Quarantine Sessions - Decameron - Acrylic on cotton paper

March 2020, I was called by a friend telling me that in Veneto, the region I live in, there were some severe cases of the then new, and here almost unknown, virus called Coronavirus - Covid19.
From then on reality and fiction started to mix up, since the virus spread up all around the world and millions of people, like me, found themselves on lock down fighting again a silent and terrible foe.
As the days went on, I kept on reading the news headlines and looking around and, stuck in my place, I kept on thinking about this whole lot we all were going through.
In my heart of hearts I am firmly convinced that in difficult situations, even the most challenging, lies an opportunity of growth, redemption and improving. I had been hearing all the time, people, celebrities, relevant people saying we had to stop and change our direction, our pace and reset our dynamics but no one really managed to stop the world and say "hold on and listen". This time we are living this and it's real. I'll take it as a wake-up call and a chance to get better. Progress can exist and must exist without annihilating human dignity, otherwise that is not progress.
During my quarantine days I tried to keep myself busy and concentrate on some works, my only way to reflect and understand. The whole output results in a small capsule collection of ideas, nostalgic reflections, dreams and experiments that, in one way or another, are deeply permeated with the burden of mixed feelings we are all experiencing. I just tried to do my best to make some of those visible.
These are the Quarantine Sessions.

Decameron - fictional book cover

I propose to tell you a very brief tale about a love which…ran a smooth course to its happy conclusion.“ - "Uno amore...a lieto fin pervenuto, in una novelletta assai piccola intendo di raccontarvi".

Some time ago, back in 1348, someone started to write the pages of a book that perfects fits the times we are facing today. Most often than not we forget how strangely historic patterns recur in this sort of "eternal return".
Back in the days, it was Easter time, a time blackened by the terrible Black Death, a devastating pandemic that had come from Asia, unleashing a rampage of death across Europe unprecedented in recorded history. In this frame, our author set his story.
A group of friends gather together outside Florence to escape the plague, that had spread from the East. They entertain themselves by telling stories about those times which are saturical, picaresque, bawdy and erotic. In this book he turns something terrible and dark into the gold of genius, a first step towards human Renaissance. His answer to death and fear is the man becoming the center of story. A man made of love, passions, life, playfulness, humour and fortune. This framing story is a sort of small seminal step that bears witness to a wonderful passage from Medieval dark times to the Italian Renaissance. A turning point. Right there in Florence. I think this is a great lesson that sounds today so relevant. This man, known as Boccaccio, bequeaths us a hymn to life, pushes us to overcome all difficulties and have brand new start, not often we are given this great opportunity.

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