Lu Cafausu
Emilio Fantin, Luigi Negro,
Giancarlo Norese and Cesare Pietroiusti

A False Luke (Lu Cafausu) A collaborative project by four Italian artistits:
Emilio Fantin, Luigi Negro, Giancarlo Norese and Cesare Pietroiusti

by artist/correspondent Emilio Fantin

Four Italian artists often meet for collaborative projects. Each artist has his own artistic path, but sometimes they play together, like the musicians of a band do, if you want to use a musical metaphor. Most of the time they make projects in public spaces by involving a certain number of people. Projects are made both in old villages and in towns, both in Italy and abroad. They have strengthened our collaboration around Lu Cafausu, a gazebo made of stone and cement, that was a part of a big property built at the beginning of the 20th century. Later the property was sold and the villa was separated from the gazebo. At the present time new houses surround Lu Cafausu.

Emilio Fantin

Lu Cafausu, an old coffee house located in a small town in the southern Italy, has become the inspiration for stories, exhibitions, performances and actions in Lecce, Rotterdam and New York. We identified Lu Cafausu as a metaphorical place, so meaningful to become a symbol of our time.

Lu Cafausu is a mysterious small building, an architectural remnant that the artists have elected as a source of metaphors and narratives. It is “an imaginary place that really exists” around which the presence of death is floating. It is an architectural and existential anomaly, a place full of potentialities that gives to the artists the inspiration to invent metaphors and narratives, because it cannot be defined without having nonsense as a result. It is in fact quite evident the bearer of a story and meanings of it, but no one knows exactly what they are. A place where death hovers around and is easily discernible: any day, the small building can in fact be demolished to accommodate more parking space for cars, or can also fall apart as a consequence of its precariousness. It could also be turned and frozen into a monument. Because of the presence of death, Lu Cafausu is an ideal place for a new celebration, “La Festa dei Vivi”, where, in order to give sense to life, one reflects his own death, first and foremost.

Two years ago, on November 2, 2010, ANDANDAND[1], a collaborative project, part of Documenta 13, by Rene Gabri and Ayreen Anastas, invited Emilio Fantin, Luigi Negro, Giancarlo Norese, Cesare Pietroiusti and Luigi Presicce to turn the November the 2nd traditional celebration of the Dead into a new holiday: “La Festa dei Vivi (che riflettono sulla morte)”, “The Celebration of the Living Ones (who reflect upon death)”. For this celebration, the artists invited everyone to take part in a pilgrimage, probably the shortest and slowest in the world, having  a departing point as its destination, Lu Cafausu in San Cesario di Lecce. The celebration and the pilgrimage wanted to represent a reflection upon death as transformation, threshold, mystery, but also as a necessary perspective of meaning. The pilgrimage was also an occasion for a visit to the “Sanctuary of Patience” and homage to the figure of Ezechiele Leandro, a local artist who worked around the theme of death.

The four artists, helped by some local people, pushed a boat through the village.
This was done not only for slowing down the pace, but also because
the boat is a symbol of life (all these people live near the sea)
and death (fishermen who never come back.)

Sometimes they stopped and read texts about death and dead people.
Some Eraclito’s aphorisms, some excerpts from The Socrate’s apology
and other excerpts from texts by Jankelevitch and Feuerbach.

The pilgrimage was also an occasion for a visit to the “Sanctuary of Patience”
and homage to its author, Ezechiele Leandro.

The Sanctuary of Patience by Ezechiele Leandro (1905-1981) is a unique
and extraordinary example of a mystical garden, a forest of sculptures,
a temple or a cemetery, a site that can’t be described,
created by an artistic expression of a self-taught man,
an artist whose position was beyond
the division of low and high culture.

Since 2010 the artists have continued to propose the pilgrimage in occasion of November the 2nd. Every year they propose a different place and way for the celebration of November the 2nd.            .

The four artists were invited to participate in an artist residency through the ASU Art Museum[2] International Visiting Artist Residency Program from the fall of 2012 through the fall of 2013.

For 2013 they will propose The Celebration of the Living (who reflect upon death)” 4th edition. Last February, Emilio Fantin and Giancarlo Norese spent 10 days studying the environment and the social context of Phoenix. On November 2, 2013, the artists will invite everyone to participate in “The Celebration of the living  (who reflect upon death), that will take place in Phoenix. Information and announcements will be published on the website early January 2013. (

The 3rd edition will take place on the web. Everyone all over the world will simultaneously be invited to take part in the action “Islands”, on occasion of this new edition of “The Celebration of the living people.”  At the beginning of November in many parts of the world people celebrate the cult of the dead people. This year we are going to evocate the relationship between the living and the dead through a powerful symbol of death: the Island.

Participants are asked to connect with someone who has died, (praying, talking, evocating parents, friends or other people they love). Later they will email us, a thought, a short phrase about this particular experience and a scan of a drawing, photograph, paintings or small sculpture of an island: a particular idea of island, which reflects and expresses their personal relationship with someone who has died.

After printing all the scans, they will be installed outdoors in Rome, on occasion of a meeting you are all invited to take part in. Passersby will be invited to freely take away the pictures.

Information about the collective performance “Island,” will be available soon in

1.  ANDANDAND is an artist run initiative, which used the time between 2010 and dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012, to consider with individuals and groups across the world the role that art and culture can play today and the constituent publics or communities which  could be addressed.

2.  ASU Art Museum,Tempe, AZ

#permalink posted by Erika Knerr: 7/05/12 08:13:27 AM


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