Palermo, May 18, 2018.
The boys are busy gathering wood for their neighbourhood
blaze, a mountain of old things to burn but also a primitive
architecture to build and a tower to observe from. Their fire
is the highest in Palermo and nobody can turn it off because
the oranges are ammunition and the boys are ready to
The ritual of “vampa di San Giuseppe”, coinciding with the
transition from winter to spring, is a testimony of the passage
of pagan elements absorbed by the territory and
made significant according to the Christian cult. The fire
represents the destruction of all that anguishes the community,
but it is also a regenerator, a promoter of the welfare
of crop and man.
This ancient practice is poised between tradition and legality,
being considered dangerous for the city. For this
reason it is carried out by underage boys, who can't be
The collective exhibition takes place in the city of Palermo, as a collateral event of the twelfth edition of the Biennale Manifestation (16th June – 4th November 2018): TALPE. Well said, Old mole curated by Marta Cereda and Laura Lamonea. The exhibition is an exploration throughout the corridors and classrooms of the Liceo Classico Umberto I. The concept of the exhibition comes from the first pages of The Planetary garden by Gilles Cléments.