24 September 2011

At Hangar Bicocca. The monumental sculpture "The Sequence", by Fausto Melotti, renovated and replaced

"The Sequence" 
by Fausto Melotti at Bicocca Hangar  - Milan

The sculpture had already been displayed at Forte di Belvedere in Florence and in Villa Arconati park in Bollate (Milan)

The monumental sculpture “The Sequence”, by Fausto Melotti (1901-1986), milanese artist of international renown, after a careful restauration under Fausto Melotti archive’s supervision and with the masterly consulting of Arnaldo Pomodoro, has been made usable again and exposed in the garden area realized at the entrance of "Hangar Bicocca", the show floor recently created in Milan in the Bicocca area.
 The sequence is one of the most significant works that the artist has left us, testimony of his long and complicated formal research based on a deep knowledge of history and on the natural, harmonic and linguistic links that the pure form can draw and interact from musical experiences.
Realized in 1981, it’s a monumental work, 22 metres long, 7 metres high and 10 metres wide. It is composed by a series of iron sheets, vertical and layered in deep on three undulate levels that recall, in a tension to movement, the running of fingers along a musical keyboard. The sculpture had already been displayed at Forte di Belvedere in Florence and in Villa Arconati park in Bollate. 

We have visited Bicocca Hangar in Milan, mega show floor realized in Bicocca area, close to the new buildings realized by Vittorio Gregotti, and included in the field of Bicocca Project as an industrial object involved in recovery.
The Hangar on its inside, apart from the gigantic show area, divided in two rooms of different height, has a bookshop and a snack bar area.
The outside has been transformed into a garden, with a wide parking lot located in the front. The garden, especially in its front part, is constitued by different arboreal species of great scenic effect, in its simple and modern settlement. In the centre, the big iron sculpture dominates, unusual in its dimensions for the Master, but not in its geometrical and perfectly harmonic scores, of great plastic and scenic effect.
It appeared to us from afar like an archeological find, and immense megalith, because of its fascinating connection with the paleoindustrial presences and the architectural modern figures of the context. A mix whose metaphysical climate has been and still is able to realize Melotti’s idea of surreal and even random harmonies, born from the real material to later become surreal through the vision that light, reverberations, colours and atmosphere accidentally generate in infinite variants. 

Fausto Melotti was born in Rovereto, city of the Austro-Hungarian empire, where he attended Royal Elizabethan School, but at the outbreak of First World War he moved to Florence where he finished his high school studies. In the Tuscan city Melotti, in possession of natural expressive qualities and a really pronounced manual hability, got in touch with some men of letters and avant-garde artists, and had a chance to closely observe the works of some artists from Florentine Renaissance like Giotto, Simone Martini, Botticelli, Donatello, Michelangelo. Essential was his relationship with his native town, and with the fervent panorama that enlivened Rovereto during those years: Fortunato Depero, the architect Gino Pollini- one of the founders of italian rationalism thanks to group 7-, the famous composer Rizzardo Zadonai and others lived there during that time. Subsequently he graduated from Polytechnic in Milan, after studying electrical engineering. After several musical studies he decided to devote himself to sculpture: he studied in Turin at first, in Pietro Canonica’s studio, then, starting from 1928, at Brera Academy in Milan, under the guidance of the great milanese sculptor Adolfo Wildt. He worked for Richard Ginori company with his friend Gio Ponti.

His style changed during the years, even if he always kept a really personal refinement, aimed at structuring the room by following rhythms of musical “taste”; even the more traditional sculptures linked to the twentieth century, like the work made out of chalk presented at the V Triennale of Milan in 1933, or all the sculptures prepared between Rome and Carrara in 1941 for the Universal Eur Exhibition in Rome, are full of that particular love for the poetry of materials. Evident his connections with the twentieth century, with Metaphysical art, but most of all with Rationalism and with all the artists linked to Milione Gallery in Milan, especially Lucio Fontana. His carving always had a more mental nature, and at the sime time was subjected to a synthesis, in terms of methods and materials: ceramic and chalk but most of all his really light sculptures made of steel, were soaked with a surreal and ironic vein. Up to the extreme consequences in the works that followed the official award of 1967, obtained thanks to an exhibition in Milan. He teached and directed the Royal Art School of Cantù, now State Art Institute I.S.A. Cantù.

His carving was characterized by linear and geometrical elements, and he wanted to exclude, as he expressly said, every kind of modeling, in favour of an absolute formal pureness (his degree in electrical engineering and his studies in music could have contributed to this research of moderation and rational order).
He devoted himself also to ceracmic, reaching an outcome of really high quality (Letter to Fontana, 1944, Milan, private collection) and realized, starting from 1931, the series of Small theatres made out of coloured earthenware or many different materials (Wotan’s sleep 1958, Trent, Modern and Contemporary Art Museum).
Starting from 1970, when he was close to his seventies, though he never contradicted his principles of harmonic occupation of the abstractionism’s room, he released a genuine and unmistakable poetic inspiration with some fragile and air constructions made out of thin copper strings, of transparent metal nets, of mobile gauze rags, and using meaningful titles like Wind in the shed, The sound of horn in the forest, The moon and the wind, The snow.

