The Italian Cultural Institute

Project/Title: De/Portees

Event: On the occasion of the European Union's Official Day of Remembrance of The Holocaust

Location: The Italian Cultural Institute, New York

Description: A multi screen projection in memory of the Italian Deportees

Materials: Video projections and Monitor

Sponsor: Centro Primo Levi of New York

Date: January 27 - Febuary 26, 2010

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 none, and deliver them to their fate.

Projection #1: A computer generated list of the locations of camps throughout Italy using yellow type on a black background.

Projection #2: A computer generated list of the hometowns and villages of the deportees throughout Italy using blue type on a black background.

Monitor: A video of the published pages of the list of the deportees throughout Italy with a soundtrack of an English (for New York) and an Italian text by Primo Levi.

The projections and 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, places and persons directly touched by the deportation. 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.

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.

The project is the topic of a conference on Art/&/Memory: The Work of Jack Sal which will be held at Zone: Contemporary Art 41 W57th St New York, NY on February 4, 2010 at 4pm participating will be: Lyle Rexer, Alessandro Cassin, and Jack Sal.

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.

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