HEMELLIGGAAM or THE ATTEMPT TO BE HERE NOW
TOMMASO FISCALETTI and NIC GROBLER
‘When one man speaks to another, he stands not only in front of a man, but also in front of a stone, a flower, a star.
From 'The Evolution of Nationalism' by Jan Rabie, 1957. (Translated from the original Afrikaans.)'
“Hemelliggaam (Afrikaans: Heavenly Body) or The Attempt To Be Here Now” is a growing visual archive of photography and video installations, exploring the existential aspects of the human-environment-astronomy relationship, constantly moving between the reality of important scientific sites (such as the South African Large Telescope in Sutherland and the Square Kilometre Array in Carnarvon) and the imaginative fragments of old Afrikaans science fiction novels - in particular reference to one of the most existential and emblematic writers, Jan Rabie with his books 'Swart Ster oor die Karoo' (Black Star over the Karoo, 1957), Die Groen Planeet (The Green Planet, 1961) and 'Die Hemelblom' (Heaven Flower), 1971. The project (still in progress) is mainly focused on communities, landscapes and objects located in the Western and Northern Cape, South Africa, where there is a special connection with the sky.
Something archaic radiates from the local community in connection with their science and technology needs, this project is exploring this concept through looking at forms of awareness that are already active and cultivating more awareness through conversations, participation and reflection.
“Hemelliggaam or The Attempt To Be Here Now” follows a deeply existential line, where the human beings (both the old and contemporary) through their own perception of the Universe is strongly connected with nature and the way it reveals itself.
Curator Filippo Maggia
Sound compositions Alessandro Gigli
Scientific team Mattia Vaccari, Lucia Marchetti and Michelle Cluver from Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of the Western Cape.
Consultant Davide Chinigò
Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Pretoria
National Research Foundation
Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale
Consolato d'Italia a Cape Town
TOMMASO FISCALETTI (1981) was born in Cattolica (RN) and grew up in Pesaro. He currently lives between Cape Town and Milan. He began working in a photographic studio in 2001 and traveling through North Africa and Eastern Europe, which allowed him to complete a number of reportage photographic projects. Both staged works in studio as well as the search for visuals in daily life have critically shaped Tommaso’s project into a body of work that, since 2006, he seen him create photographies that shift between reality and its representation. His work is born of an interest to discuss mankind and existential themes like memories, one’s relationship with nature and human relations. In 2013 he moved to South Africa. His work has received several awards since 2004, it has been published in magazines and books, and has been exhibited in private galleries and public spaces such as Museo Santa Maria della Scala in Siena and the IZIKO South African Museum in Cape Town. Tommaso has also held workshops and taught photography since 2012 at places IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) in Milan and the Creative Academy in Cape Town. www.tommasofiscaletti.com
NIC GROBLER (1979) was born in Pretoria and currently lives in Cape Town. Nic is a designer, animator and visual artist. His studies at the University of Pretoria in Information design led him into the broadcast design field. His commercial work covers a broad range of artistic disciplines and he has contributed to award winning local and international projects. Since 2010 his work often includes photography and filmmaking. Bicycle Portraits, Everyday South Africans and their bicycles (2012) photographed with Stan Engelbrecht is his first photographic book. The project has lead to various bicycle related projects including an exhibition South African Bicycle Builders that celebrated bicycle building heritage in South Africa. He is currently also working on Under the Sun - a series of portrait based short films for the local Peoples Weather channel. He has facilitated student design projects and at the University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University and is also a portfolio moderator at the Cape Town Creative Academy. Nic maintains a small Bicycle library in and has a small but growing collection Afrikaans Science fiction books.