The wide production of Melotti has always been animated by a double, but not contradictory tension: on the one hand, a tension towards the allusive, symbolic form (The self-portrait, 1962, Milan, The sound of horn in the forest, 1970, Milan, Mulas Collection), on the other hand a tension towards rhythmic and structural invention  (Plumb-bob, steel, 1968; Art of plastic counterpoint n. 1, steel, 1970).
His creations have an haunting charm, where carving, if you can still use this term, rather than “anti-carving”, becomes a really calculated play of semblances and spaces, smiley and sometimes lightly ironic; but “a play- as Melotti asserts- that becomes poetry when it succeeds”.

Complex artistic personality, Fausto Melotti (Rovereto/TN 1901 - Milan 1986) has covered a long and rich cultural walk that had its foundamental stages in Florence, Turin, Milan and obviously his native town.
His education started, as Giuseppe Appella specified (in Fausto Melotti 1901-1986, Rome – Milan 1987, pp. 11-19), in Florence where he finished his high school studies after leaving Rovereto at the outbreak  of First Worls War.
In Florence, city of european culture, worked many avant-garde artists and men of letters, but most of all you could find numerous historical and artistic attestations of the past: Melotti had the chance to admire in some florentine museums the great works of art created by italian masters like Giotto, Simone Martini, Botticelli, Donatello and Michelangelo.
Carlo Belli (1903-1991), who reached him some time later, reminds that his cousin, really matured, conveyed the spirit of that town to him. One day at Bargello Museum, he managed to make him understand Donatello’s Saint George: “ ‘You can see that silence circulates around it’. I found myself struck. I accepted the concept of silence as the power in carving”. And even after a long time, Carlo believes that for them, adolescents at the time, that one was “a formative stay…fundamental axis around which our first humanistic acquisition will develop”.
The two-year period spent in another Tuscan city like Pisa, allowed Melotti to assimilate the spirit of some remarkable architectural works, of Gothic and Romanesque sculptures (Nicola and Giovanni Pisano), at the same time as the precious works coming from Middle Ages (capitals and relieves,  mosaics and enamels, dry goods and ivories). An iconographical and stilistic world that will emerge here and there in his enameled ceramics and in his small theatres.

It was only in 1919 that Melotti reached a total integration in the lively cultural life of his Rovereto “rich in living lights”. At that time the city was popular for being the place that had produced the philosopher Antonio Serbati Rosmini (1797-1855), whose works were almost compulsorily read by the citizens, and two “european” characters, not known by the kids of that time, the futurist globetrotter painter Iras Baldessari and the decadent poet Lionello Fiumi.
Belli tells with pride that the kids of Rovereto, animated by a desire for renewal, wanted to “remake the world” in their own way, avoiding the usual protest that characterizes kids and using “fantasy” instead, and were constantly in search of bright ideas that could cause furore in public opinion.

Melotti himself recalls with enthusiasm in some interview the numerous personalities who lived in his town, and made it an avant-garde centre in many intellectual fields: in figurative arts, in archaeology, in music and literature. First of all the futurist Fortunato Depero (1892-1960), the already mature architect and painter M. Sandonà, the architect G. Tiella, the future architects A. Libera, G. Pollini and L. Baldessari, M. Untersteiner luminary in classic philology, the archaeologist F. Halberr, P. Orsi scholar of Magna Greece, the poet R. Prati, the men of letters S. Branzi and C. G. Stoffella (who supplied these young artists with texts, obtained in France, by Valery, J. Cocteau, M. Proust and A. Gide), the famous musician R. Zandonai.
Many of these figures used to discuss all morning long in the backshop of Cobelli pharmacy: Belli almost always participated, while Melotti went only sometimes, due to his bashful nature; they were fascinated especially by the expedition accounts of the archaeologists Orsi and Halberr, by the reports of their minings respectively in Locri (Calabria) and in the ancient Crete, and were swayed by the myth of those ancient people.
Even from the point of view of its school education, Rovereto was an avant-garde town. It is particularly interesting to remind that, starting from the nineteenth century, there had been a “Royal School” (subsequently names “Elizabethan”), attended also by Melotti, where a lot of room was given to technical notions and to graphical activities, promoting the artistical  capabilities of the students; after this school, you could directly be admitted to Polytechnic.
The first significant experience of young Melotti, was his hanging around with Fortunato Depero, who had “entered the history of modern painting, since his godfathers were Balla and Boccioni; though he was a mate of our crazy evenings, we were already considering him a figure”, and in the period that went from 1919 to 1924 devoted himself to the sector of decorative arts.

