rome

Francesco Arena, Orizzonte (Horizon), 2012, iron, Lampedusa soil, 7 7/8“ x 23' 10 1/4” x 3 3/4".

Francesco Arena

Monitor | Rome

Francesco Arena, Orizzonte (Horizon), 2012, iron, Lampedusa soil, 7 7/8“ x 23' 10 1/4” x 3 3/4".

Francesco Arena’s recent solo show featured two pieces, both from 2012. Orizzonte (Horizon) consists of a nearly twenty-four-foot-long metal beam mounted between the walls of the room at a height of approximately five feet—that is, at the artist’s eye level. The top of the beam is covered with earth, about three-quarters of an inch deep, taken from the primary shelter site where immigrants arrive on the island of Lampedusa, near Sicily; much closer to Tunisia than to mainland Italy, the island is a primary location for illegal entry to Europe. Riduzione di mare (Sea Reduction) is a block of salt weighing roughly seventy-five pounds—the quantity derived from the evaporation of one cubic meter of Mediterranean sea water—displayed on a tripod. Over the two-month duration of the exhibition, six performers licked the block of salt for one hour a day, transcribing, through

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