Voyage à Calais by Alessio Patalocco arrives at MABOS (Museum of Art of the Bosco della Sila): a story of migration, rejection and reception


By John

Exactly one year after the inauguration of theGioacchino da Fiore area, a place of thought created within the MABOS (Museum of Art of the Bosco della Sila)Thursday 21 March, to embellish the path of reflection and ethical debate the work Voyage à Calais by the Terni artist Alessio Patalocco will arrive.

At the gates of the Sila of Catanzaro, near the exhibition park which includes more than 35 works produced site-specifically by national and international artists hosted over the years in artistic residences and distributed in 30,000 m2 of forest, astral conjunctions occur which allow you to combine aesthetics of art with ethics and humanitarian themes.
It was, in fact, a fortuitous meeting that made this operation of great artistic and social value possible in collaboration with Amnesty International Italia: «During an exhibition, the art manager Antonella Bongarzone introduced us to the artist Alessio Patalocco who had created this It operates as part of a dissemination and awareness campaign on major humanitarian issues through the languages ​​of urban art. Supported in 2017 by the NGO and intended to be located in the port of Calais, France, not only as a place of the “Jungle” of migrants but also as a crossroads of cultural and commercial exchanges, it was instead rejected by the local administration, as a clear and clear political gesture of closure against the theme of hospitality” this is how Mario Talarico and Elisabetta Longo, respectively founder and director of MABOS, trace the moment in which they understood that the strong ethical vocation of the work could find its maximum expression in the Calabrian museum founded in 2017.
And so it was: the artist from Terni, again supported by Amnesty International Italia, proceeded with the donation of Voyage à Calais which could only end up in a symbolic place like Calabriaa territory marked, between past and present, by stories of migration and reception.

«Calais's rejection of the work was symptomatic – he states – even if as individuals we instinctively turn our gaze elsewhere to escape from the things that make us feel guilty or suffer, as a community we always have the duty to be tough on in the face of intolerance or racism which today are often described with other terms, but which do not change in substance. Ultimately this story teaches that where there is someone who rejects you somewhere else there will be someone who welcomes you precisely for who you are.”

The journey is the leitmotif of Alessio Patalocco's work which, as highlighted by the art manager Antonella Bongarzone «represents the physical and symbolic object of a diary, where man is being-in-transition in continuous proximity to the infinite , designing an irrepressible project of freedom.” Composed of thirteen sheets of iron, folded and welded, naturally rusted and painted with black and white spray, the work translates the material resistance of bodies into artistic action, reopening the unresolved question between the peregrination of the spirit and the corporeity of unity.
«It recalls the boats of migrants, but also a tape that tells a story through images inspired by rock art, but created with primitive means of street art» adds Patalocco illustrating the work which, on Thursday 21 March, will be presented to visitors .

The day will begin, at 10 am, in the conference room of the Hotel Granaro – near the MABOS – with a moment of discussion and debate on the topic of migration and reception, also involving local schools. In addition to the founder Talarico, the director Longo and the artist Patalocco, educators and activists from the Calabrian constituency of Amnesty International and operators and guests from the “Jungi Mundu” social cooperative of Camini will also take part, who will testify to tireless activism in defense of human rights as well as concrete examples of new possible worlds.
We will continue, at 2.30 pm, with a walk in the Gioacchino da Fiore Area and the unveiling of the work which will be presented, in the conference room, with a talk by Elisabetta Longo, Alessio Patalocco and Antonella Bongarzone. Riccardo Noury, spokesperson for Amnesty International Italia, who supported the operation from the beginning, will also intervene via a video message.

On this occasion, the video reportage created by photographer Andrea Samonà to document the arrival at MABOS and the installation of the permanent work will be presented, but also an original illustration inspired by Voyage à Calais, edited by Giuseppe Talarico, director artistic project of The Calabreser which with irony and freshness represents iconic models of Calabria.

«Today more than ever we need to talk about hospitality, continue to cultivate that tenderness for all those people who feel rejected or who are fleeing from wars, economic or social hardship» they comment in unison, very happy to offer visitors the opportunity to undertake a inner journey into a boundless space, where one can navigate the infinite sea of ​​the Other, or rather of the Others, with the right sensitivity.