The manifesto Futurist reconstruction of the universe (1915) reveals how enthusiastically the subscribers, Balla and Depero, were planning to create a new reality, bringing into everyday life some objects able to “reconstruct the universe by brightening it up, namely by integrally recreating it “, finding “the abstract equivalents of all the shapes and the elements of the universe itself, then we will combine them together,  following the whims of our inspiration, so as to create some plastic complexes that we’ll put in motion”. A fundamental component of this statement is the will to use any kind of matter and material (steel and cotton strings, clothes,  coloured cardboards and glasses, metal nets, mirrors, etc.) so as to build plastic complexes, provided that they mantained an eye-catching characteristic.
No doubt that this aspect, together with the intention of the two futurists to impose the artist’s creativity in all the environment of man, in the urban space, in the mores, impressed the young people of Rovereto, to whom Depero was also able to transmit his vital energy, kept alive by a happy fantasy. He had constituted an Art House with his name in the town,  placed the following year in the most spacious and luminous saloons of Keppel House.
The machine of Art House started up right when Melotti started coming back to Rovereto more frequently, while he began his studies in engineering in Milan.
Depero, who was helped by his wife in his handicraft laboratory, encouraged the young people next to him to take up the road of  applied arts so that they could become worthy companions of figurative arts.
With his manual hability and through humble materials then considered “anti-artistic” – as it is explained in the manifesto of 1915 – he was able to express all his language: a synthetic and linear style made of strong colours, of geometrical shapes that created joints, full of sense of dynamism. In the creations from the Twenties in particular you can see a metaphysical valency, as Carlo Belli had detected in Kn (Milan 1935):  “Depero painted, without knowing it, the most beautiful metaphysical pictures produced by this movement. …(The procession of the big doll – The house of the wizard – Unknown village) spectacular visions of a magic naturalism, superior to De Chirico himself. At that time Depero was more than ever an active member of futurism, but the metaphysical Muse was in the air”; as P. Fossati has more recently explained: “Depero was …invested with a sort of osmosis between futurism and metaphysical muse, …the rising and substantial wave that impregnated the dynamic atmosphere of Depero with a tense and mysterious scenography was the metaphysical one, and it wasn’t hard to lose the elements of futurism by that time disfigured in it ” (in The suspended image…, Turin 1971, pp. 179-180).

The metaphysical air that influenced Depero’s solutions, detaching him from the other futurists, probably comes from his experience in the theatrical field: he painted some abstract figures such as puppets, mannequins, and he insterted them in cubical coloured spaces.
According to G. Marzari and P. Setti, the young people from Rovereto, though admiring the aesthetical novelites of Depero (for example the above cited Kn of Belli), still “show a substantial indifference for the hand-crafted production of the Art House, deducing that the folkloristic themes of applied art’s products, certainly let down those ones like Belli, Melotti and Pollini who have directed their interests towards the art as vanguard ” (in Fausto Melotti, Luigi Figini, Gino Pollini, Renata Melotti, Rovereto 1984, p. 15).
This hypothesis seems confirmed if you read a statement by Melotti himself, written in the occasion of the death of the illustrious fellow citizen: “…laboratory of pillows and tapestries, in which – he – dispersed and vulgarized his painting”, but you have to think that the sculptor was not expressing with the spirit of yore, but as a mature man who looked at the past. And yet in the same article you could find an emotion in the account of the preparation of the futuristic Vigil organized on January 10th 1923. He in fact writes:
“We all had lent, by working so as to cut and glue papers, coloured cardboards, tack on puppets, flowers, gadgets that would stun the rooms in which… the entire bourgeoisie of  Italia Club was about to be subjected to the futurist electroshock”.
And the people who took part in the big vigil definitely had a shock, due to the harsh colours of the rooms and the furnishing, for the strange images (galloping knights, huge flowers) that covered the walls, for the phosphorescent stalactites of many colours (reversed pyramid-shaped) that came out of the ceiling, and for the original final idea constitued by the sudden coming out of the organizers dressed up as ‘locomotives’. An out-and-out theatrical performance with music and lights that Melotti seemed to recall with pleasure, living the involvement of that time again. The fact that he took part in these discussions and worked in these sectors of applied art when he hadn’t got busy in any artistic activity yet, was a notable impulse for him.

