No Man's Land

The first rays of the sun peep out. "Where are you going at this hour!" exclaims my mother. Yes, I may have exaggerated, but I am of the opinion that the morning light gives the material shades that would be diminishing at other times of the day. Camera and computer in a precarious position on the passenger seat, I turn the picture and leave ... direction: “No man's land”, no man's land. By now in my small town, Loreto Aprutino, everyone knows of its existence but few fully understand its meaning. It is rumored that the well-known architect Yona Friedman together with the French artist Jean-Baptiste Decavèle, have identified the essence of their work, designed for the ARIA foundation , within the Abruzzo landscape.

Background music, a thousand thoughts in the mind and a semi-deserted asphalt road that slowly gives way to beaten earth. I look at the rearview mirror, clouds of dust give life to a thousand dances and in the meantime I lose myself in the imagination.

"But where are they ?!" there is no indication and, just when I need it, technology leaves me. There is no field. In compensation there are splendid fields of wheat and olive trees, which hint at a listless awakening bathed by the timid rays of the sun.

Just as I am about to turn around, convinced that I have completely taken the wrong direction, I am joined by a nice old man. I take the ball and, showing off a broken dialect, ask for information on the unobtainable "no man's land". Finally I get some precise indications! I am not obliged to go back and continuing along the road, avoiding holes and boulders as much as possible, I reach the site. I immediately realize that I am dealing with a diamond in a diamond! A “tapestry” of river stones stands out among the uncultivated grass, ready to cover the human footprint. Paying attention you can see a unicorn, a palm and a woman, distorted figures from the perspective vision at the height of the observer. A work of art with which it is possible to interact, crossing it and changing point of view. I reach the edge of the area, on which a steep dirt road opens up. As I peek, I notice symbols carved on walnut trees. An abstract language, which leaves ample room for interpretation. All that surrounds me is cut by blades of light, penetrated, with difficulty, through the intriguing canopies of the trees. Intricate as the "Shanghai" in bamboo canes, which stands out among the plants and fits perfectly with them. The structure seems not to be subject to the laws of gravity, each element guarantees the balance of the other, giving life to a “museum without walls”, as Decavèle himself defines it. Ultimately I come to the conclusion that there is no precise answer on the meaning of the work, it is in the eye of the beholder.

The only security I have in front of me is the “no man's land”, mistress and servant of itself.

Davide D'Addazio

Tapestry in No Man's Land © Davide D'Addazio

Walnut tree in No Man's Land © Davide D'Addazio

The No Man's Land forest © Davide D'Addazio

XXXXXXXX © Davide D'Addazio

The Forest of No Man's Land © Davide D'Addazio