“Sur la route” # 2: Napoli – Paris – Reykjavìk
Da un vulcano a un altro
D’un volcan à un autre
From a volcano to another
In July 2020, Monteoliveto Gallery with the collaboration of Bike for Heritage and Gilbert Ciervo launched the “Sur la Route” (On the Road) project, which aims to associate Art with the themes of travel, slow travel, Heritage and of the ecological transition. Gilbert Ciervo traveled for just over a week between his two heart cities Paris and Naples, by bike and train, meeting artists on a road rich in cultural, natural, material and intangible heritage. This trip resulted in two exhibitions with 19 international artists (in collaboration with Bike for Heritage and Bicycle House Napoli) in Paris at the Ephemeral Monteoliveto Gallery from 28 November to 5 December 2021 (during the Focus Paris by Monteoliveto Gallery) and in Naples from 25 January to February 10, 2022 at the Bicycle House under the Galleria Principe di Napoli, the first exhibition of 2022 that launches the year of the Ecological, Cultural and Artistic Transition of Monteoliveto Gallery which throughout the year will propose various events on these themes.
Following this first edition of “Sur la Route”, Monteoliveto Gallery and Bike for Heritage have decided to launch an even more ambitious project for this second edition, after Paris – Naples, this time we will start from Naples and pass through the Ville Lumière you will reach the Icelandic capital: Reykjavìk. A way of connecting the South of Europe with the North with an artistic, cultural and ecological thread, and of creating a cultural exchange between Naples and Europe.
It will not be a lonely journey but a team journey this time, Gilbert Ciervo and three other people will leave for 2 months, 60 days in which they will travel by bicycle, train, bus and even … ship. During this journey from one volcanic land to another there will be not only meetings with the artists but several evolutions compared to the first edition: the most important of all, a traveling exhibition (6 stops for the moment), a daily vlog over the entire duration of travel (with different themes dealt with travel and non-travel literature (Jules Verne, Journey to the center of the Earth), heritage, music, gastronomy, language, …), weekly in-depth episodes, participation in a contemporary art fair ” on the road ”, a catalog / book derived from the journey, a short film produced at the end of the journey that tells the story.
Development of the project
Why Iceland as a final destination? The choice of this destination stems from a desire for disorientation after a complicated and introspective period like that of the lockdowns of recent years. A simple proposal made to a friend “What if we arrived in Iceland with bikes?” which turns into a project and an adventure that involves a whole team and part of professional life. A desire for reverse exoticism, some dream of the exotic of white beaches and sun at 40 °, others that of wind, mountains, ocean and lots of greenery. And then there is the adventurous character in the imagination and also in the literature that that land arouses. In fact, it is here that Jules Verne places the entrance towards the center of the earth, in the Snaeffels peninsula, while the exit is located in the Italian peninsula, not too far from Naples, in Sicily, precisely on the island of Stromboli. In short, a volcanic connection in all respects that he could not help but make us dream!
The trip will take place in a total of about 60 days, of which 40-45 with a bike ride of about 40 kilometers per day that will take us to a total pedaled between 1500 and 1800 kilometers over the whole trip. A total of 8 countries will be crossed: Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Faroe Islands and Iceland. In each of these countries we will remain a suitable time to get in touch with the local culture.
4 people have been active in the project from the beginning and will take part in this summer’s trip. Other collaborators will be added in the coming months.
Gilbert Ciervo: Neapolitan by birth and heart, he lived in France for more than 20 years, always with one foot in the Neapolitan city. Archaeologist, contemporary art gallery owner, passionate about travel and especially slow travel that he often and willingly undertakes with his bike. He conceived the “Sur la Route” project in 2020 with a first edition from Paris to Naples. His fixed idea is to create a meeting point between the various cultural disciplines in the context of the discovery of the territory, in Naples and wherever it is possible to reach him on his bike.
Moufida Bouamari: Born in Algeria, she lives and works in Paris since a long time now. She has always been immersed in the world of art, especially in the field of cinema. Mother actress, father and sister directors, Moufida Bouamari is herself a director and producer but also a talented photographer. With her lens she captures, often in black and white, a glimpse of everyday life that she witnesses every day. With her works of street photography she has been taking part in the exhibitions of the Monteoliveto Gallery for many years. Her fantastic shots will document, in an artistic way, our adventure as well.
Julien Antonini: Born in Nice with Corsican origins, Julien Antonini has a professional and personal path that ranges from information technology to theater (as an actor both on stage and in front of the camera). To these broad interests he has recently added a passion for cycling. His versatility will be essential throughout the duration of the project.
Laura Diard: Originally from Angers in central France, Laura Diard has a degree in History of Art and Archeology and works in the library field. Her trained eye will play a central role in the research, selection and study of the Heritage “encountered” on the road from Naples to Reykjavik.
