Bassano Diary by Massimo Simonetto

Posted: June 5, 2011 in Bassano 2011
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This page will have all of the diary entries from Massimo in English (& some Italian) during Boxing Bassano 2011. Massimo is a young writer who is working in collaboration with OperaEstate. His observations on the Boxing Project in Bassano will provide a record of how the meetings are realised. Massimo is free to write what he feels throughout the day and we hope this personal account will help to explain the project to you.  Please check back daily until the final day of the project. Enjoy. (Day one, day two  & day three are below).

DAY ONE: The meeting in the castle

English:

Fantastic, I’m late, but not too much. We are all sitting at a long table with tea and cookies on it, just to start.

Telephones ringing. “This project is about telling stories and sharing…”   Even if there won’t be so much time I’m sure that this experience would resist for long on the participant’s skin. Boxing Bassano –> Box –> Box of the memory.   The project is explained. Write a lot on the diaries because last year people spent a lot of f time reading them during the exhibition. A child arrives late.

They ask him “Parli inglese?”. He answers “Un po’”. “Quindi hai capito quello che ha detto!”

“No!”

It’s interesting to see how adults need more indications and “restrictions”.   They say that the diary could remain anonymous, but how can something remain anonymous if it contains so many feelings? “You’ll put in the box something that would tell the story of this experience” couples are formed, a little bit of shame but conversations turn on very quickly: “come ti chiami?” and it’s done.

You can feel easily how many personalities are different and how they are so different even if relationships are quickly growing up just with some simple information. Oh look. Daisies in the middle of the table, i didn’t see them. Improving my English with a nice photographer.

I see kids talking together: they already know each other. It’s the same for the adults. The last, beautiful, girl is arrived. Cookie, yummy, it helps with conversation. It’s strange that in only few years you trade biscuits and tea with alcohol to help you overcoming the feeling of being ashamed and all those bad feelings.   There is a woman with piercing eyes and her eyes are so deep that you can really feel Hope holding on the girl sitting in front of her.

I’m going to be a translator.   Ok, I’m good at it but…actually she understands English on her own so I am useless…

Diary with coloured butterflies for kids and an elegant theme for adults. They are local products but I can’t remember the name of the producer.   Box delivered.

“ci metterò dentro una vipera, ce ne sono tante!” (ok, I’m afraid, he just said “I’m going to put a snake in it, there are a lot of snakes!) They are switching their addresses taking notes in the diaries: I like to dream that they’ll send each other postcards forever. Or at least until a rainy day will come when they’ll meet in Piazza Libertà, one of them put in a coffin.

Somebody is already writing on the diary.

“Mi aiuti a sedare quei teppisti?” (“can you help me with those hooligans?”)

They are so beautiful, kids and adults.

I’m wearing a blasphemous t-shirt so I have to put the shirt on it and I’m just melting. Nasty kids doing nasty jokes. Nice smile of a platinum-blond girl. I’m going to ask Robert when his ear piercing healed because mine seems so…un-healed!

Hide-and-seek. “Sai, non è facile con la carrozzina.” (“You know, it’s not easy with the wheelchair”)   This phrase hides an all life inside of it.   People are vanishing, the blonde girl is called Lucia, tomorrow there will be two encounters, I’m very curious.

It’s not possible…the girl for who I translated from English is…ENGLISH MOTHERTONGUE! So my translations could have been silly… I feel so ashamed!   They look cute with those boxes under their arms.

“Sugar (x17)” said Lara very fast while grabbing cookies and pouring orange juice.

“Like a squirrel!” I replied, because she reminds me of a famous squirrel

“YEAH! SUGARSUGARSUGARSUGARSUGAR…!”

Finished, let’s go. Oh my god. Creepy laugh. Lara is laughing like a mad person. We enter the room and she’s holding a boiler with tea filters swinging from her hands. She’s laughing very loudly.   It seems that in the UK you can’t put filter in the boiler, it’s like a crime! Ok, it’s enough for today.

Italian: Fantastico, sono in ritardo, ma non di molto.

Siamo tutti seduti a un lungo tavolo con tè e biscotti, giusto per cominciare.

Telefoni che suonano.

