Photo Francesco Bellina/ Manifesta
Extended ‘Protocol no. 90/6’
by MASBEDO at Archivio di Stato, Manifesta 12, Palermo, I. (2018)
Protocol no. 90/6 is a site-specific video installation born as a spin-off of Videomobile project, especially conceived for Sala delle Capriate inside the Archivio di Stato di Palermo as tribute to the vicissitudes of the film director Vittorio De Seta: a Sicilian puppet – a hand-made sculptural object animated by Mimmo Cuticchio, made specifically for this video installation by his family. Several times, during his professional career, De Seta was subjected to the control of the authorities. His art, so close to the world of the humblest workers, fishermen, farmers and miners, was suspected of concealing a hidden agenda in favour of “communist” subversive societies.
During the period of work undertaken in the State Archives of Palermo, the artists discovered the existence of a very unusual folder: dated 1956, it contains numerous dossiers and reports concerning artists, directors, writers and journalists. The document, which immediately attracted their attention, was compiled by the Carabinieri of Petralia Sottana, a small town in the Parco delle Madonie. This dossier became the symbol of the meaning of their video installation, displayed at the entrance to the Sala delle Capriate, a place of absolute mystery and silence dedicated to the preservation of a non-organisable memory, an archive arranged in accordance with the non-rules of time and chance. Thousands and thousands of un-catalogued documents that time has transformed into stratified matter, paper fossils, dust and ink.