Nothing, though, can tell us whether the artist gained knowledge of ceramic techniques while he was in Rovereto, but this would be an extremely important piece of information since it would allow us to situate the cultural context of Rovereto, and to understand what kind of thoughts about art young Melotti could have incubated.
It was in Turin, after a stay of about three years (1925-27), that fausto Melotti learned the trade of sculptor, by following the teaching of his uncle Carlo Fait (1877-1968), who worked in the studio of the famous Pietro Canonica (1869-1959), attending Albertina Academy at the same time. Melotti won’t recall this experience with much pleasure in the following years, because it had been considered by him devoid of any real artistic value; it was important, though, because it determined his choice of seriously devoting himself to sculpture.
When Melotti, already graduated, settled in Milan (1928), after the short Turinese break, he decided to definitively follow his aptitude.

Hangar - Bicocca – Philosophy of the new Milanese show floor:
“Are you a piece of hangar?
HangarBicocca belongs to those who love contemporary art, in every form and expression. It belongs to whom is mirrored in an independent institution, non-profitmaking, which puts in the middle the quality of the artisitc projects and the participation of everyone to an initiative of international scope.

HangarBicocca is a democratic project, evolved with an Artistic Director elected through the internet, with an open announcement attended by more than 100 candidates, whose half were foreigners.
Do you share the same ideals? That’s why you already are a piece of Hangar, since you love contemporary art and you want to build for Milan a place of cultural sharing in which everything keeps developing, everything is shared and lives together with the artists and the art lovers.
If we want to develop a quality project that wants to remain independent, though, we need all your support.
Do you love contemporary art? It’s time to show it!
You will be proud of your piece of Hangar: it will be an important contribution to the most exciting and innovative project of the Contemporary Culture world.

A project to be lived in a single breath, full of art, music and fun, which will make you feel what you really are: a piece of hangar! And this is why you will be able to visit some exhibitions, previews of concerts, dancing and theatrical performances for free, together with all the initiatives of which you will be always informed about, thanks to Hangar Bicocca newsletter.
Are you ready to plunge into the world of contemporary art that Milan has always dreamt about?
Click on one of the HB CARDS, you will discover all the advantages dedicated to you, and you will be able to choose which piece of hangar you want to be, making your payment even on line in safe connection.”

In short, an instrument in the hands of all our consumers who are art lovers.

Milan, July 26th 2011 (first italian edition)
Lesa, september 24th 2011 (english edition)
(The pictures are dedicated to Maria Elena) 

Text and pictures by Enrico Mercatali
(translated from italian by Penelope Mirotti)


20 September 2011

Postmodernity has reached the end - by Enrico Mercatali

Postmodernity has reached the end

A new realist philosophy has seemed to be wafting,
between Italy and Germany, for some time


Addendum: "The irruption of reality"
(from Barbara Spinelli's editorial on "la Repubblica" newspaper, August 10th 2011)

The italian philosopher Maurizio Ferraris, from the university of Turin (above), with the colleagues Markus Gabriel and Petar Bojanic, respectively  from Bonn and Belgrade (below), is organizing an international convention entitled "New Realism" in Bonn for next spring, dedicated to the necessity of bringing the outside world back to the centre of the facts. This will imply a defection of postmodernity, perceived by now as a philosophy which is not able to address the most urgent and necessary choices nowadays: therefore, a comeback of the "Strong Thought".



The convention will be attended by well-known international philosophers, like Umberto Eco, John Searle and Paul Boghossian. The topic is of great interest. The convention has the purpose of giving back to the notion of "realism" the room that it deserves, both in philosophy, in politics, in society and in everyday life; the same room that the postmodern world had taken away from it, considering it conservative, or even an out-and-out philosophic ingenuity. 


Umberto Eco (on the left), italian philosopher and novelist, who will participate to the works for the Convention in Bonn, and is the author of the famous essay "Kant and the platypus" (1997). He has been one of the biggest supporters of the necessity of squaring with the "hard core" of reality, along a way that he had already undertaken at the beginning of the 90's, with the essay "The limits of interpretation".
John Searle (above, at the core), US  philosopher who will in turn participate to the Convention, has been one of the first ones to criticize, in 1995, the idea that everything is constituted by a social superstructure, and that even the natural world depends on it, taking away any thickness to the principle of reality. This criticism already appeared in his famous essay "The construction of social reality", in which reality seemed to depend on external factors, present in the interpretation given by society.
Paul Boghossian (on the right), director of the New York Institute of Philosophy and researcher of philosophy of the mind and epistemology of the language, has developed interests and really deep studies on the field of aesthetics, with particular reference to a philosophy of music; he is the author of "Fear of knowing", essay in which he criticizes the relativism and constructivism of knowledge.