“This project is about telling stories and sharing…”

Anche se ci sarà poco tempo sono sicuro che resterà a lungo il segno di questa esperienza sulla pelle delle persone che vi stanno partecipando.

Boxing Bassano –> Box –> Scatola –> Scatola della memoria.

Viene presentato il progetto. Riempire i diari perché l’anno scorso la gente passava molto tempo a leggerli durante la mostra.

Arriva un ragazzo in ritardo.

“Parli inglese?” gli chiedono.

“Un po’” risponde.

“Quindi hai capito quello che ha detto!”.

“No!”.

È interessante vedere come le persone adulte sentano il bisogno di molte più indicazioni e “restrizioni”.

“Il lavoro potrà restare anonimo” dicono, ma mi chiedo: come può restare anonimo qualcosa contenente tante emozioni?

“Metterete nella scatola qualcosa che racconti la storia di questa esperienza”, vengono formate le coppie, un po’ di imbarazzo ma si trova subito il modo di cominciare le conversazioni: “come ti chiami?” e poi il gioco è fatto.

Si nota subito come la personalità delle persone sia specifica di ognuno, come siano tutti diversi ma anche come i rapporti comincino a istaurarsi velocemente semplicemente scambiando anche poche informazioni essenziali.

Oh, guarda. Margherite al centro del tavolo, non le avevo viste.

Improving my english with a nice photographer.

I bambini parlano anche tra loro: a quanto pare si conoscono tra loro. Anche per gli adulti vale lo stesso.

Arriva anche l’ultima, bellissima, ragazza.

Biscotto, buono, aiuta a conversare. È strano come in pochi anni si possa passare dai biscotti con il tè ai super alcolici per riuscire a superare l’imbarazzo e le emozioni che inibiscono.

C’è una signora dallo sguardo talmente penetrante che sembra aggrapparsi di speranza alla ragazza che siede di fronte a lei.

I’m going to be a translater.

Ok, I’m good at it but…actually she understand english on her own so I am useless…

Diario a farfalle colorato per i ragazzi e fantasia elegante per gli adulti. Sono di fabbricazione locale ma non ricordo bene il nome della fabbrica…

Consegna delle scatole.

“ci metterò dentro una vipera, ce ne sono tante!” O_O (ok, ho paura)

Si scambiano già qualche indirizzo annotandolo sui diari: mi piace pensare che si manderanno cartoline per sempre. Almeno fino a un nero giorno di pioggia in cui si ritroveranno in Piazza Libertà, uno dei due dentro ad una bara.

Alcuni cominciano già a scrivere sui diari.

“Mi aiuti a sedare quei teppisti?” eh eh eh Roberto, non sono bravo in queste cose..

Sono davvero tutti bellissimi, ragazzi e adulti.

Ho una maglia blasfema quindi devo tenerci sopra la camicia e mi sto sciogliendo.

Bambini dispettosi che si fanno i dispetti. Bel sorriso di ragazza biondo-platino. Prima o poi chiederò a Roberto quanto ci è voluto perché il suo piercing guarisse dato che il mio è ancora così…non guarito!

Hide-and-seek.

“Sai, non è facile con la carrozzina.”

Questa è già una frase che nasconde una vita intera dentro.

Pian piano svaniscono le persone, la ragazza bionda si chiama Lucia, domani due incontri, sono proprio curioso.

Non è possibile…la ragazza a cui traducevo dall’inglese è…MADRELINGUA INGLESE! Quindi le mie traduzioni avranno fatto pena… T_T I feel so ashamed!

Sono carini tutti questi personaggi con le loro scatole sotto braccio.

“Sugar (x17)” detto molto velocemente da Lara mentre versa aranciata e prende biscotti.

“Like a squirrel!” le dico, dato che mi ricorda uno scoiattolo famoso.

“YEAH! SUGARSUGARSUGARSUGARSUGAR…!”

Finito, andiamo.

Oddio. Risata inquietante. Lara ride come una forsennata. Entriamo nella stanza e troviamo lei con un bollitore in mano e dei filtri di tè che fuoriescono da questo.

Ride fragorosamente.

A quanto pare in Inghilterra è un sacrilegio mettere i filtri di tè nel bollitore.

Ok , it’s enough for today.

DAY TWO:

15.00   VERY HOT!

Today I put on a nice t-shirt so I don’t need to hide it with a shirt over it.

