The ethnographic collection “Edoardo Bongiorno”

More than 50 years of history, a fenced round garden inside which grow trees with fruits on a humus of thousands of presences. This is really the way how the Hotel Oriente is configured, in the heart of Lipari, close to the antique Greek necropolis: an “Eden” essential, not to be able to imagine without it. But this is only the frame. Let’s get to the content: all is passed by, an entire epoch, even an era that from its dissolution agglutinated that it was from the modernity, that is re-established in a wondrous way in the vision of Edoardo, as in the whirl of uncountable particles, all of them equipped by an own soul, of an specific and incomparable reason of being, the devices, the antique tools with those the whole humanity has interacted with nature with the objective to help itself for their own needs of survival but also for objectives more elevated; the tools, they are itself a mystery of the immanent divinity.

This is the Oriente, to magically appear again on Lipari, as in a microcosm, in which all the forms created by human-ship have been recomposed passing by a extreme artistic filter that renovated them, making them different, in the measure and in the way they have been re-born, not in the ethnographic logic of the real and specific function, but in their magic symbolic transformation of “magic objects” developers of the secrets laws of nature and of the irreconcilable yearning of the human mind.

Edoardo Bongiorno, with his countless tools and objects of the use of every kind and type (all rigorously found on the Aeolian Islands), some of them really strange and enigmatic, but most of them still perfectly understandable in their function, has covered entirely every free space of his Hotel. The result is that we don’t feel at all oppressed by a sensation of “full” and “redundant”. All the tools and various objects have been installed in a surprising way of inherent artistic taste, that knew to respect as well chromatic as well as volumetric rhythm and by virtue of a poetic sensibility he knew to choose arrangements deeply appropriated and significant.

(Vittorio Giustolisi)

I dedicate this ethnographic collection to my daughter Manuela, today 18 years old, with the hope that this will give her a dignified cultural life; with the wish that these remains of antiquity, now saved from the injuries/imputations of the time, contribute to form the bases of the scientific enquiries imposed by the fast progress of society; for certain that she accepts what I realized and most of all feels, as well as I do, the desire to continue, enlarge and improve it, to make known to other new generations the wisdom and culture of a world settled down, but that can’t and mustn’t be forgotten; that she will continue, for a long long time, the honesty and diligence of her father opus.

Edoardo Bongiorno