The syndrome of Griselda,

or the procession of the Ship

2017, Site-specific Installation

A co-production of Art.ur and Overtoon,

with the support of the City of Saluzzo, and

the Flanders State of the Art

Layers of variable sound constellations: 

2 Long Range Horn Speakers, 

8-channel sound field with 8 camouflaged speakers. 

Canvas painting, 5 cinema chairs (row).

“The land where God did not finish Creation”

they believe only after man has disappeared will He return to finish His work. (Fitzcarraldo)

The work is site-specific for the Castle of Saluzzo, Italy. Inspired by an enigmatic construction that resembles a ship and its associations with the surrounding landscape - soundscape, and historical - utopian context.​

The restoration project of the Castle (2003-2004) was held by architect Marco Dezzi Bardeschi, who integrated the technical premises of building a metal structure at the backside yard. The title on the architect’s notes and drawings “Il nuovo blocco degli impianti: Fitzcarraldo sulla collina” (The new block: Fitzcarraldo on the hill) indicates that the construction was dedicated to the homonymous character drawn from Werner Herzog’s film (1982), led by the utopian will to carry a massive steamship over a steep hill to the heart of the Amazon Forest for realizing his dream of building an opera house and to import a company of singers headed by the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso.

The part of this construction is immersed into a visionary and acoustic dimension, which combines a "floating" level and an "underworld".

A ship horn blast announces the arrival or departure every 15min, which for the rest of the time-periodic creaky sounds are floating with Caruso's singing. A row of cinema chairs facing the mulberry garden indicates the “opera scene” and the listening direction. At the entrance to the garden, a painting (gonfalon) of two fishes tied together with a ribbon, refers to the emblem of the Cavassa family, vicars of the marquisate of Saluzzo, also associated with the myth of Aphrodite and Eros. The fishes (pisces) introduce the imaginary world while tying together the strong will of Fitzcarraldo with the patience will of Griselda, a young peasant woman whose loyalty is tested by Gualtiery, the Marquis of Saluzzo, in a series of cruel torments that recall the Biblical book of Job (Decameron, 10th day/10th tale, Giovanni Boccaccio), a tale also significant for marking a point, where repetition syndrome becomes full-blown counterfeit consciousness. Griselda's oral history is whispered under the trees, composed as a constellation around Caruso's voice traveling as a repetitive sequential and persistent echo in the field.

PLAY IN, Castiglia, Piazza Castello, Saluzzo, Italy (6 May 2017 - 25 June 2017)
Photos © Marco Sasia
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Long Range Horn Speakers                                                                                  Under the trees in 8 distant small speakers (play simultaneously)

00:00 / 15:07
00:00 / 00:43
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