The weak thought had described reality as inaccessible as such, because it was mediated by thoughts and senses. With the famous slogan "Imagination in power", you could justify the unconscious desire to leave everything as it was in the facts, not facing reality for everything it represented, both in a positive and negative way, and getting a renunciative position towards the problems imposed by reality. Today, politics first of all, but also the populist construction of media consent, have contributed to crumble all the postmodern certainties.Everything that some time ago philosophers suggested as a "way for emancipation", which means the idea by Nietzsche that "There aren't any facts but only interpretations", has become the occasion to always do whatever you wanted or was convenient. The same conception of aesthetics viewed not as a philosophy of illusion, but as a philosophy of perception, demonstrates the way in which people looked at the outside world, at a reality they wanted to watch with the eyes of someone who follows subjective rules, without considering any conceptual scheme. The notion of "truth" itself, closely related to the notion of "reality", was considered by postmodernity less important than solidarity. In an article published on "Repubblica" magazine (August 8th 2011), Ferraris gives the example of someone who goes to the doctor's and is not satisfied of getting interpretative and creative answers about his health condition, but wants some truthful answers. Here's why the keywords of "New Realism" must be: ontology, criticism and enlightenment.

Thirty years ago, the german philosopher Habermas was already seeing in postmodernism a dangerous anti-enlightenment wave. And with him also many of us, at the beginning of this wind gust of radical changes in the critical view of reality born during the 70's, doubted about its substance of thought; but also about its ability to create any theoretical schemes of reasoning that could be as convincing as the theoretical-philosophical bases born with the enlightenment.

The mistake of postmoderns was their confusing ontology with epistemology, or rather what exists and what we know about what exists.
In sum, as Ferraris says, the fact that water wets and fire burns doesn't depend on the fact that we know it, and least of all on languages and categories. To distinguish dreams from reality we need to use the salient nature of reality, which could be a limitation, but a safe foothold at the same time.
While postmoderns see unrealism as an emancipating modality, someone sees the necessity of investigating so as to verify, which means knowing how really things are, having recourse to criticism. Realism is immediately critical, while unreality poses problems of interpretation. You certainly need to know if you really are changing the world, or you are just imagining to do it!
In the matter of enlightenment, Habermas was the first one, 30 years ago, to understand that postmodernism implied a real anti-enlightenment wave. And together with him, many of us had understood the real substance, made out of unreality, dream, uncertainty of judgement, substantial critical weakness in front of the real problems that you have to face so as to keep in the reality of things.

Enlightenment requires trust in mankind, in knowledge, in progress. Kant was already saw in it the getting out of man from his childhood. Since a God will never be able to bring salvation to humanity, men can reach it only through truth, wisdom, knowledge of truth. Choosing to follow miracle, mistery and authority instead, means renouncing ro the duties of the really salvific action, as all the postmodernisms have done, as well as all the old and new dictatorships with their political populisms.

 In opening and closing the issue, here are the portraits of Kant and Hegel, from whose thought come all the philosophical theories that put man in front of the outside world and the facts of reality. Today, this position is considered essential for human experience, which has become more vacuous than ever, in thought and action, after the advent of all the theories concerning the weak thought coming from postmodernity.

We are determined to keep in touch with these concepts and to follow the Convention in Bonn next spring, since it will develop in a completely new way their sides linked to actualities more than history.
We believe that the ideas of creativity and transparency, which we used so as to define the activity fields of our Blog, are linked to the necessity of mankind to get knowledge through travelling, through adventure, through wandering around the world despite the modalities currently organized.
Moreover, these two ideas are still both collocated within the strong thought, within a realism more concrete than suggestive, within an action made out of project more than of dream, of verification more than of escape, for the construction of oneself in the conscious knowledge of one’s nature.

Lesa, August 11th 2011
Enrico Mercatali


"The irruption of reality"
Article by Barbara Spinelli published on “Repubblica” magazine, August 10th 2011

Maybe it didn’t happen by accident, but the day next to the one in which we got the piece of news about the Convention in Bonn entitled "New Realism", an editorial by Barbara Spinelli on “Repubblica” magazine, entitled “The irruption on reality”, faces the same topic,  from a political instead of a philosophical point of view. We can therefore get an interpretation really close to our days about the philosophical matter that had attracted our attention only one day before. This reinforces the impression, which we had already got while reading Maurizio Ferraris’ article, of being in front of an epoch-making turning point, whose importance was underlined by the fact that a new philosophical dimension able to explain it is needed.

By commenting with her usual critical acumen on the particular incapacity of the italian Government - compared to the one showed by the other countries- when it comes to face the crisis of the International markets, Spinelli asserts that the situation has completely get out of the hand  of those ones who, though having the reins of government, don’t have the ability to face problems anymore, since they have abandoned every realistic reading of reality. A wrongfooted government (“administered”) by the superior monetary Authorities (BCE), which refuses to feel divested of authority by them on the field of a realism that  he isn’t used to; a government that finds himself pillaged of the oneric vision that he had always used so as to accustom the country againts an unacceptable “truth”, too bothering mainly because it’s inescapable with the usual instruments adopted by the media populism so far.
Nothing clearer than this, in the journalistic reality, to explain what even philosophy is about to decree with its logical structures.

