GREEK LESSON, site specific installation | two greek dictionaries with 100 c-prints on Fujii Crystal glossy paper,
posters, pink neons. High school classroom, Collateral event of Manifesta 12 Palermo 2018
This Greek lesson has lasted a few months. Rachele has established an exchange of letters with some students of the last year of the Liceo Classico Umberto I (Palermo, Italy) Through an e-mail and with the complicity of a teacher – a Greek teacher – she has shared her the last year of school memories with the students, then she has sent them a series of disposable cameras - without giving explicit directions on what they were supposed to capture, but suggesting a method - and after that she has asked to send them back, once used, to her address in Bologna.The memories of individuals have become a common ground, in which everyone can recognize himself/herself. They are timeless photographs, recording the unaware end of adolescence. They are inserted among the pages of two greek dictionaries, to be discovered almost by chance, in the silence of a now empty classroom. At the end of the lesson, only memories remain.
first dictionary, detail
EMAIL: from ME
to the CLASS (extract)
(…) When one of your
classmates is getting their camera out, you know one day it will be your turn.
If there are five of you and there is a moment that is special to all of you,
you get to decide what you want to do: whether you just use one of them so as
not to be wasteful or if each of you wants to use their own camera. There are
no limitations. It’s not a competition. It’s your diary, your kit and your
Imagine if Marie-Antoinette or Napoleon or Cleopatra had had a disposable camera.
I imagine Marie-Antoinette’s, full of the colours of beautiful fabrics, the radiant made-up faces of sweet, young women. Or maybe not, maybe she would have just photographed the view from her window, the same one every day for each of the 24 shots. And we would understand then that she felt trapped in her room, just like we do sometimes, perhaps (…)