Like Human Do. Massimo Ricciardo at Pavillon Social Lucca
Since millennia, the Caucasus regions have been strategically fundamental areas in terms of world geopolitics. It is not a case that the Argonauts expedition – a founding myth for classical antiquity – was bound towards the Caucasus. The aorta artery used to be the Silk Road – a continuous stream from the East to the West. Later on, the discovery of the importance of «black gold» and of the Asian oil fields, and the building of the great Eastern railways (the trans-Siberian and Ottoman railways) created the premises for Eurasia, that in turn would soon lead to First World War, to the fall of the Tsars in Russia, as well as to those conflicts that still affect us today. Massimo Ricciardo (Darmstadt 1979) gathers the strings of his own travel tale: from the South to the North, from Italy to Xinjiang, and – in the end – from this extreme region, now part of China, back to the town of Lucca, Italy. In ancient times, Lucca was not only bound to the Silk Road, but also the core of the very first, Medieval capitalism. Now Ricciardo – after several presentations of his Uyghur work – reinvents his various experiences, by developing a new display mode around an artist book as well as different materials gathered during his trip (textiles, drawings, and other objects). Thus, his is not a work about traveling anymore: it the aftermath of a journey, and beyond that. It does not collect an archive. It doesn’t present a reportage. It re-presents testimonies, experiences of human relations, and materials assembled during the artist’s many peregrinations. These are objects that pose questions, that involve a transformation in the ways one looks at others and themselves. Ricciardo works in Lucca, and he re-elaborates travel impressions (precariousness, uncertainty, progressive loss of history and identity) that certainly do not concern only the Uyghur people and their culture – transformed de facto by China. By now, what happens in Kashgar happens in Lucca, too. A common, temporary nature of being can be found in this now minor part of the Western world, which is ready to become a place of conquest, the future amusement park for the new rich from the Far East.
Massimo Ricciardo, Like Human Do, Pavillon Social, Lucca through May 17, 2014