The collicaligreggi gallery is pleased to present a solo by Andrea Santarlasci entitled Lacrimae curated by Lorand Hegyi, open from 3 August to 20 October 2018

On September 21st at 5.30 pm there will be a meeting with Andrea Santarlasci and the curator of the exhibition Lorand Hegyi.

Exhibition hours:
from 3 August to 4 September, visits by appointment (
from 5 September to 20 October the exhibition will be open from Tuesday to Friday from 15.00 to 19.00, Saturday from 16.00 to 19.00

Andrea Santarlasci “Lacrimae” site specific installation // ph. courtesy Collicaligreggi Gallery

Andrea Santarlasci


curated by Lorand Hegyi

The place is what suggests, and in some way, generates the work… “

Andrea Santarlasci

 “In the preliminary stages of my work, observation precedes action, and this puts me in a receptive mood. Places have visible and invisible energies, and we have the ability to listen to them, to relate to them. Every time these images open up before me, it is never entirely a rational choice, a voluntary choice. These figures impress themselves on my imagination, my thinking, and participate in this configuration of things that is simultaneously ancient and new, with no pretext or desire to define them. But they open me up to a meditation that also activates an ongoing questioning”.

Andrea Santarlasci

Since the early 1990s, Andrea Santarlasci’s research has evolved through deep meditation on the relationships and distinctions between space and place. The approach has become increasingly more narrative, loaded with metaphorical and symbolic aspects that are not codified, capable of triggering further interpretations. This approach goes so far as to provide a repertoire of complexity, thoughts and materials, where the ambiguous and paradoxical character of time is emphasized and made explicit.

“Andrea Santarlasci’s work,” writes Lorand Hegyi, “deeply evocative, poetically complex, emotionally offensive and at the same time elegantly silent, subtly connects different fields of experience, and intellectual encounters to create a very articulate and intense area of ​​references and connotations whose intention is to sensitize basic cultural and anthropological constellations”.

Andrea Santarlasci “Lacrimae” site specific installation // ph. courtesy Collicaligreggi Gallery

On this occasion, the artist tackles and interprets themes related to the reality and history of the city of Catania, but also its legends, which can become universal values ​​of existence and continue to be deeply relevant to the problems of the contemporary world.

Lorand Hegyi continues, “The work of Andrea Santarlasci embodies the passionate calling into question of so-called reality’s credibility, creating extremely evocative metaphors… intellectually intriguing and poetically powerful metaphors regarding the divided unity of the universe, which is then reflected both in the great narrations of the myths, and in the micro-narrations of the concrete, immediate, local, historical, archaeological, geopolitical, socio-cultural constellations of each locus, as a concrete manifestation of human reality”.

Andrea Santarlasci “Lacrimae” site specific installation // ph. courtesy Collicaligreggi Gallery

As the artist states, “The project stems from reflection on place. The city of Catania triggered the idea of tackling and interpreting themes and suggestions that are interwoven with its territory, history and legends about the real and mythical underground rivers, invisible, legendary obscure or vanished waters. These often become metaphorical resonances and lead us to reflect and meditate on man’s universal and existential issues, such as pain and death. Opposing values ​​such as immobility and fluidity, caught simultaneously in a co-presence, will be ulterior themes addressed through the substance of water that becomes, simultaneously, a metaphor for life and death”.

Inside the gallery, there will be a large site-specific installation entitled Sotto di noi, immobile scorre il tempo dell’acqua, 2018, inspired both by the waterways under the subsoil such as Amenano, Simeto and Lake Nicito, often diverted, submerged or vanished due to natural disasters such as earthquakes and lava flows. Over the centuries, these have been followed either by the imaginary or mythological ones, such as the Aci that we often find in classical narratives.

The work consists of a large floor in eroded wood that runs throughout the entire perimeter of the gallery, where something broken opens up, a ruin, a chasm, a void from which emerges the deep dark water of a possible underground river. Like the resurfacing of something hidden and invisible, or the materialization of memory and imagination.

As the artist states, “From on high a light enigmatically drops down, almost as though signalling the point where the waters emerge from the subsoil slightly rippled by a mild current, but at the same time immobile and circumscribed by the perimeter of the gallery, almost evoking the enclosed waters of Gaston Bachelard ‘Enclosed water takes death into its bosom. Water makes death elementary. Water dies with death in its substance. Water becomes a substantial nullity. One cannot go beyond it in desperation. For some souls, water is the substance of despair”.

The installation also becomes a practice for activating temporal and spatial syncopations, disorientations and acculturations, physical re-contextualizations that often concern essential aspects of places and environments, to the extent of stimulating a different, but unique vision of their characteristics, often hidden or forgotten, in a constant variation and overlap between presence and absence. As the artist stated, “Precisely at the point where you can see a void, is where that which has disappeared can be glimpsed. An oscillation between something missing and something that persists, a relationship, a short-circuit between what has disappeared and that which will never cease to resurface”.

There will also be some painted works, made specifically for this project, where there will appear words selected and extracted from literary suggestions that regard or are connected to this territory, such as the Latin term Lacrimae identified in the legend of Galatea in the thirteenth book of Ovid’s metamorphosis.

Lorand Hegyi writes, “Andrea Santarlasci’s work operates on two levels: the historical-socio-cultural, archaeological and ethnographic level, which emphasizes concrete, local, and immediate realities, such as the place and its people, and the level that evokes metaphorical, poetic, and spiritual dimensions, which tend to point toward perspectives of unlimited emotional and existential dramas, the inevitable conflicts between stability, immobility, transparency, and on the other side, obscurity, instability, uncertain fluidity… The title of the exhibition, Lacrimae, evokes the myth of Galatea, beautifully narrated in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, as a still-pertinent story of love and pain, a touching and deeply disturbing incarnation of the inevitable and immutable destiny of human life, which is limited, temporally and radically framed between birth and death. The vividly moving and somewhat melancholic, and at the same time, irritating and questioning nature of Andrea Santarlasci’s work, comes from a deeper reading of the story of Galatea, who is transformed into a paradigm of temporality and generosity, where personal suffering teaches the individual to offer and give something essential to others”.