Lesa, 18 settembre 2011
Enrico Mercatali

(traduzione dall'italiano di Penelope Mirotti)

14 September 2011

Grande serata di jazz con Enrico Rava, al Settembre Musicale Verunese

Il grande jazz di Enrico Rava 
al Settembre Musicale di Veruno (Lago Maggiore)

Anche quest'anno il Festival verunese "Settembre Musicale" ha offerto una serata jazz d'eccezione. Già lo scorso anno abbiamo assistito ad un vero evento, che abbiamo recensito nel nostro magazine, con Stefano Bollani, jazzista divenuto ormai popolare in ogni paese del mondo per la sua musica intrisa di sound latino americano, ma anche piena di spunti ispirativi nuovi, dalla classica al pop, fino alle più estreme sperimentalità contemporanee. Quest'anno è stata la volta di un altro grande artista, che con Bollani ha frequentemente duettato, o condiviso il palco con le più diverse formazioni, Enrico Rava.
Tromba d'eccezione, per la dedizione nella musica di ricerca, che va dalle origini del jazz a tutta la sua storia, specialmente concentrandosi sui ritmi latino americani ed ai funambolici sounds del jazz notturno metropolitano, denso di evocazioni anch'esso ai grandi musicisti americani del passato.

Questa volta è stato il Musical, nella sua più alta stagione gershwiniana, la fonte ispiratrice del grande trombettista italiano, anch'egli noto ormai da tempo in tutto il mondo. "Gershwin & More..." infatti il titolo della serata, che riportava, nella sua prima parte, la speciale dedica al musicista americano forse più riscoperto in questi ultimi anni dal jazz, ed ormai osannato anche in tutti i templi musicali più grandi del mondo. Rava gli ha dedicato tutta la prima metà della serata, ricordandone i motivi più popolari, quali la "Rapsodia in Blu" e "I got rhythm", sino alle più note melodie di "Porgy and Bess".

Lo stile di Rava, come sempre capace di cogliere lo spunto negli standads anche più orecchiabili per trasformarli in fatti di pura eccezione, per fare squillare nei suoi infiniti metallici stridori quello strumento capace di assumere nelle sue mani ogni sorta di colore, si è espresso in questa serata forse in modo ancor più rotondo e stupendamente corale, dando il meglio di sè, dentro al gruppo nuovo che lo accompagna in questi ultimi tempi: il "Parco della Musica Jazz Lab", composto da ottimi musicisti, anch'essi capaci di esaltare dei loro strumenti ogni effetto.

Il gruppo romano, che si è espresso con Rava, nella serata verunese, ad un altissimo livello musicale, è composto da Mauro Ottolini al trombone e alla tuba, Daniele Tittarelli al sax alto e soprano, Dan Kinzelman al sax tenore (ed agli arrangiamenti), Marcello Giannini alla chitarra, Gianni Guidi al pianoforte, Stefano Senni al contrabbasso, Zeno de Rossi alla batteria. L'ensamble è stato prodotto recentemente dalla Fondazione Musica per Roma. Esso da qualche tempo, sotto la direzione di Enrico Rava ha saputo distinguersi sia per il singolo talento di ciascuno dei suoi membri, sia per la straordinaria capacità di far fruttare al meglio il loro assieme. Un saggio di alto livello di tale assetto è stato dato proprio nel corso della serata verunese, che ha saputo emozionarci, in taluni momenti, proprio per la sorprendente qualità degli attacchi e degli stacchi, per la sapiente esecuzione degli originali arragiamenti e per quel particolre modo di unirsi agli assoli del Capo che ha strappato i numerosissimi applausi ed i due lunghi bis finali.

Una particolare menzione vorremmo fare infine all'associazione verunese che organizza, coi copiosi sponsor locali ed istituzionali, il festival settembrino con straordinaria capacità.  "Ver1Musica" il suo nome. Non abbiamo potuto partecipare anche alle serate di musica classica, delle quali però abbiamo sentito ottime recensioni.
Un festival da tenere a mente e da osservare più da vicino.
Un festival da consigliare e divulgare.

Veruno, 10 settembre 2011

Enrico Mercatali
(foto di Enrico Mercatali)

01 September 2011

TAV - Corridio 5 (altri percorsi? No). La questione si trascina da troppi anni, ed ora è tempo di decidere.

Alta Velocità tra Lisbona e Kiev
passando dalla Pianura Padana  

oppure da Svizzera e Austria?

Il quesito appare perfino provocatorio, e la questione non dovremmo neppure porcela, noi italiani.  Purtroppo la questione è ritornata nelle cronache per via delle contestazioni, spesso divenute violente. Ma, dopo così tanti anni di stasi, è venuto il tempo di decidere, e decidere per il meglio. 

