Conceived as a multi-projector
Conceived as a multi-projector installation, De/Portees retraces the geography of the Italian internment camps that were used for the detention, imprisonment, and transfer of prisoners to the Nazi concentration camps.
In addition to the best-known establishments of Fossoli-Carpi (Emilia Romagna) and San Sabba (Trieste), the Fascist regime had created many other camps to imprison and often deport persecuted categories of Italian citizens and foreign refugees.
While popular myth depicts Italy as reluctant to collaborate with its German allies, the number of Italian camps and the number of individuals who were deported and arrested raise the question of Italian responsibility and acceptance of the practice of internment.
As with Sal’s other exhibition/installation and permanent monuments, De/portees opens for discussion the use of memory as a fundamental component of art.
Both his 2006 exhibition at the Museo Nazionale Di San Matteo in Pisa (2006) and the permanent monument in Kielce, Poland dedicated to the victims of the 1946 pogrom, connect materials, concepts, and meaning in a non-representational art practice, marking history and events in various public forums.
In connection with the exhibition: Art and Memory, February 4, 2010 at 4 pm. Zone: Contemporary Art 41 W 57th St New York
With: Alessandro Cassin, Writer and Journalist, Lyle Rexer, Art Historian and Curator, Jack Sal Artist
About the artist
Jack Sal was born in Waterbury (CT) and lives between New York and Todi, Italy. His work is present in the collections of many art institutions in the US and Europe. He has recently been the recipient of a grant from the United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage and a Mellon Fellowship/Project Grant. Read more.
From the 7th to the 30th April 2010 De/Portees. A multi screen projection in memory of the Italian Deportees by Jack Sal will be exhibited at the Casa della Memoria e della Storia in Rome.
In an Interview with Tom Butter (Artist) for Whitehot Magazine for Contemporary Art in January 2009 Sal spoke of his “memory” works:
JS: Lead. Just like what is hung on the wall as you get off the elevator at Zone: Contemporary. Part of the controversy is that the city of Kielce and Poland itself have difficulty confronting a massacre which happened in 1946. This was a year after the war was over. The rumor was that Jews in this building in Keilce were killing Christian children for blood to make matzos. Even though this was July, and Passover is in March…To this day, the Polish government refuses to acknowledge the number of people who died in the riot which occurred at this site. When I did this work, the official “truth committee”, the committee which deals with war-time events, refused to acknowledge the 42 victims of the massacre, claiming, for example, that some victims died outside of city limits, or they wouldn’t count the fetus of someone was pregnant, even though she was close to term. On the official bronze plaque for the monument, there is no number. Instead as part of my original concept, and one that I held to, there are 42 lead plates, each one representing a victim. They are attached randomly to all 6 sides. The monument is in the shape of a “7” on its side because the pogrom occurred in July, the 7th month, at 7 Planty St. The building where the Jews were living is actually an L shape. The monument is a visual representation of the date, the street and the physical shape of the building.
TB: The form derives completely from events, and in that sense is political.
JS: That is due to the context. If I were working in a gallery, it would make absolutely no sense to make a political statement.
TB: So by applying the same elements to different situations, your intent is to illuminate the various situations.
JS: Yes, I think that is what one does in all one’s activities. You use your sense of self, and your sense of thought and you apply them to all your activities.