Shelters//18

Shelters


Greenhouses are a proper part of the Sicilian landscape. In its countryside, the gre- enhouses’ number is so high that they are reshaping its own figure. They are an es- sential engine for both regional and national production of the Italian Majesty: food. A category that makes every citizen proud, and represents the greatest part of the national culture and identity.


Nevertheless, at the base of all agriculture’s enormous mechanism of production, the labour is mostly provided by immigrants, who are ostracised from all the other aspects of the Italian life. However, although Italian racism and xenophobia are ex- treme, once in the country, the immigrants are more than welcome to join the wor- king force – illegally - for lower salaries, health and safety standards. The dangerous situations in which they work and live make their existence miserable, both during and after their endless shifts.

I use the same environment in which they are forced, dismantling its hostile cha- racteristic and making it habitable. The Shelter’s principal concept is to show another paradox of contemporary Italian society. Indeed, the greenhouse represents at the same time a place of struggle and death for immigrants, as much as their only re- source for surviving.


The roofs are covered by sleeping bags that evoke the journey, the migration, and at the same time the protection. In other words, what is missing in these people’s lives once abroad? The work of disruption I made, allows me to open the space for a per- formative residency. Indeed, the materials used will leave traces of the life within the space. Together with the presence, gestures and actions of the artist, the structure will become a canvas for perpetuating the ritual of migrants and form a narrative for this paradox.

© Alessandro Leggio. All Rights Reserved.