The mythology box contains remnants of the past - of an Italy that I would hear of and dream about while growing up on the far shores of Massachusetts. Tinged with nostalgia and memory, scented and flavoured with the past, I met a much different Italy when I moved there in 2001.
A single coffee cup holds the faint scent of espresso and sits upon a little piece of handwork crafted by my grandmother.
Short passages are locked away in licorice boxes.
Scenes of pre and post-war Italy sealed on glass slide plates reveal themselves when held up to the light.
The narration encapsulated in this bottle was written by Alexandra, a Greek-American, return migrant from New York who moved to Greece. I was struck by the fact that word for word it could have been written by me.
Excerpt of the message: The first thing I thought was, ‘what are you doing?’ To be honest, that feeling has never left me. When people ask me why I came here I usually answer that I wanted to see how life was, but I am not sure if that’s even true. To be honest I really don’t know whay I came. The only thing is that I always felt ‘something’ pulling me here. However that ‘something’ is still unidentified. Maybe its the feeling I have here. Not the everyday feelings, but the general feeling. In general I feel like I am more in my element here...
Visitors were invited to shred up photographs I had taken when I was living in New York City. The longer I stayed in Italy, the further from my past I felt.
Wrapped around the kaleidescope is a passage describing love lost. So many starts and stops have begun to catch up with me.
Can you spot the shiny red hearts that make up the intricate, evolving pattern?
Little golden airplanes glide around and around on a continual ciurculatory path. Today’s ‘mobile transnationals’ as we have been newly termed follow a migratory pattern where international movement is continuous rather than finite.
The tent is the careful reconstruction of one of the many ‘forts’ my brother, sister and I created when we were little. The makeshift shelter was created by us and for us and was our territory alone.
Visitors could climb into the shelter.
Once inside they found waiting for them a cookie should they wish. Sounds of home such as keys jingling, birds chirping, footsteps and other ambient noise mingled with music and a slide-show depicting images of my family home in Massachusetts and my flat in London.
This was the part of the exhibition guests enjoyed the most.