About the Apelle land art project
Apelle is a land art project by Burningmax, created with the help of Correttivo Noname and with the support of an artist residency offered by Villaggio Globale (Rome), with the purpose of being installed as a site-specific permanent artwork in Parco della Quarantena in Bacoli (Pozzuoli, Naples, Italy). The installation has been created for the 14th edition of Land Art Campi Flegrei, an independent contemporary art event organized by local artists of the Naples / Campi Flegrei area and supported by Fondazione Pistoletto.
The theme of the land art festival was “art as an instrument to denounce the abandonment of cultural heritage”. Just few hundred meters away from the exhibition site there is one of the key archeological sites of the Campi Flegrei area, left in a state of abandonment: the Temple of Apollo, that once was as famous and active as the homonymous one in Memphis, Greece. Being Apollo also the god of the arts, it was a no brainer: the project would have focused on the Temple of Apollo as example of the degradation of historical and cultural sites.
After some brainstorming, the project took shape with an ironic conceptual twist that switched the focus from the mythological to the contemporary, from the solemn to the populistic. The ancient Roman god of the Arts (and of a few things), also warrior and promiscuous lover, is referenced and celebrated through a process of parody, desacralization, and transfiguration of the mythological hero/god figure in favour of a more contemporary, populist and goliardic idea of hero: Apelle, son of Apollo, the “fake hero” of a popular Italian tongue twister that every kid in Italy learns at a young age and knows by heart.
In brief, according to the tongue twister, Apelle, son of Apollo, made a ball out of chicken skin, and all fish came afloat to admire it. it sounds silly, but the tongue twister is phonetically very challenging, and not easy to speak out fast without mistakes.
The artwork production started in one direction (creating one big Apelle’s ball), but moved to the final set-up soon, due to time and resources constraints, and to a few screw-ups during production. The final installation is composed by 80 red wooden fishbones, each chasing a ball, while tied to long red ropes tied to the top of the trees, sometimes as high as 10-12 meters from the terrain. The fishbones are caught in the action of “coming afloat to see Apelle’s ball”, and each rope has a ball attached a bit above the fishbone.
As requested by the Land Art Campi Flegrei organizers, all materials used for the installation are natural and biodegradable: wooden fishbones and natural ropes painted with red tempera colors, and dog’s chewing balls made of dry animal skins. After the first rains at the end of summer 2018 the red color will start to fade, but it will probably take a few years before the complete decay of the installation. Read more about the Apelle project here.
Team, location, media gallery and more
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