by
MASSIMO BRAN

For Rongo Rongo exhibition, September 2009.

"There are at least 2500 different languages in the world, many of which are destined to disappear. It is estimated that up to 90% of these languages will disappear crushed by the big global languages, English, Spanish and more and more Chinese." Save some of them, with a little creative and valuable contribution, opera, art, is in itself a commendable action. When after one small gift, one year after an other, other similar little gifts follow, more and more structured and deep, then here is a simple cry of outraged pain that becomes progressively a persistent verb and reviving language. Marco Nereo Rotelli with the Easter Island has a relation, saying of blood is like saying nothing. He is in love with it, this mysterious and ancient culture of this land lost in the ocean, became his own thing, placing it in the middle of a thousand facets of his art making. The short film "Rongo Rongo" is the last act of an anthropological "play" that opens to every episode new horizons of exploration. Here Rotelli's idea is to connect Rongo Rongo writing, made up of mysterious pictographs carved on wooden tablets that no one has ever succeeded in deciphering the writing, with the poetic voice of a famous author of our times, Edoardo Sanguineti, who has a personal reading of the "Commedia" of Dante: "Rongo Rongo writing is conceived in this video as a short poetic cartoon, like a metaphorical journey about the concept of identity. Edoardo Sanguineti is the Virgil of this route, which decides to tell a personal reading of the journey of Ulysses in the "Inferno" of Dante. It is a text that clearly expresses the ups and downs of the civilization of Easter Island, three times destroyed and three times resurrected, creating more than 900 Moai thought as guardians of communication with a world that could not "see". Ulysses sails in the dimension of human search of himself, while the pictograms are animated, making visible the "Mana", a key concept of the culture of Rapa Nui: the power of dreams, the spiritual dimension that connects to any "Hivu (source)". The intriguing and suggestive parallel of languages, however, had a strong need of an aesthetic and visual identity, so that it wouldn't remain the usual dialogue between some charts of a booklet and acts of a public dialogue. Here is the urgent need to convene a younger look, pure, if you will, and alive in using new alphabets of graphics and visual communication at the service of secular cultural conditioning. Mattia Listowski, a young and talented film maker in Paris, manages with great skills and amazing poetic adhesion to animate this trip in a very minimal and light way, without ever distracting from the content, the poetic dialogue. It is written. At this age the use of new medias is a matter of mass youth, the risk is of self-legitimate artistically speaking in a high technological virtue as an end in itself. Danger that is revealed in the daily exhibition exercises of anyone who knows about mouse. It feels good for once to see how the tools, even with a power unknown until yesterday, are being used by young people who doesn't care about easy technical and semantical shortcuts, putting themselves at the service of a culture in its most profound and compelling meanings. Mattia Listowski, director with Rotelli and his colleague Pauline Kalioujny - supremely talented drawer -, try to follow the rhythm of this linguistic relation like a soundtrack drawing the lyric background of a mother scene, freeing the goal of the main characters: "The priority sense of this project was first to find a plausible bridge between the Sanguinetti text and Rongo Rongo writing, very difficult task in an early reconnaissance. Then we made moving illustrations of myths according to the rhythm of the text read by the writer, leaving to this stylistic counterpoint the task of establishing a random visual poetry, with unexpected associations of ideas, leaving us free to be surprised by this alliance of languages and alphabets, leaving the magic of words to operate freely, of course, checking and editing rhythm subtract". Humility and reverence that reveals an extraordinary research work of two young artists to appropriate the multifaceted cultural stratification camouflaged behind these ancestral symbols of a far away language. "We couldn't offer a literal interpretation of this text, pretty hard to understand in relation to the culture of this island-world universe, that's why we wanted to give the film more concrete narrative plots. We documented a lot on traditional myths of Easter Island, "in primes" immersed in the fascinating and compelling books by Catherine and Michel Orliac, recognized specialists in this culture, reviewing geology, history of the island and figurative testimonies of its inhabitants: representations of animals and deities in the statues and carvings that cover the rocks of the island. We also imbued with traditional songs and sounds of this land, trying to return the visual features on the soundtrack, atmospheres, environments, so peculiar microcosm of this mystery. "He said, Making Worlds (cf. Venice Biennale 2009)? Alphabets, artistic languages, generations: here worlds that intersect are tons and with unsuspected affinities. We almost always lose to connect too much. On rare occasions a new form and essence is given, with its new esperanto without artifice. The 10-minutes poetry of a small animated jewel really speaks this language.

Massimo Bran.