February 4th, 2010
A conference in conjunction with Jack Sal’s solo exhibition, De/Portees, a multiscreen projection in memory of the Italian Deportees, at The Italian Cultural Institute in New York.
Writer and journalist Alessandro Cassin
Art historian and curator Lyle Rexer
Artist Jack Sal
A multi screen projection in memory of the Italian Deportees
by Jack Sal
January 27-Febuary 27, 2010
Opening: Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.
The Italian Cultural Institute/Istituto Italiano di Cultura
686 Park Avenue Ave New York, NY 10021
Making use of video/computer projectors and monitors, De/Portees uses as its contents the geographical location of the Italian camps used for detention, imprisonment and points of transfer to Nazi Concentration Camps located throughout the German occupied territories. Apart from the best-known camp, located in Fossoli-Carpi (Emilia Romagna), hundreds of other locations were used as part of the chain in the mechanism to gather, arrest and deport Italian citizens, and deliver them to their fate.
Two projections and a monitor will be located within the gallery space of the exhibit to create a quality of “displacement” and to reveal the extent of the number of places and persons directly touched by the deportation. The first projection reveals a computer generated list of the locations of camps throughout Italy using yellow type on a black background. The second projection includes a computer generated list of the hometowns & villages of the deportees, located throughout Italy, using blue type on a black background. The monitor displays a video of the published pages of the list of the deportees from throughout Italy with a soundtrack of an English (for New York) and an Italian text by Primo Levi.
The popular myth is of an Italy reluctantly and without much effort or organization collaborating under duress with their German/Nazi allies. The number of Italian camps and the quantity of people deported and arrested dispels the idea of lack of responsibility and brings together the evidence of location of the camps “sotto casa” in Italy. Using the extreme corners of the space, the viewers’ sense of orientation is linked to the three “images” of names, places and the book of the list, pressing the association of the deportation with its roots in Italy.
From the 7th to the 30th April 2010 De/Portees. A multi screen projection in memory of the Italian Deportees by Jack Sal will be exhibited at the Casa della Memoria e della Storia in Rome.