Hanno sparato contro il sole

Por pedroveiga em

This work is a visual and textual reinterpretation of the poem “Hanno sparato contro il sole”, by Alfonso Gatto, written in the context of the Resistance movement in Italy.

Non s’ode nulla ma il vento
risveglia il fischio d’un treno.
L’alba è già scesa sui capelli biondi
dei ragazzi che avanzano in cielo.

L’erba dei prati s’è ritta, a folate
la luce corre a trattenere l’aria
per mostrarsi sul prato coi fanciulli
ancora illesi e splendere di loro.

Hanno sparato i ciechi contro il sole
e la terra li mostra per vendetta
senza riparo, neri della luce
che li fruga e li lascia avvinazzati
nel sangue dei fanciulli.

Son leggeri
i partigiani con le stelle rosse.
Il silenzio sarà d’un altro mondo
a velarti d’un soffio, dove l’alba
corre nei mari liberi al saluto
della terra promessa ed in ogni uomo
decide la speranza che la terra
fiorita di lavoro abbia il suo canto.

The work was developed to be publicly exhibited as an infinite loop video at the Piazza Porta Nova, in Salerno, Italy.

The poem is visually rendered at a very slow, breath-like pace, and its interpretation is suggested through both a synchronic and an anachronistic approach. The synchronic approach was achieved by exploring Google Images with verses and expressions from the poem as a search term (in the original Italian language, but also in its English translation), and later complementing the results by adding the words “Salerno”, “Italia” and “Alfonso Gatto”. The anachronistic approach resulted from shifting the interpretation to the present day, were the “resistance” takes many different forms, from anti-COVID-19 facemasks and vaccines to the anti-extremist and neo-fascist citizen movements, thus also using these search terms.

To further convey the intertwinement of the different eras, the images are randomly combined into groups of three-dimensional cubes (symbolizing different events/spaces/times) which interpenetrate/influence their neighboring structures, in a continuum where cause and effect are almost indistinguishable. At each new verse the image set is renewed. Since they are randomly selected, sometimes the images will have a direct connection to the verse being shown, other times they will feel disconnected and suggest different open interpretations from the original, inviting the viewer/audience to create their own meanings and interpretations from the unexpectedness of the visual stimuli combinations.

The slow movement of the geometric structures evoques the passing of time, like gears in a time-machine, and the cyclic changing of individual scale is symbolic of both the subjective and objective importance some of these events can have in their time and space: sometimes they are very significant, other times they are nearly irrelevant, but regardless of their comparable importance they are an intrinsic part of the continuum. The central event/space/time will always “fly” towards us and cause the new verse to appear.

All the images are heavily processed and covered by “artistic fair use”, as they are never replicated in full and have undergone several distortions, in geometry/shape, colour and transparency.

The lines of the poem materialize and dematerialize in sequence, dropping from above, as if  brought in by an inspired breeze. This process also serves another function which is to semantically provide a partial context to the current verse being presented, as the full sentence sometimes spans more than one verse, and thus it allows the viewers to glimpse into the immediate past and future (previous/next verse).