Punzo

Voices Off: Federico Coni, Isis Pistis, Tziu Luigi Fois

Software: Samuel Iacolina
Projections: Claudio Zucca

Produced by Comune di Ales (OR)
With the collaboration of Associazione Casa Natale Antonio Gramsci
With the contribution of Regione Autonoma della Sardegna e Fondazione Banco di Sardegna

Other projects

#VR09 / 2022
Ritratti di Gallura

#VR08 / 2019

#VR06 / 2017
Listening Bodies