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LETTER FROM ITALY

Casina Pompeiana

NAPLES, LIKE LOS ANGELES AND MEXICO CITY, has always existed in a state of postmodernity, a stratified agglomerate on the brink of natural catastrophe. The fact that the city sits geographically “under the volcano” has become a metaphor for its culture and its life. One lives there in constant expectation; anything can happen at any time. This is why Naples is simultaneously chaotic and a laboratory for the possible.

The Casina Pompeiana is a case in point. Artists Eugenio Giliberti and Nino Longobardi and filmmaker Mario Franco managed to convince the Municipality of Naples—specifically the “Assessorato all’Identità” (Identity office), perhaps the only government bureau in the world with such a Kafkaesque name—to entrust them with the management of an exhibition space in the center of the city. The program that has emerged since they took charge nine months ago has not been that of the

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