In questi ultimi tre mesi i movimenti No Tav hanno continuato a dare battaglia ai cantieri, alcuni dei quali da poco aperti in Val di Susa, e la Polizia ha dovuto intervenire diverse volte per garantire le attività previste dai programmi e dai contratti. Lo stesso Ministro dell'Interno si è mostrato deciso ad escludere qualunque forma di ulteriore ritardo sulle tabelle di marcia, che vedono l'Italia al fanalino di coda rispetto a quanto accade in Europa, circa questa infrastruttura di trasporto, ritenuta ormai essenziale e strategica per il futuro stesso dell'economia complessiva del continente, rispetto ai paesi oggi divenuti concorrenti

Mentre la Francia ha praticamente già terminato i suoi tracciati qui da noi impazza la contestazione, e il quesito che abbiamo riportato nel titolo è ancora, incredibilmente, attuale.
Il Movimento No TAV ha da qualche mese avviato una seconda forte offensiva ai cantieri di Chiomonte, nella Val  di Susa, e numerosi gruppi di persone, per lo più giovani, ma anche donne, anziani e bambini, guidati anche da sindaci locali hanno cercato di divelgere le reti che circondano le grandi macchine che stanno per incominciare i lavori del lungo tunnel, previsti in progetto

Le contestazioni sono state tanto forti e continuate, soprattutto in quest'ultimo periodo proprio perchè si stava per dare avvio ai cantieri, che alcuni autorevoli personaggi della politica locale, tra cui l'onorevole Burlando, sindaco di Genova, al fine di evitare il percorso transalpino che eviti il nostro paese (illustrato in giallo), hanno avanzato l'ipotesi di far transitare i treni della Tav dal capoliogo ligure. Nella cartina il tratto in rosso mostra già in sè l'assurdità della proposta, per l'enormità della variante che, se pur collegando un porto di valore strategico quale quello genovese, sulle lunghe tratte si renderebbe inaccettabile in quanto vanificherebbe l'obbiettivo stesso di rendere più brevi le distanze e di aumentare la concorrenzialità coi voli. E il sindaco Burlando, che si è prodotto recentemente in queste amenità, ha lasciato trasparire, con ogni evidenza della sua proposta, il caos di idee e di programmi, oltrechè di coesione nazionale sui grandi temi, che ormai è divenuto tipico del nostro paese.

Dopo la contestazione dei cittadini che abitano quel punto della valle Susa, il nostro magazine ha preso una posizione ufficiale sull'argomento invitando i locali, e le numerose organizzazioni che li sostengono, ad una più attenta considerazione del fatto che dire no alla Tav significa dire no al futuro delle generazioni che ci seguiranno. I numerosissimi articoli che sono apparsi sulla stampa negli ultimi due mesi sono il segno di quanto l'argomento sia importante, non solo per la cronaca dei fatti che accadono in valle, ma per l'estrema complessità della materia, che coinvolge interessi nazionali, governi, economie, ed intere popolazioni d'Europa.

La cartina propone la rete feroviaria d'alta velocità dell'intera Europa. Sono indicate in essa le velocità massime praticabili dai convogli sulle diverse tratte, a partire da quelle sulle quali sono possibili velocità massime inferiori a 200 km/h (verde), per giungere a quelle sulle quali i treni possono spingersi alla velocità di 350 km/h (nero). In rosso sono indicate le tratte esistenti ove sono già possibili velocità attorno ai 300 km/h (rosso). Sono infine rappresentate in blu le tratte in costruzione sulle quali i treni potranno viaggiare tra i 300 e i 350 km/h. Tra queste ultime vi sono le tratte tra Torino e Lione, già in parte realizzate ma ancora da completarsi, specie per il tratto in tunnel i cui cantieri stavano per essere avviati in questi giorni. Può evincersi dalla cartina che le nazioni con una rete che già consente le più alte velocità sono la Francia (che ha avviato il sistema fin dagli anni '80con il TGV), la Germania ed ora la Spagna, che già dispone di linee che raccordano a grande velocità le cità di Barcellona, Madrid e Siviglia.

Corridoio 5 Lisbona-Kiev,
tratta Est-Ovest, asse portante dell'intero trasporto ferroviario veloce europeo

Il fatto che la direttrice già da lungo tempo concordata tra il nostro governo e quello francese sia ancora in discussione farebbe propendere molti ancora a dirottarla a Nord delle Alpi, in territorio svizzero e austriaco, il che, oltre a non essere voluto neppure dalla Francia, getterebbe il nostro già malmesso Paese in uno stato di totale marginalità sia in termini macroeconomici che macrourbanistici. Solo una visione arretrata e suicida consiglia ancora pur numerosi gruppi locali di manifestarvi a sfavore, come è accaduto ancora in queste ultime settimane, tralasciando perfino di avanzare proposte subordinate di modifica di tracciato, nel punti ove sia dimostrata l'incompatibilità della linea rispetto a determinati centri abitati.

