Simona di Meo: “Which land is not extreme?”

The artist Simona Di Meo, selected for the artistic residence project “Until the End of the Sea”, performs works and interventions that explore interdisciplinary paths between art, landscape, society and territory. Her active work involves processes that aim to bring back the historical and emotional memory of the place, triggering mechanisms of participation and dialogue with different types of audience.

Simona tells us of her impressions on Leuca’s Head in order to de-construct the political idea of the border. In fact, in Gagliano del Capo, where the radio signal is superimposed on that of Greece and Albania, the artist seeks to link the three communities beyond political boundaries.

-After these first months of residence do you think this is an extreme land?
I don’t know if I would define it exactly like that. I have the impression that this definition is likely to fall into a somewhat exotic representation where the end index is measured primarily in relation to the presence or otherwise of people and services. But in this sense, which land is not extreme? Don’t go too far, have you ever tried to travel by public transport from one side to another in Rome, or to take a ride to any mountain village after the holiday season, as long as tourism is still there? It seems to me that we can say that this place has specifics that may not be immediately legible but that in the medium to long term can exert some influence in the lives of those who live there. For example, how you can quickly change the wind over a day or as in many places, observing the horizon of the sea this is very high, almost as you want to eat the sky.

-What are the elements that are most affecting your creative process?
In Gagliano del Capo, the radio signal often overlaps with the neighboring states of Greece and Albania, in a short circuit that symbolically deconstructs the political idea of ​​a national border. Starting from this suggestion, I would like to develop an intervention involving the connection of three communities residing in the countries located in the
the political boundary of the Italian, Greek and Albanian states, in a narrative “weaving” of personal stories and memories, which testify to the interweaving between the political history of the frontiers and the lives of the people.

-What do you mean to focus on your final restitution job?
Work takes the immaterial but dense form of a radio broadcast, a kind of audio sculpture, spread simultaneously in the three countries. The aim is to explore the concept of frontier, in contrast to the sterile aridity of the political / administrative aspect and the vibrant permeability of individual life experiences, proposing a space in which the identities converge and become syncretic.

-Three words to define these extreme lands.
Lunatic, essential, ancient.

Check Simona di Meo’s profile and her field notes.

Interview by Maria Dabén Florit