Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation


Gian Maria Annovi
Start date
End date
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Free entrance
Naves Matadero
Casa Azotea Nave 10
The Italian poet and essayist Gian Maria Annovi is one of the most interesting voices of new Italian poetry.
Annovi is currently associate professor of Italian Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles). He made his début as a poet when he was twenty, with his book of poems entitled Denkmal (1998). His second work Terza persona cortese (2007) won the Mazzacurati-Russo Award. He won the Marazza Prize for young poetry thanks to his book of poems La Scolta (2013) about a caregiver from eastern Europe who looks after an elderly woman without mobility and unable to speak. His works have also served as inspiration for other artists: Elena Baucke made a short film based on Kamikaze (2007), and the New York composer Roberto Scarcella Perino created a madrigal for a choir of women and mezzo soprano, based on La Scolta. Since then, the work of Gian Maria Annovi has been included in several anthologies and translated into English, French, and Spanish.

On this occasion, he delves into the universe of installations with his proposal Self-seas: Portraits of the Sea. After having spoken previously with young migrants in Madrid and, through their own voices, Gian Maria Annovi creates a series of poetic portraits of the sea, transforming the rooftop house of Naves Matadero into an imaginary ship, an immersive poetic space and, at the same time, a sonorous space of emotional encounter, created from the memories and sensations of these people.

Roland Barthes wrote that the Mediterranean "is an enormous complex of memories and sensations [...] a mythological, historical, poetic culture, an entire life of shapes, colours and light found on the border between land and sea." Which leads Gian María to reflect: “What are the memories and sensations of the thousands of people who cross the Mediterranean every month to escape from despair and violence? And how can a space that exposes them to death, displacement and fear be poetic? What are the shapes of a space of numbers, statistics, political opportunism and nameless people?

The Self-seas: Portraits of the Sea project attempts to answer these questions through a poetic practice based on the individual experiences of migrants, the intention being to reimagine and redefine the Mediterranean as a transnational, mestizo, multi-denominational, and multicultural space, an alternative to the opposing and divisive model represented by national, ethnic, religious, or linguistic affiliations”.ot;.

With the support of:

Istituto italiano di cultura