HEMELLIGGAAM or THE ATTEMPT TO BE HERE NOW (CHAPTER ONE)
TOMMASO FISCALETTI and NIC GROBLER
CURATED BY FILIPPO MAGGIA
Conceived as an exhibition project that reflects upon the nature of its very existence through a process of consequential evolution, Hemelliggaam or The Attempt To Be Here Now explores the almost mystical relationship that binds mankind to the heavens from multiple perspectives: from the point where, lifting one’s gaze over the horizon, the sky begins above the known world, to a point far beyond, where the curious eye of man, carried by science, has taken it.
And when science is not enough, the power of fantasy attempts to transport it into a dimension that goes beyond knowledge.
Working in a space that, by its very nature manifests strong links to the natural environment, both in the form of secular beliefs and through the traditions of an ancient, well established indigenous cultures, Hemelliggaam or The Attempt To Be Here Now cannot be seen as the result of traditional creative research, or the result of an experience lived by the artist. Rather, it should be perceived as a series of possible, refined approaches that come together to evoke in the viewer the need to participate, to choose a door – among the many on offer – through which to start a journey that is nothing but imagination transformed into vision.
Tommaso Fiscaletti and Nic Grobler have chosen a complex list of media with which to translate, reinterpret and sort these already explicit elements. They have worked with still and moving photographic images, texts – original, unpublished and direct testimonies, many of which in Afrikaans –, and sounds.
Of fundamental significance is the land where this all originates: a vast region that extends from the Knersvlakte – literally translated as the "gnashing plain" thanks to the abundant quartz deposits that litter its surface – up to the Great Karoo, where in the north, the rocks make sounds like gongs with such a profound resonance that the early inhabitants used them to communicate with one another. This is a land where, to escape the heat, one soon gets used to and dependent on sleeping under the stars with every passing night; a place where nature never ceases to amaze with anthropomorphic forms, where religion and science naturally intertwine, and science fiction draws inspiration simply from these surroundings that lend themselves as perfect backdrops for tales of aliens and human encounters; the aliens that probably received signals more than 100 light years from Earth sent by the astronomical sites that populate the Great Karoo.
Working in harmonious symbiosis, Fiscaletti and Grobler produce photographs that present themselves as strict and precise notes of a travel logbook, inextricably linked with video works, and including the choice of an original soundtrack that seems to embody the voice of the places explored. All this leads us towards the discovery of something that we know may never be revealed.
And yet we yearn for it, precisely because – and despite the fact that we cannot posess it –, we feel we are part of it.
IZIKO SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM, CAPE TOWN, 8 MARCH - 22 APRIL 2018
OUTDOOR EXHIBITION - THE COMPANY'S GARDEN, CAPE TOWN, 1 MARCH - 22 MAY 2018
Some outtakes from the first Chapter One video and sound evening, 17 April, 2018. The Company's Garden in Cape Town.
Live performance by Alessandro Gigli.
A collaboration between artists Tommaso Fiscaletti and Nic Grobler.
Scientic team - Mattia Vaccari, Lucia Marchetti and Michelle Cluver from Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of the Western Cape. Sound compositions by Alessandro Gigli.
National Research Foundation (NRF) , Consulate of Italy in Cape Town and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
University of the Western Cape.
Enel-x South Africa