Focara Kounellis

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Focara Kounellis

Focara Kounellis

Focara Kounellis

original title:

Focara Kounellis

directed by:


Jannis Kounellis, Davide Arena, Michelle Coudray








film run:





Ready (23/03/2016)

The “Focara” is a “celebration of fire” (involving a giant bonfire) that is held every January in Novoli. It honours of the village’s patron, Saint Anthony the Abbot, and attracts, for its uniqueness, thousands of people to this small village in Apulia. For some years the “Focara Foundation” has called visual artists of high international profile asking them to create a focara-themed artwork as well as an author’s artistic manifesto. The great visual artist Jannis Kounellis, now famous throughout the world for his contribution to the “arte povera” movement, gives an interpretation which is both mystical and laic to this symbolic physical gesture which the community enacts. Kounellis proposes a production which keeps to the essentials but which is also deeply evocative: the imposing mass of fascine which constitutes the focara is impaled with iron lances while underneath the wood there is hidden a Greek cross made of stones which will appear when the fire has consumed everything. Paolo De Falco follows Kounellis in his creative path, a silent dialogue with the master, attempting to portray his work without explaining it, using it as an instrument for reflection on the power and the vanity of art. The film closes with an extraordinary story by Kafka which evokes both the destiny and the duty of the artist.