Irene Lupi


Rari Nantes in Gurgite Vasto

Video, 6’43”
Credits: Elisa Santarelli

Water is a primary element governed by laws of its own. It may join or separate a person from terra firma, and humankind has long endeavoured (with great effort) to dominate it. In this video, I drew a parellel between man and machine against the natural elements on the basis of a documentary-style narration with almost humourous twists. The illusion that by repeating a mechanical gesture you can stop the erosion of beaches, or by throwing water in to the sea you can stem the splashing, is the same apparent chimera that modern man faces today, in a battle against time while fighting an unknown virus. The elderly, the first to succumb to the scythe of Covid-19, live through these times with the not uncomplicated necessity of reshaping their lives and their affections, given the impossibility of contact with family members except through multimedial platforms such as Facetime or Skype a difficult situation that they compare to the picture Virgil presents in his description of the shipwreck brought upon the Trojan fleet of Aeneas by the goddess Juno. In that circumstance, several companions of the Greek mythological hero found themselves in the sea, alone and dispersed among the waves and the splintered planks of the sunken ships.

RARI NANTES IN GURGITE VASTOSWIMMING , ONE HERE AND ONE THERE, IN THE VAST ABYSS is said of those who, following a general period of crisis, have managed to stay afloat and overcome adversity, just as people, struggling today for survival, hope to overcome the infective nature of the virus they must fight in solitude.


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