Fourth Cycle

Saving Oneself from Shipwreck

Two works: “Detachment” (2002) and “Black Waves” (2011), already present in the series “The Social Animal” and “The Construction of Destruction”, launched a new series “Saving Oneself from Shipwreck”.


The theme of the Grand Exodus, or better still, the deportation of the southern population towards the north already moved me in 2000, but the true, dramatic nature of this event came to light at a later time and October 2013 marked one of the worst shipwreck episodes when just off the coast of Lampedusa, 388 people died.


This event spurred the central piece of this series named “The Black Island 2013 Annus Horribilis”. It’s a polyptych made up of twelve tiles which represent each of the twelve months in 2013. As I created them, I placed myself in the visual position of the migrant, aware that the small black dot, the Island of Lampedusa, a representation of hope for the migrants, is in fact, simply a ship sailing in the same storm.

Each tile caption the month, the year, the number of disembarked individuals and the number of deaths. This is how I wanted to underline the strange fact that not one single European Politician asked him or herself nor tried to understand why, in January 2013, 227 people disembarked and, nine months later, 9200 disembarked; yet it was evident that these numbers hid one reality: The unstoppable phenomenon of migration.


Through their work artists tend to ask questions, not provide solutions. And it was clear to me that, what appeared to be the exodus of desperate human beings who escaped from wars and famine in the beginning , was actually becoming a current, true mass deportation.


In a world that has been globalized by new capitalism, in which the focus shifts more and more towards the riches in the hands of a few, it became necessary to also globalize the workforce. I created other works in this series that I later presented in the exhibition “Saving Oneself from Shipwreck” 2016, Rome.