Leandro Macasaet Open House Milano 2023 · Building Futures Together

I volunteered as an assistant in the recently concluded Open House Milan, where I was at Convento dei Frati Minori e Chiesa di Sant’Antonio di Padova. I was so elated by my reading assignment that on page 127 of my book ‘Il collezionista di Paesaggi’, I wrote a short story. It was about a saint, who was revered in the Philippines, the country I’m from. I have written a book dedicated to the 58 Unesco sites I visited here in Italy, but I have not exhibited my collection of the collected moments from each site. Before publishing the book in May 2022, I conceptualised a way of presenting it – through an art installation. It is a map of Italy composed of all the paraphernalia I have accumulated since May 2014, when I first arrived in Bel Paese. The tickets, maps, and flyers are considered trash by most travellers. But I have kept them all as precious souvenirs. I have seen many maps of Italy, but I have not seen one composed of travel memories. So, I consider my work a toast to Arte Povera, an artistic movement pioneered by Italians such as Giulio Paolini, Luciano Fabro, et al. I filmed the video in the living room of my house during the lockdown. While there was a deafening silence all over Milan, the country, and the world. I had never lost hope that this too shall pass and that there is still a future ahead for all of us… And if ever I fall victim and die, this video shall survive as a testament that my love for culture has consoled me and brought me to rest. Luckily, I survived the pandemic, obtained my residence permit (I was an illegal alien for seven years and I was only legalised through 2020 Amnesty), and published my first book. And, if selected, be able to exhibit my collection.