"The title comes from memories of a restaurant called Sollazzo Gastrico (Gastronomic Comfort), in via Palazzo di Città in Turin, where my father used to take me when I was a child. Even then it seemed a relic of the past; it was frequented by jaw-dropping characters and run by a sassy matron who liked to throw words and cutlery. Patrons made no inappropriate comments nor asked for sharp objects; everything was clearly precarious and accidental. The air was thick, full of tension, melting without any warning into noises and loud laughter. The luminous traces of the flavors, colors, smells and moods that inhabited that legendary place has remained engraved in my memory ever since. I keep them all in a small kaleidoscope that I contemplate when the days are gray, especially in this period of pandemic and war, so far from the age of Pericles we were living in and that some government acrobat has recently promised a return in a television forecast. There is no poem in this promise that is good only for fools. Indeed, the very thought is horrifying because while the acrobat chatters, the world continues undaunted to fill up with people, junk, bombs, madmen, prefabricated thoughts and bad deeds.
Dear Alessandro, this is not the time for inert hope, nor the time to shed tears. It is true that we are only instruments in the cold and impersonal tale of universal history, but our actions and individual voices contribute to the development of humankind, to its history. "What would you like to do then?" You asked me on the phone to stop my ranting. Your question underpinned the request to materialize an answer in your gallery, in via della Rocca, in Turin. "Let's do something together," I muttered, as they say roughly in our world. We have already told each other how much we appreciate the qualities of consistency and attention, the irony, intuition and tricks of free merchants who have no image to maintain but only human and commercial correctness. We both love art and artists as well, albeit with different itches. I'd like to unveil an exhibit with you that gives comfort and relief, without phenomenal presumptions. An exhibition on the relationship between human beings and objects, which is not solely aiming at material profit or consumption, rather and above all a relationship of projection, in which the pleasure of what we are doing is shared with others, that nourishes memory, stimulates self-awareness, and finally recalls the ever human qualities of being at the same time narcissists and dreamers.
Let's have fun, dear Alessandro and let's try to amuse others. The “sollazzo” (solace) is a form of frank, springtime, gentle fun. The “sollazzo” (solace) encourages and refreshes. It gives the idea of being satiated, satisfied and happy. It is a state of conscience favored by the friendly presence of loving pleasure, which for you and me, dear Alessandro, is wandering, erotic, heretic, as Osvaldo (Licini) said (and I add optical): it is art.
I thought you need to use quotes at will to make a good impression. Below you will find four, extrapolated at random, arranged in disorder of order and time:"
The first one is from dear Alighiero,
the second that follows is the beginning of the poem Spada Barbarica by Dino Campana, ,
You who break the waves of the evening
With the toe, up on the balcony ...
the third, by Alfieri, is included in the presentation of the fourth which comes from the Rhymes (LXXXIII 89) of our Poet’s Poet:
Sollazzo è che convene
con esso Amore e l’opera perfetta:
da questo terzo retta
è vera leggiadria e in esser dura,
sì come il sole al cui esser s’adduce
lo calore e la luce
con la perfetta sua bella figura.
There is a joy (Sollazzo)
that concurs with love
and with perfect behavour: by these
three is true Charm governed, and,
so governed, it can endure; like the sun,
in whose being concur heat and light
and its perfect and beautiful shape.