Cool wind and sun, bells ringing.

Martine Akre + Elsa Etra

Let’s take a coffee at Elsa’s house. Fantastic place, full of old memories but I notice an Ikea piece of furniture.

The old lady drew a nice picture on the diary. Elsa is going to read to Martine some stories about her family: she actually wrote a book about her family. Very interesting conversation. I feel so much part of it.

I think she’s a very nice woman, with many stories to tell. There was a fresco on the ceiling but Elsa’s mother painted it with white paint so her brother decided to paint again over it some decorations.

Elsa is very good at telling stories and reading: I think she read a lot for her children and nephews.

The book she wrote is called “memorie donate ricordi vissuti”.

Maybe she’s reading too much.

Let’s go around the house.

Oh look, there’s a photo of a man dressed up as a woman for a masked party, you know, for carnival.

That is strange: people thought that in this house there were ghosts so no one wanted to live here!

This house is stunning and full of interesting things! There are also some puppets.

“Senti il profumo dei tigli!”

She said that eating an ice cream while you are walking under the lindens it’s an amazing experience.

I’ll try out…

There are secret passages and some nice tricks just like a ring that you pull to open a blocked gate!

There is also a drum at the top floor, and also a stunning vista.

There are beautiful wooden objects found in the desert that her husband is going to photograph.

Let’s go to the lab but first let’s take a look at the mountains and spend some words about the war.

Old fashioned pictures of man are stunning. I love them.

“Questa è la mia stanza incasinata” (“this is my messy room”)

She made wedding cloth and very elegant dresses. There is a painting of a big eyed woman: the painter gave her this gift because she told him that she recognises herself in those eyes. Elsa is a fantastic dressmaker.

Now they are making a little flower for Martine, it’s made of fabric.

Elsa is also a poetess: she wrote a poem for Martine last night, it’s written in dialect.

It’s amazing, really moving.

That rosette is very nice!

“La faccenda è che sto diventando brava diventando vecchia invece di rimbambirmi”

There are no word to explain how wonderful this kid and lady are. They just seem even more then relatives even if it’s only the second time they meet!

“Let’s take a picture together”

It’s moving, they are so beautiful. They are going to make a dress together for Martine one day: they are switching phone numbers indeed.

Elsa’s husband, Bassiano, is a photographer and we saw his dark room. Lovely.

Every artist he took a picture of gave them something so the house is full of wonderful pieces of art from different artists. This is really beautiful.

Martine is writing on her diary:

“La signora Elsa è una persona di buon cuore, una persona che non fa differenze, una persona che ammiro.”

Fadoua El Khaouli + Bassiano Zonta

Fadoua likes adventures so Bassiano is showing her a book about it and he’s actually gifting it to her.

Let’s go to the river but before we are going to take a look of the last well of the castle that is stuck to the house. Bassiano is a little bit shy and Fadoua too.

I think he’s a great person. They have already started talking together.

We’re walking on the road: I hope we are not going to die because of the cars.

We arrived at the house where Bassiano was born: now his son is living there.

“Ero il padrone di casa, ora non sono niente” (“I used to be the owner, now I’m nothing”)

There is a cute dog.

We weren’t expected to come so there is a little bit of embarrassment.

The garden. They found a nest on the ground so they’ll put it in the box.

Bassiano used to play “Indians and cowboys” in this garden.

The dog wants to rape me but fortunately it’s not going like that.

Bassiano took his first picture in this garden when he was 13 and now we are taking a picture in the same position where he took it.

I love my braces.

Now Fadoua is taking some photos of the roses with Lara. They are very cute. She is very shy.

Oh the sound of the river is stunning: it reminds me of my first love.

Oh god! There are a lot of insects all over my arms because I was carrying the nest with me so….

There’s a big calm.

When Bassiano was a boy scout he slept near the river and this sound was very relaxing. He is such a nice person, very calm and polite. Now they are taking a picture of a sign on a wall that represents the level that the water reached in 1966: It’s absurd because I would be drowning if I were here at that time!

Bassiano wants to go on a trip on the North with her wife but actually she decided for Sardinia: marriage is about compromising. 😉

Ah Ah Ah! There is a cute bird that’s trying to climb a wall and it’s jumping in a funny way.

