#LIMONI: NOTTE DI SAN LORENZO | RENATO LEOTTA
Renato Leotta inverts the sky with the earth, swaps the outside with the inside and takes the viewer in an ideal dimension that is as intimate as universal. Notte di San Lorenzo (2018) is the site specific work created by the artist on the occasion of Manifesta 12 which took place in Palermo in 2018. The host place was the historic Palazzo Butera in the heart of the old city center: surrounded by other buildings, the artist wanted to bring the natural element back into its intervention through a very unexpected photograph of an imaginary garden lost in the Palermo countryside. Testing the traditional use of terracotta tiles, a characterizing element of Sicilian architecture, Leotta creates a flooring that covers an entire hall of the building: the image of lemons is imprinted on these tiles, whose footprints can be seen on the fresh matter and subsequently cooked.
The printing process, which recalls the photographic copying and reproduction process, took place through the use of gravity: the artist arranged the terracotta tiles in a garden waiting for the lemons from the orchard to fall to the ground because of their weight, sign that they were mature enough to be eaten. Therefore, by removing himself from the role of author/creator, Leotta has made nature itself become the creator of his images. The resulting constellation from this process was then brought back into the spaces of the seventeenth-century building: the superimposition creates a shift and a consequent union of the architectural dimension of the living spaces and the natural one of the garden.
Furthermore, the title, Notte di San Lorenzo, adds a romantic and extremely suggestive touch to the process. Referring to the tradition that recognizes the 10th of August as the day of the celebration of the fall of the celestial bodies, Leotta proposes a vision of citrus that borders on the imagination: no longer just a fruit but also a planet of the universe. With Notte di San Lorenzo the artist manages to bring back the feeling of the countryside that seems to take shape above the floor of the building, furthermore with a clever and enlightened narrative stratagem, he breaks through the ceilings of the building and makes possible a timeless shooting stars.
Notte di San Lorenzo, 2018
installation view at Manifesta 12, Palazzo Butera, Palermo
© photo Sebastiano Pellion di Persano