Performance @ Mediterranea 19, Young Artists Biennale, San Marino


During the Tertiary Period (66 to 2.6 million years ago), Mount Titano and San Marino Republic’s area was covered by water, so as several lands of the current Mediterranean coasts.

Before the publication of Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology (1830-1833), October 23rd 4004 b.C. was believed to be the day Earth was been created. Thanks to the geological research campaigns of the XIX century, and in opposition to the theory of catastrophism according of which the Earth has been shaped by sudden violent events, actualist theory emerged: the origin of geological phenomena of the past should be understood through the observation of what is still happening in the present – earthquakes, eruptions, bradyseism, water erosion. Nowadays we know that Earth and life forms’ current shapes are the results of both catastrophic events and of slow and continuous processes of transformation, but thanks to that debate and for the first time in history, awareness about Deep Time raised: Earth’s – and life on Earth’s – age is unfathomable, ungraspable from a human perspective just like the infinity of space.

Our interest in the unknowable doesn’t only apply to humans’ relationship with time, but also to the alterity, both at an inter- and intra-specific level. To define our connection with the Other as based on dialogue and empathy emphasizes its limitations, denying the unmeasurable and radical difference of the Other’s otherness. Love, for Altalena, is the encounter with the indecipherable secret of the Other, with a mystery that no dialogue can neutralize: we can’t actually feel what the other is feeling. Love should rise from this shared impossibility of sharing.




We spread flyers and posters around the city inviting people to take part to a travel back in time on the routes of Mount Titano, together with geologist Sara Rossini.

During the Biennale, Sara Rossini guided visitors through a hike, asking them to participate to a tradition whose origins are lost in the mists of time and that has been carried on by ancient stone-cutters’ descendants, such as Sara: San Marino, the city’s founder, was a stone-cutter himself. The participants were thus asked to choose some natural objects on the path and take them to a specific place to metaphorically “nurture” the mountain. While hiking, Sara Rossini lectured them about deep time and the geological features of the area.

During the opening days of the Biennale, we explored the territory of San Marino and entered the Canepa cave: a system of underground galleries still to be explored.


San Marino view
Example of the flyer we distributed. The text says: Book your hike. A journey through time on the paths of Mount Titano in the company of geologist Sara Rossini. May – November 2021
Example of posters we have attached. The text says:
Book your hike. A journey through time on the paths of Mount Titano in the company of geologist Sara Rossini. May – November 2021