Nella cartina è illustrata la rete italiana in esercizio, costruzione e progetto, delle infrastrutture capaci di velocità sino a 300 km/h. Come si può vedere siamo ancora molto lontani dall'obbiettivo di avere un sistema capace di ben relazionarsi, ed integrarsi anche con il materiale rotabile, con le reti europee. Perfino al Nord la situazione rivela pienamente il ritardo che abbiamo accumulato negli ultimi anni, anzichè ridotto, secondo le più rosee previsioni degli ultimi governi del paese.

L'obbiettivo del sistema ferroviario è divenuto quello di far concorrenza all'aereo, sulle medie e medio grandi distanze, e già oggi esso è in grado di togliere utenti all'aereo sui percorsi di 3 e 4 ore. Solo l'alta velocità (dai 300 ai 350 km/h) è in grado di abbattere il sistema-aereo sulle 5 ore (considerando i tempi di percorrenza che occorrono per raccordare gli aeroporti internazionali alle città ed i tempi di imbarco e sbarco). Sono già oggi aumentati i pendolari di lunga distanza. Nel 2030 i Supertreni copriranno una rete tre volte più estesa dell'attuale.
Il tempo di percorrenza della tratta Londra-Parigi è già scesa oggi a 2 ore e un quarto conquistando il 75% dei passeggeri. La tedesca Deutsche Bahn nel 2013 sarà in grado di collegare Londra a Francoforte in 3 ore e 50 minuti, intercettando il 50% del traffico. Anche in Italia Frecciarossa si è accapparrata il 50% della Roma-Milano. Madrid-Barcellona, che una volta era la tratta aerea più reddtizia del mondo, è stata rivoluzionata dal supertreno iberico che ha tagliato da 7 a 2 ore e 40 minuti i suoi tempi conquistando anch'essa il 50% dei passeggeri.
Il fenomeno pendolari ha avuto un incremento vertiginoso visto che moltissimi viaggiatori oggi vanno e rientrano in giornata dalle proprie città mentra prima rimanevano fuori casa dal lunedì al venerdì. Qualcosa di simile sta già accadendo tra Torino e Milano ove la tratta, che ci sono voluti più di dieci anni a costruire è ora in funzione. In Svezia i pendolari a quattro ruote sono scesi dal 95% al 55% da quando è entrato in funzione il tilting-train ad alta velocità collegando città e campagne circostanti.

La puntualità di questi mezzi sono divenuti proverbiali in Giappone: lo Shinkansen che collega Tokio a Osaka compie 515 chilometri in poco più di 2 ore. Il suo ritardo medio è stato calcolato in 36 secondi, tifoni e terremoti inclusi. L'Eurostar Londra-Parigi registra ritardi attorno ai 5 minuti. L'alta velocità spagnola (AVE) rimborsa i biglietti di convogli con più di 5 minuti di ritardo, evento accaduto nel 0,3% dei casi.
Anche Cina e Russia si stanno avviando a gran velocità ferroviaria nella corsa storica che vedrà in poco più che vent'anni collegato il mondo intero per competere soprattutto in comodità, sicurezza e risparmio energetico. perfino in Africa, con l'aiuto interessato dei cinesi,  sta lavorando oggi ad una linea che colleghi la Libia al Ghana, attraversando il deserto del Sahara.

In questa gara mondiale, lo si voglia o no, chi rimane indietro perde possibilità economiche e mercati. Questa perdita di tempo farà sì che altri paesi, più rapidi di chi prende tempo o preferisce pensare diversamente, inizino prima a mettersi in sicurezza, a porsi sulla strada virtuosa del risparmio energetico, a diminuire drasticamente l'inquinamento atmosferico, a diminuire i costi enormi dei trasporti su gomma, a far decrescere i traffici su strada, ad ammodernare il materiale rotabile per fornire servizi di maggiore qualità. 
Migliorare il trasporto su ferro significa migliorare la qualità della vita. Nuove infrastrutture più sicure e moderne potranno essere utilizzate anche da treni a velocità ordinaria, così migliorando anche il servizio sulle tratte più brevi.

Dire No TAV è anacronistico. Oltre a tutto il danno derivante dall'allungamento dei tempi di realizzazione dell'infrastruttura non rimane circoscritto al nostro paese ma si estende a tutti i paesi che ad essa sono interessati.
Trasferiamo piuttosto la protesta sul tema assai più urgente del miglioramento necessario del servizio sulle brevi e medie distanze, compresi i pendolari delle grandi città.

Lesa,  1 settembre 2011
(Rititolato e integrato il 1° marzo 2012)
Enrico Mercatali