Soft Creatures is a multimedia installation I realized for the event Anima-Animus on the 10th of September 2022, hosted by The Hub in Lugano (CH).
The work encompasses nine textile sculptures, a soundscape and a video. The atmosphere is somewhat mysterious and bodily. Gentle here and uncanny there. The soundscape floats through the room. A movement of never fully recognizable bodily and watery sounds originates from within the sculptures. The soft printed textiles also have ambiguous, yet elegant, traits. They recalls skin here, hairs there, perhaps fruit elsewhere, mostly they are not at all recognizable, colours fade into abstraction. On a large screen runs in loop a close up video of moving lips. They are extremely big in relation to a body. Their movement is sometimes very slow, other times very fast. Perhaps the lips move through various emotional tensions, perhaps they are trying to tell us something, perhaps they don’t try to tell us anything, they just move.
I presented the work in combination with a short text which you can read in the following page.
At the event I was asked to give a brief talk. I introduced to the public the idea of ‘Soft Strength’ which was to me the primal inspiration for this work. I shared my dream of a world where this combination of words does not sound like an oxymoron. I envision a culture where regardless of gender, nationality, age, identity, one is allowed to be soft, vulnerable, empathetic, and where these qualities are recognized as strengths. These are essential aspects of our existence on this planet, and I deeply believe we must learn to recognize their value.
The Soft Creatures and the research which came with it (which I call ‘My Softest Strength’) was supported by AMARTE FONDS. The event was curated by Silvia Cianci Giavatto.
During my last visit to Marghidia, one late evening, my friend Humuri told me the legend
of The Soft Creatures.
The story was contained inside one Maraghidian word: Hamriiti.
To unfold the legend into time, Humuri repeated the word many times, very slowly,
changing intonation here and there.
I did not understand, yet I listened carefully.
Seeing my perplexed face she then wrote it down on the sand by tracing a symbol.
She then repeated it one more time, but extremely slowly, while looking me in the eye:
H A M R I I T I
It took me months of research to grasp the feeling of that word, therefore the meaning of
the legend. The best translation I came up with is: ‘My Softest Strength’.
Like all Maraghidian words, their translation to human language is extremely reductive, as
each symbol is to them sound, feeling, verb, subject, noun and colour all together.