Following Straperetana, which commissioned over 15 artists to create new works for Pereto (Province of L’Aquila) over the summer, the Abruzzo hamlet is once more the protagonist of an artistic intervention. This time the Straperetana creators Paola Capata and Delfo Durante, together with the Straperetana curator Saverio Verini, invited Fondazione Malutta.
Titled Maluttaklaus, the collective’s intervention is linked to the imminent Christmas period, alluding to the English name for Santa Claus. The artists created several hundred sheep from a variety of materials, including ceramics, play clay, and salt dough. An ubiquitous presence in all nativity scenes, the sheep is often seen as a marginal presence, almost as a space filler. Fondazione Malutta decided to place this ‘character’ at the center of the nativity scene, producing close to 150 models in various formats (measuring approximately between 10 and 30cm). The small sculptures will be handed out to the residents of Pereto during an artist-led walk through the hamlet, touching virtually all the homes and residents. Some sculptures have been placed inside homes, while others outdoors, marking Pereto with their unusual presence and acting as a midway point between and artistic intervention and a mere Christmas decoration. The traditional ‘decoration’ will present a readily recognizable subject while at the same time produce an alienating effect, further compounded by its presence all over the town.
The concept of a gift is a further central element to Maluttaklaus. The sheep represent a spontaneous gift from the artists to the inhabitants of Pereto, who can choose to keep the sculptures in their homes once the project comes to an end. This idea of an exchange between the artist and context was also central to the first edition of Straperetana, so that Maluttaklaus have ideally placed to follow Straperetana, consolidating this relationship and laying the foundation for future projects.
The sculptures have been handed out door to door on 5-7 December. On the last day, the Fondazione Malutta artists Thomas Braida and Valerio Nicolai have organized an artist-led walk amongst the streets of Pereto to uncover the hamlet and the disseminated sheep. These have remained visible outside the homes for the duration of the Christmas holidays.
In line with Straperetana, Maluttaklaus offers a contemporary artistic interpretation of one of the most evocative hamlets in the region, nicknamed “the door of Abruzzo”, a mere 70 km from Rome.
The project was supported by the Comune di Pereto