“Ulysses” (2019) by Umberto Santoro consists of a series of photographs and urban billboards in the Sant’Erasmo district of Palermo. The project tells stories of the sea and fishermen: characters from a collective imagination who, over the centuries, have given shape and soul to the landscapes of the Mediterranean coasts.
Starting from a research that took place along an itinerary from Castellammare del Golfo to Sant’Erasmo, in particular in the ports of Terrasini, Isola delle Femmine, Sant’Erasmo and Castellamare, the artist builds a narrative that, from the sea, moves into a neighborhood. It is here that the artist’s exploration leaves room for the observer’s journey. This undertakes an unrepeatable experience, which pushes him to follow a path traced by natural landscapes made of islands, sea creatures, tools and materials for fishing, jackets, containers and ropes forgotten on boats, where plastic mixes with algae, jute and old rusty locators. Conceived as part of one and the same set, the inhabitants of the marine world move around the mainland and parade through a gallery of images, as in the chapters of a story. It does not matter if the characters in this story are real or mythological creatures. As we walk along the path, the space around us suggests its continuation. A small wall, an old gate, a deserted courtyard are the pauses in the white space on a page, the head of a paragraph. They become the natural setting for the dance of a jellyfish, during a journey along a landscape that Santoro invites us to explore.
Text by Valentina Sansone Art Curator.
(Project Exhibition on 8th of July 2019, Borgata di S. Erasmo, Palermo)