Voyeurism. There’s a couple that’s actually making out on the beach.

There’s a balcony full of orchids. It’s my favorite flower. I absolute love them.

A man fell off his bike. He’s drunk. Motorbikes racing.

We come back to the house, I love that Humour in her father’s photo!

Bassiano took a lot of pictures and made a book of the origins of boys scout: his father was the founder of the local Boy Scout Club. There are lots of books of photography with such nice pictures. I like them.

Now we are leaving.

Such a nice day!

By Massimo the scientist Simonetto

DAY 3

Today I dyed my hair (blue black) and now I’m having a t-shirt made in a stamp shop. I can’t wait to wear it. It’s a GLEE inspired t-shirt: I love that series!

Kawtar Sebbar + Orfeo Benetti

I just feel mad when I’m with Lara: I love it!

We are going to Orfeo’s house by car.

Arrived.

Kawtar is scared of dogs. 2 little cute dogs. But she’s really too scared! They’re going to be grounded in the garage. Now…there are fantastic koi fishes and tortoises. Look at that beautiful kitchen garden! They’ve got an amazing garden! Nephew and her mother. I love those flowers, they remind me of the Hawaii.

Orfeo is an amazing drawer. He drew fantastic, stunning landscapes with ink. He’s also a poet but I prefer him as a drawer. Also Kawtar draws: clothes and dresses. She wants to be a fashion designer…or maybe a singer…or a surgeon!

When Orfeo was 11 he started making his own clothes but he also tried out a lot of different things. He started with ceramics and paintings on plates.

He made some nice clothes for his wife. Now he’s reading a poem about young people, it’s written in dialect.

“non bisogna fare di tutta un’erba un fascio”

This lands are full of life, country life. This reminds me of my favorite book: “camera separate”.

Here women are very strong and they’re actually the main gear of families.

Oh! Beautiful! Water – Mills – Electricity!

This is a beautiful park but also a power station. I want to jump into the water while listening to some Jònsi’s music. We are eating cherries directly from the tree and they are taking pictures in this wonderful paradise. There’s a woman doing the stretching: she just looks like a performer. Lara is taking some flowers: Chamomile. Now the woman is meditating. There’s a little waterfall. Orfeo’s wife is becoming the protagonist of the trip.

This place makes me cry: when I’ll find my lover I’ll take him here.

I love birches.

Roberto and Lara agree: we can move here and live in hammocks.

The water is very fresh. Cold.

One man died here during a white-water rafting competition.

Blackberries! OMG! They’re so sweet, taste like figs!

A very very tasty experience.

We spend almost 10 minutes eating blackberries from a tree: they’re so delicious.

This is the Locus Amoenus.

Orfeo gave us some prints of some of his works. Amazing.

The kid and the adult have switched phone numbers and it seems that they’re going to meet again this week!

Well done! 😀

DAY 5

I’m sorry…I’m late because of the rain: I was by foot and it started raining so I had to return home and take an umbrella.

The encounter had already started.

REDA BENMAKADDEM + VITO PAVAN

We met in a bar in the center of the city, but it’s not a random-chosen-bar: In fact here Vito and other artists started the artistic club of the city.

In 1945 there was an explosion of joy because war ended.

Vito is asking Reda what he wants to be in the future: he answered he wants to be a chef.

Reda can already cook! Pasta for example.

Vito’s got 5 sons. The eldest is 61: he joined navy and he went also in Iraq.

I hate war. I hate it! I hate people who kill other creatures.

Real age is not always the age you actually have.

“Art helps you living longer, also because it helps your brain, it stimulates it.”

I’m hypnotized by the rain.

Vito put in the box some comics, airplanes made of paper and even an harmonica: they are pieces of his youth. “You always have to respect and love the others”

I don’t know…today I just feel like a bad kid. (Lady Gaga influenced me)

Now they’re talking about food and when Vito went to Morocco, Reda’s family come from Morocco.

Reda comes from Casablanca but he didn’t know the movie and who Humphrey Bogart was.

Lara reassured me about arriving late: she wrote on my diary not to worry about it.

Now Vito is talking about Renata Bonfanti and Toni Zarpellon.

