Italy - PUNI



What country is this? A series of flags reply to this question indicating that the territory where they are hoisted is the place, like any other place on the planet, where everyday life takes place. It is the place where, despite any characteristic circumstances - including the most extreme - the actions take place that ensure our biological and cultural diversity and on the quality of which depends our right to define ourselves as “humanity”. The fabrics used for a table, a sofa, a bed, a window, the body, refer to those ordinary actions and experiences that we all share and that at the same time, day after day and for every day of our lives, contribute to the extraordinariness of everyone’s existence.

And each fabric refers to many simple and complex actions and experiences (for some of them this is evident because they are reversible, with a “double face”). The fabric used for a tablecloth, which recalls the simple act of eating food, also calls to mind moments of private or social conviviality. The fabric of a sheet makes us think of rest but also of intimacy, and even of our being dreamlike creatures. The fabric chosen to wear at a party speaks of joy, celebration, whether sacred or profane, intellectual activity and the particular aspects of the imagination, in the way we know how to masquerade for all the rituals of life.

These are the actions and experiences that make up the fabric of our existence, if we are to give the term fabric the meaning that it has assumed in biology, that is the association and organisation of cells that carry out the same function in an organism. And the quality with which these actions and experiences are perceived along with the emotions, the feelings, the states of mind, the products of the intellect and of the imagination linked to them, denotes our inner life, our being in the world and relating to other people, hopefully in a mutually peaceful relationship.

In Venice this illusion and this fellowship are constantly recalled by the lines stretching between one house and another to hang the paraphernalia of everyday life.

“What country, friends, is this?” When Viola asked this question in Twelfth Night, the Captain of the ship replied “This is Illyria, lady”. When I ask this question my flags reply “This is the place where ordinary life achieves greatness”.


Text by the artist