Luca Vitone: Un quartetto
During the evening of 4 October 2001 in Turin, as part of EXIT-01, Luca Vitone set in motion a series entitled "Corteggiamento" (Courtship). This was to consist of nine works, each taking its title from one of the ancient Muses (starting with Polyhymnia) and linked both to the live performance of traditional musical motifs appropriate to the area where the exhibition took place, and an equally evocative and characteristic everyday object. Thus "Corteggiamento" would express itself in terms which have strong links to the themes of the traditional festival, with all its socio-anthropological appurtenances, not least of which those of the amorous relationship, as indicated in the title.
Hence the accordion, which had been played in the concluding part of that initial performance (and which ushered in the banquet that then followed) by the musician Beppe Turletti, would remain linked both to the lights which represent Turin in her emblematic colours (blue and yellow), and to the stool which served as a rest for the performer's foot, or for the instrument itself in those moments when a drink or conversation takes the place of the music.
Since that first evening, seven other works have been added to the series, making use of an equal number of traditional instruments: mandolin, shawm, tambourine, piccolo, chiamu, guitar, tirititì. These have been played in Catania, Paris, and Milan, in conjunction with garlands of coloured lights representing the various locations, and a particular object which is different each time but linked to a specific social function, such as a kitchen table, a wardrobe, a stool, a small table, a writing desk, a seat, a coat-rack. Each of these performances has taken its name from another of the Muses: Thalia, Calliope, Euterpe, Terpsichore, Urania, Clio, and Erato.
The last of the Muses not yet mentioned, Melpomene, from whom the final work of the series derives its name, is associated with a violin, an instrument typical of the Rom people (who will be represented here by red, green and blue lights), resting on an old and battered travelling trunk. Both the instrument and the object capture perfectly the nature of a people who are themselves so congenial to projects such as those of Luca Vitone in so far as one associates with both the idea of travel, an openness towards the other and the new, and a curiosity about the distant and unknown.
"Melpomene" will be presented for the first time the evening of 24 February 2005 from 7 pm onwards in Turin, in the same location which witnessed the birth of "Polyhymnia", which will be on show together with "Clio" – from Milan, therefore red and white lights – and "Euterpe" – with the blue and red lights of Catania - thus forming the Quartet which gives its name to the present show. The project will, therefore, close the circle where it began its geographic and temporal journey three years ago.