Interview with Andrea Ferrara – Contemporary artist
"Europe is like
an imaginary desert, an incomplete entity, made of a plurality of ideas,
expectations, experiences which make it incomplete." With these words
begins the interview to Andrea Ferrara, contemporary artist and author of the
“BLUE DESERT TOWER”, contemporary installation displayed for the first time at
the Convitto della Calza (Florence) on the occasion of the event "Europe
2020: innovation of the Mediterranean" organized by the Tuscany Region.
Over the century, Art has expressed the complexity and the critical aspects of
the world, giving advices and indications to overcome the difficulties that we
had to face off. Contemporary art, particularly, often in a transgressive way,
gives us an image of the present, of what happens and what should be.
Andrea Ferrara's work
of art gathers perfectly these objectives, mixing in an single installation (a
three meters tower made of transparent material) lights and sounds which,
thanks to a complex system of sensors, involve the audience in an unique poetic
experience, creating a suggestive effect. This interactive work of art has an
important symbolic value for the culture of the Mediterranean cooperation,
expressing the reflection of the artist about Europe and its relationships with
the external world and particularly with the Mediterranean. In 1980, Belgian
artist Jean Verame came to the Sinai to paint a line of peace: with the
permission of Anwar Sadat and a grant of ten tons of paint from the UN, the
artist managed to paint four miles of the Sinai. One year later, the area
between Dahab and Saint Caterina became the Blue Desert.
The symbolic value of
blue desert tower
How was the Blue
Desert Tower idea born?
With this work of art
I would like to make a reflection about Europe. Actually, Europe, on one side, is
an Eden, a promised earth for all those people which search for an opportunity
for the present and the future; on the other side, it is like an inaccessible
fortress, symbolically represented by the tower of glass. On the inside, Europe
is like an imaginary desert, an incomplete entity, made of a multiplicity of
ideas, expectations, experiences which make it incomplete. This multiplicity of
elements is represented, in the work of art, by the mix of languages (23
European languages) which mix together in a symposium that become more intense
as we approach to the Tower.
“Today we live in an
electric world; our dreams, to be activated and thus be visible to the others, become
electric” these are the words that Philip K. Dick wrote 40 years ago. Your
artistic career often is an interaction between visual and technological
elements, where multimediality is integrated in sceneries and settings,
creating a dialogue and a synergy between the audience and the reality around
it. The arts interact in a context where reality and fiction overlap, almost in
a subliminal way.
The importance of
culture for a Mediterranean common identity
How is this type of
work created? Which artists have influenced you the most?
In my artistic work,
I am influenced by a multiplicity of artists and by very different forms of
art. Personally I am a musician, so the sound is always at the core of my works
and, in many cases, it is really functional for the work of art. This is
particularly true in the case of the Blue Desert Tower where I inserted a
sequence of 23 European languages which follow an imaginary path which, departing
from Malta (the centre of the Wind Rose), ideally crosses all the European
States, showing the complexity and the heterogeneity of Europe.
This year 2011 has
started with a serious political and social crisis in the South shore of the Mediterranean.
The European national governments look unable to act and, first of all, to
understand what it is happening. In this sense, the interactive work of art has
a dramatic symbolic value for the Mediterranean culture.
Can the different
inputs and the different languages find a common identity, at least in the
emotional sphere, through suggestions and meditative spaces?
I think so. we can't
forget that we share common origins with the countries of the south shore of the
Mediterranean. this is true despite the fact that , at the present moment,
Europe is growing away from its origin and from this common line. for me, in
particular, the decadence and the difficulties of the south shore countries is
a precursory event of what could happen in Europe if we don't give importance
to culture and its promotion (because of the economic crisis or the political
indifference). For me, culture has loosened its role as element for cohesion
and union of Europe and the Mediterranean.
Which works of art
are you actually carrying out?
I have programmed
different works of art. Actually I’m working at the elaboration of a dance performance
in collaboration with a Belgian dance company, a biotic dance performance for 4
dancers and live electronics, where dancers wear an helmet that transforms
their brain waves in sounds, expressing the altered consciousness states of the
dancers. The first exhibition took place in Bruxelles, the 28th April and a
second performance took place in Florence the 6th and 7th May 2011.
Article from Plural Magazine #1
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