This mural is part of the first edition of the Nostoi Street Art Festival in Gerocarne, a small town in Calabria region (south of Italy) which followed the theme of “The Return”.
Nostoi, a greek word literally meaning “Returns”, is in fact the title of a poem, part of the Trojan cycle, which told the return home of the greek soldiers after the end of the Trojan War.
South of Italy has always been a land conquered by different civilizations, filled with several cultures coming from distant places, then blended together over the centuries.
So, more than any other area in my country, it has experienced the immigration/emigration phenomenon, from the soldiers living in Magna Graecia, who had to go to war in places far away from their home, to the millions of Italian citizens emigrated abroad to find better living conditions, some of which now use to come back to their native place during holidays.
Basik’s personal reflection on such land has been to conceptually link and unify two distant things, represented by the geometric task of squaring the circle, an impossible problem that philosophically aims to join earth and sky (respectively symbolized by a square and a circle since ancient times).
The Saint Roch’s imagery works as a reminder of the place in which the painting now lies. The inhabitants of Gerocarne are in fact strictly devoted to the saint, who has always traditionally depicted with a seashell on his coat.
Nonetheless, the choice of painting a clam is intentional: a common food for the fishermen and poor people of his homeland throughout the centuries, it is in fact meant to be a symbol of his birthplace too. A detail that comes with a double value, a metaphorical item linking two locations so distant by a thin, ideal line.