Atri was quite a find and, above all, its Ducal Palace offered us the opportunity to know the valuable work of an artist in the area: Ugo Assogna.
After visiting the subterranean palace, we went upstairs to see his personal exposure: English breakfasts, spaghetti, fries, coffee and cigarettes, all in polychrome marbles, was what appeared to us.
Stone’s Food is, in fact, a protest message, a subtle way of claiming the right work dimension for the artist’s work. In a world where art is no longer considered an important thing to defend and grow, as the old patrons did, the work of the artist is gaining more and more in volunteering or in paying with “visibility”.
But it’s often forgotten that they need a salary too, they have to eat … and that they can’t eat (only) art, as this show wants to emphasize.
The peculiarity of these sculptures, however, is not only their reference to the culinary dimension but their close connection with literature, such as: “Arrosticino dei pastori di D’Annunzio. A stick made of Trani Stone, with Walnut Travertine meat and a slice of Classic Roman Travertine bread; the oil is mastic and the butcher paper is a thin sheet of Manopello Stone, imprinted with the poem “The Shepherds” by D’Annunzio.
The Shepherds (from Alcyone, Sogni di Terre Lontane, 1903)
September, let’s go. It’s time to migrate.
Now in the land of Abruzzi my shepherds
leave the pens and take it to the sea:
they descend to the wild Adriatic
that is green like the pastures of the mountains.
They drank deeply at the alpine
springs, so that the flavor of native water
may dwell in their exiled hearts as a comfort,
and deceive at length their thirst on the way.
They renewed their crook of avellana. (*)
And so they walk the ancient path to the plain,
almost as through a silent river of grass,
following the vestiges of the forefathers.
Oh, voice of whom for the first time
knows the shimmering of the sea!
By the coastline presently walks
the flock. Motionless is the air.
The sun lights up the blonde living wool
that almost does not differ from the sand.
Splashing, stamping, sweet sounds.
Halas, why am I not with my shepherds?
A work that drips Abruzzo in every detail and makes a mockery of Nouvelle Cousine: “If today’s cuisine has become a form of art, why art cannot become a form of cuisine?”.