Mattia Vacca A WINTER’ S TALE
Presented by Arte & Arte

In a green valley, amongst coniferous forests and alpine pastures, the village of Schignano embeds itself in the poor mountains that face Lake Como. One of the most ancient traditions of Schignano is surely the Carnival, which is celebrated every year in a very peculiar, nay, unique way. The parade, full of allegories and symbols, depicts the farewell of the men, who have to leave the village once again  towards their migrant destiny.

The Carnival sinks its roots in the past, common to many villages of the region, when the men used to leave their homes and families for nine months a year.

The end of the Carnival thus enacts the departure of the men and the solitude of the women. A spontaneous festival, anarchical, with neither rules nor written laws, that continues to live only thanks to the people’s spirit and to the artisans who carve the characteristic wooden masks. 

A Winter’ s Tale is my first long term project; it took me over three years. I recently printed the book with a successful crowdfunding campaign, and I presented the project as a TEDx speaker in Italy. I was granted exceptional access to the heart of a community which is notoriously closed. My work reflects this uncanny reality without questioning it, without explaining it or putting it into context. The frame is never wide enough to break the illusion, to unveil the trick. The alternative dimension of the Carnival becomes legitimate. You just need to leave your rational part behind. Let the pictures drag you into the story and lead your way. You have to take a leap of faith and plunge into the hallucinated world of the Carnival.

Mattia Vacca

Exhibition information
Venue: Kaunas Picture Gallery
Address: K. Donelaičio st. 16, Kaunas LT 44213
Working hours: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun 11 am – 5 pm, Thu 11 am – 7 pm
Exhibition will last until 31 Dec, 2015

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