Cover image of the review
Still from Alice Rohrwacher and JR, Omelia Contadina, 2020

JR and Alice Rohrwacher, Omelia Contadina and Homily to Country (2020) at NGV Triennial
  • Giles Fielke


3 Apr 2021
NGV International 19 Dec 2020 - 18 Apr 2021

The procession enters the field, called forth by a clean-shaven, elderly man with thin lips who is wearing a black cap, white shirt and a black jacket. Around fifty Italian farm workers and musicians sombrely walk to surround a pit cut into the ground by a big yellow excavator. The giant black and white effigy of a living contadino is ritualistically buried while the onlookers gather and stare directly at the camera. A fugue plays and the band appears in shot. Speaking their local dialect, the farmers read out excerpts from the writings of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Rachel Carson, the “scientist poet of the sea”. I watch all this occur while seated in the Grollo Equiset Garden at the NGV.

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