“The art piece defines the date, it’s not the time that defines the art piece.”

“Art is about communication so isolation is useless.”

We are talking and discussing about big question of art.

“Do you look at the form, the aesthetic or do you look at the meaning?”

“It’s important to be related with society but it’s so important for the artist to put also his own soul in what he makes.” (LARA)

“This conversation is just like the same conversations they had here in the 50s!” (ROBERTO)

I offered Vito and Reda to take my umbrella so we are now walking in the rain. I’m very wet.

The dusty studio it’s like a chamber of the secrets. He made so many paintings in his life. He won so many prizes. This room is full of his works.

The funny and exciting thing is that I walked so many times near this place without even knowing what it was. Who knows how many places we’ve already walked near but that we can’t imagine they’re going to be part of our future. This place is near a car-park full of graffiti made but the INFART COLLECTIVE.

In every single painting there’s a lot of BLUE.

Reda is a little bit shy.

Lara is taking her pictures.

Reda too.

There’s the typical smell of a painter’s laboratory.

Vito gave us catalogs of his works. He’s kind. He’s a talented painter. I love this studio. Let’s move to the next one.

SIMONE KANE + RENATA BONFANTI

(I saw a blackbird with a white spot on the head. I have never seen one like that! I also saw my Italian literature teacher crying in the street.)

Roberto is driving.

Lara, Lucia, Simone and me are in the car with him.

Lara’s Italian is amazing:

“DESTRA, DESTRA! Now DITRO! STRAIGHT! DEStra, over theRE! SENISTRA! SINISTRA! Straight is DITRO, no, wait, DRITTO! DRITO DRITO DRITTO DRITTO DITRODITTRODITRO!”

We arrived in Mussolente in few minutes. Lara asked if the name of this place is related with Mussolini but it isn’t. This is a nice place, very…green!

Now, we are in Renata’s fantastic laboratory. It’s full of colored wool, carpets, curtains, pillows, bags…

Renata is too cute, her voice is like a lullaby.

Simone seems very interested even if she’s shy. It’s wonderful.

Carpets are amazing, tapestries too.

This place is moving.

Renata and her sister are now showing Simone how they do carpets and tapestries with the loom. There’s so much hope in Renata’s eyes. I can feel it.

Wool, linen, cotton but also synthetic wires wave in this huge canvas.

Her works are Art!

They also use mechanical looms. I really love the last carpet that Renata made. It’s so beautiful.

This place is amazing, very calm, slow and like suspended in time and space.

It’s like a cathedral of the Beauty.

Now Renata is showing Simone how she choose colours and match them together.

So Simone is now choosing the colours and she sticks them on a sticky strip so actually she’s making some kind of little coloured band. She’s choosing very bright colors.

I can’t find the words.

It’s stunning.

Now Renata is asking Simone to draw something to put in the box.

Oh look! A cute red squirrel outdoors!

Renata exposed her art pieces also in the Bennale and in the Triennalle, where she also won a prize.

Renata’s sister offered water and biscuits. She’s a lovely one, as her sister.

Renata also knew Bruno Munari.

She is a designer. A real one. Not like now days young designers: most of them have only graduated in design and they only look as designer but they’re not.

THICK GLASSES DOES NOT MAKE YOU A DESIGNER.

She puts love, time and soul in what she does.

Simone’s drawing is very beautiful! She’s putting it in the box.

Tassotti is the creator of the boxes but also who bound her monograph.

We’re all free and welcome to come back here.

Lara has got her pictures. Simone too. We have to go even if we don’t want to.

Maybe the best day ever of this experience.

So, here we are. 4 days later. In the same place.

There’s also Nora, a beautiful performer, the kids’ parents and also Lara’s parents, they seem gentle.

Everything changed a lot: everybody is more confident, happy and comfortable.

This seems like a big family. Nora is really beautiful! I should repeat it.

Lara’s explaining to everybody the experience.

My mind is going away. I want to stay here forever. I want to run free in grain fields.

Let’s eat again from the buffet.

I’ll miss this. But there will be things that will remind me of this experience. Something that remains in my mind, because you know, mind is just like a box full of memories. Like a very small box with no bottom. Infinite Highway, Road to Art.

Massimo, TheScientist, Simonetto for Boxing Bassano.

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