Florence di Benedetto: »La Festa è finita«
La festa è finita is a large Salento luminaria. This work is a reflection on the time we are living in, which revolves around those concepts of polarity, ambiguity and contrast that the pandemic has further highlighted. The piece plays on the contrast between the joyful structures of the traditional festivals in southern Italy, where I come from - I was born in Bari and spent part of my youth in Palermo - and an extremely raw message that reflects the current state of things. Today is a time when the possibility of partying, of crowding the streets, of being together in a colorful parade, shoulder to shoulder, has become impossible. In the past few years, I have seen all my childhood memories recede even further. The twinkling of lights that attracts the viewers’ attention faces them with a different reading that oscillates between signified and signifier: what we see refers to a magical atmosphere that is rich in references, to collective popular and family rituals, but also transports us to a dimension of loneliness and sadness through a lapidary phrase. At the end of a party, there is nothing left but a reality that is far from the glitz of fun and leaves no space for imagination and creativity. This project inspired a series of photographs snapped during the lockdown. Here, the protagonist is the sculpture. The search for different settings, the silent drive through Italy on the empty highways, with a COVID self-declaration form in my pocket, the anxiety of being pulled over and having to explain that I was working and the risk of being misunderstood have enriched me and my process more than I could ever expect.