Heritage on the road
One of the main points of this project will be to bring to the fore the material, intangible and natural cultural heritage, known or less known, that we will “meet” on the road, to make it possible to understand its importance, the difficulties it goes through but also and above all its potential towards the development of society and the community. It will also be an opportunity to make a comparison of the enhancement of heritage in different European countries and to understand the different local, private and institutional approaches.
The idea of this trip is not to overcome the limits of our body but rather the limits of our mind in thinking that slow travel is only for a few (crazy?) And that the best way to enjoy a vacation is to take the airplane. Now it is not that we want to tell everyone to do a Naples-Paris-Reykjavìk in two months but with this “enterprise” we want to say that there is an alternative and it is also beautiful not only for the destinations we will touch but also and above all because brings the Journey back to the center of the journey.
For this adventure we will use all possible means of transport, except the plane. From the bike which, as we have said, will have a central role to the fantastic crossing by ship from Denmark to Iceland, passing through the inevitable hours spent on European rails that take us back to a transport closer to the territory. Many different ways to experience the road in one trip.
A main evolution compared to the first edition of “Sur la Route” will be that of the traveling exhibition. This time we will not limit ourselves to meeting the artists on the street but we will go to organize real ephemeral events. An exhibition in several stages in practically all the states that we will go through, with the possibility of a more permanent exhibition after the return, towards the end of the year. But you wonder how we can bring the works of the artists with us? The concept is simple … we propose to the artists to create works on a light support (paper, cardboard, fabric, digital, etc …), if possible eco-sustainable and of normal size or then foldable, so as to be able to transport all the works in comfortable drawing holders or similar. The theme ? As always, La route, the road that will slowly but surely accompany us on our journey.
Meetings with artists
The traveling exhibition project will not prevent us from getting to know (and integrating with the exhibition) new artists on the street. A notice of participation will be issued before departure in order to better organize the stops and meetings.
We will of course use social media to promote our project and its development. Mainly Facebook and Instagram where you can find a short daily Vlog with episodes of up to one minute in which we will tell you the cultural, artistic and natural highlights of the day. Then you will also find us on the slightly more dedicated sports (Komoot) and artistic platforms (Monteoliveto Gallery site). Finally it will also be possible to follow us in real time on a map.
Every week / 10 days / two weeks we will also have a longer in-depth episode (maximum 10 minutes) on artistic, cultural (music, gastronomy, language, literature, etc …) and natural / ecological themes that will have particularly inspired us. They will be available on YouTube and on our social networks.
In addition to the artistic, cultural and sporting commitment, we wish to include a green, ecological commitment to our project. So we will try to develop both the travel side and the design side with a vision that is as eco-sustainable as possible. From works on eco-sustainable material, to travel on only muscular bikes or with less polluting means of transport, passing through our technical material, up to power supply, recharging our devices and even some actions prior to departure such as emptying the various e-mail (and if possible the choice of a green internet host) and therefore the awareness of electronic pollution.
“Sur la Route” contemporary art fair
If possible we would like to present our exhibition at a contemporary art fair that is on our way, which can integrate with our project and allow us to present our artists to a wider audience. Of course, this would also lead to a joint communication with the organization of the event, to make a sort of approach along the part of our journey up to the show.
Catalog / Book
The first post-return product will be a cross between a catalog and a book. With the catalog we will present all the artists and their works in the project while in the book part there will be a story of the journey and all the sensations, discoveries and encounters made on the road.
Finally, a visual product cannot be missing with the best moments of the trip and the project, condensed into a short film full of images, sounds, interviews and beautiful discoveries!
For this project, an indicative initial budget was calculated at € 20,000. A detailed budget will be provided very quickly. There will be various funding possibilities.
There will naturally be a personal contribution.
A first possibility of external financing will be crowdfunding or participatory financing: a system where everyone can “invest” in the project freely or in exchange for “rewards” up to the amount of the contribution.
There will be two sections in crowdfunding, one for individuals and the other for companies and companies.
In the private section it will be possible to contribute freely or in exchange for material derived from the project (postcards, t-shirts, copy of the catalog book, digital copy of the short film, etc.)
In the companies and companies section it will be possible to contribute freely or in exchange for advertising and visibility before, during and after the trip (logo present on the dissemination materials of the project, video presentation in the vlog and on social networks, video in presence on the company website, etc …)
Companies, foundations and other institutes interested in this project will be able to participate freely, as main sponsors, in a financial way or as an exchange of services on the journey of the journey in exchange for greater visibility on all the dissemination tools of the project.
Public or private calls and sponsorships
Furthermore, it is our intention to participate in public or private calls dedicated to the topics we face (art, slow travel, heritage, ecology, cycle tourism, tourism).
Finally, we would like to have the largest number of local, national and international institutional sponsorships, to allow our project to have the widest possible impact.
It is our intention to try to donate part of the proceeds (if possible) of this project to charitable organizations dedicated to the issues we face (art, slow travel, heritage, ecology, cycle tourism, tourism).