Investigation on the Extreme Lands is a research project that aims to raise a reflection on the limit and marginality as a methodology capable of reversing the perspective of peripheral geographical positioning by questioning the notion of center/centers as a place / geographical locations, as well as place/places of artistic or cultural production.
Starting from the geographical positioning in the last strip of land to the south-east of Italy, the project has raised and constantly raises questions such as: what are the Extreme Lands? Extreme compared to what? How is it possible to tell them? What happens when the vision and everyday life of the inhabitants of the place is intertwined with that of artists from other places? Can we consider the Extreme Lands, or more generally what is peripheral and marginal, a methodology in itself?
Not only that.
The Extreme Lands are geographically impervious places with climatic and environmental conditions that make it almost impossible to survive. But the extreme is not always and necessarily impervious. The distance, the detachment, extreme sensations and emotions. They amplify them. Sometimes, from afar, things are perceived more intensely and the extremities are the most receptive parts of our body, what communicates our feelings inside, expanding them.
Our reflection starts from here, from the end. Or from the Cape. From the Finis Terrae we have started a process of investigation into life, culture, sociality in the extremities and extremisms of the earth.
Lands with vast borders – last lands or first lands depending on where you observe them; but also lands of passage in the middle of the Mediterranean – these become the expression of a social-anthropological identity of the people who live there but also a privileged and strategic point of observation of the most recent situation that sees the Mediterranean at the center of international geo-political reflection.
Artists, scholars, curators, cultural operators and citizens have taken an active and passive part in this process of analysis that puts in place methodologies of study and analysis of various kinds.
We set sail in May 2014. From the end of the railway tracks to the point where the rock dives into the Ionian Sea, stretching towards the south of the world and beyond. The investigation continues with other artists and scholars, passing through projects, panels, residencies.