IN SEARCH OF MARIOLA TO RAVENNA / The sensational rejection of the director of the Classense Maurizio Tarantino or the Byzantine art of ingratitude

But what did Maurizio Tar do wrong?antino to deserve all this? I mean, what did he do wrong to get into the meat grinder in Ravenna and come out with broken bones? Used and then thrown away like an old iron. We do not know. Perhaps in due course he sinned Hubris, Take on tasks that are too heavy to bear. Perhaps he will now be hit with the bill for a reckoning (excuse the pun) within the government majority over cultural management in Ravenna. Or maybe, without necessarily seeing a particular plot, it was just unfortunate.

So let’s recap a little. Maurizio Tarantino, Neapolitaner, one of Croce’s scholars, now 62 years old, comes to Ravenna in the spring of 2017 from Perugia, where he ran the municipal library for years. He wins the competition to take on the role of Director of Culture, Sea and Classense, complex tasks that are all brought together and entrusted to him.

Assume the order from the hands of the new mayor, Michele de Pascale, elected not even a year earlier. And then For 5 years Tarantino worked side by side with the Cultural Councilor Elsa Signorino and together with her – the critics say more obediently than collaborating – she carried out the task of reorganizing Ravenna’s politics and cultural institutions, drawing on the experience from Ravenna, Capital of Culture (missing) 2019. The assignment is to get Mar, Classense, and RavennAntica to talk, and specifically work together on what was cultivated firstjealous in vain their respective gardens. When he arrives he dreams of reading Dante – another passion of his – stroll through the monasteries of the Classense. Very soon he realizes he must forget about that dessert ancient laziness and begins to squirm left and right to deal with all the thorny issues and the many unanswered questions of Ravenna culture. And work, work, work. Often in the shade. Without overdoing it. Without specifying. Without unnecessary protagonism. My name is Tarantino – he told me recently – but I don’t have the character of a director or a leading actor, if we talk about cinema I prefer to be a producer. Behind the scenes.

He works and produces for posterity the evaluation of his work, it is too early to make a definitive assessment here, certain things are better evaluated from the right distance, as with the Byzantine mosaics or the paintings of the Pointillists. He works, produces and in the meantime always keeps a low profile. Others have a higher profile than him, on the front lines. Despite this, also to him Criticism and tiles rain down on him. Especially linked to the sea, where he happens to have to manage the post-Spadoni season that still has many admirers in the city to the Fame his exhibitions. In the meantime, everyone has forgotten that it was also discussed and that not all that glittered was gold. Mainly because there was so much more gold gleaming in the San Domenico museums in Forlì even then. But in short, there are a lot ostylesty that pours onThe usurper Tarantino light upllto his reference board.

He also had the honor and the burden of organizing Dante’s 7th Century in the absurd conditions of the pandemic that has plunged the whole world into crisis. But nothing will forgive him. Not even that. And in ungrateful Ravenna, out of sheer masochism, someone insists on talking about the Forlì exhibition instead of the many important things being done here. You know, for the poor in spirit, the neighbor’s grass is always greener.

Finally – it’s a misery these days – the war of the works on display and never destroyed is unleashed against Tarantino. Let’s talk about Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawings #570. Tarantino is accused of everything, along with the curator of the Mar. They are demanding his resignation. If it were up to me, I would have applauded him because, even with a certain courage and disobedience (ah, the art of disobedience!) to verbal requests from the author to exhibit a work of art, that is, he allowed a Del Mar-Gut could be exhibited and enjoyed by the public, according to the principle that the public interest in a work comes first and then the personal will of an author (who died in 2007) or his heirs (i.e. to require that this work is destroyed). I don’t get into bureaucratic matters or into the matters of the artist’s poetics. It is a fact that the work exists and has not been destroyed like others by the same author. I think who didn’t destroy it to have done right. And I think he did well in addition who decided to exhibit it. I think that anyone coming to Tarantino on the Mar would do well not to destroy it and to negotiate with those who have any rights to the work in order to be able to do so suspend again. Just like Tarantino thought he did. It’s common sense. The rest, to me, are controversies from provincial salons.

But let’s get to today. We know from press rumors – which have been confirmed – that Maurizio Tarantino will no longer be Director of Maritime and Cultural Policy. And he won’t even be the director of the Classense anymore. The Municipality of Ravenna had in fact decided to split the posts (Tarantino himself had asked for this) and announced two competitions, one for Director of the Sea and Director of Cultural Activities and one for the Classense Directorate. The first is a comparative process competition reserved for ever-changing managers. For example, a manager from another administration – local, regional or state level – requests mobility to take on this role if he has the appropriate qualifications; if there are several applicants, a comparative procedure is carried out, with which the most suitable determined figure is selected. For the Classense library, on the other hand, the administration has decided to launch a public competition, no longer the comparative procedure based on qualifications and interview, but a real public competition with a written test, a psycho-aptitude interview and an oral test.

According to him, Maurizio Tarantino did not take part in the first but only in the second competition to renew the contract with Classense. But the last turn did not pass the letter. So it’s over, burned.

Now the slanderers will be able to unleash the conspiracy. More than one will rub their hands. Elsa Signorino left the scene and the safety net for Maurizio Tarantino failed and he was welcomed. Of course, in all this, the mayor Michele de Pascale, who chose Maurizio Tarantino 5 years ago and entrusted him with these important tasks, does not make a good impression from the outset. It is as if today his government renounced the election of a decade ago and together with all the decisions of those 5 years.

I don’t know if that’s the case. But even if that were the case – after all, it would be legitimate – is it then right to ask the mayor and the new councilor for culture what new direction they want to go in? So far I had understood that there would be continuity in cultural policy decisions. Is it still like this? Is there a course change? Is it just a hiccup, a poorly completed class test?

I do not want the heirs of Byzantium to have decided to follow the same cynical policy as the heirs of the Prince of Salina in the Leopard: everything must change so that nothing changes. Sacrificing Maurizio Tarantino for this homework gone wrong. All are wrong. Already!

Michele de Pascale with Elsa Signorino and Maurizio Tarantino

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