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I can remember my father when I was just a boy, hunched over his small goldsmith’s bench, his enormous hands illuminated by the cold of a neon light.

I remember both those hands of his being completely black from the used-up resin, and I’d watch him as he held a tiny heart, darkened by the flame, in the one hand, brushing it with the other. I can remember how I’d watch my father surrounded by my grandmother’s holy cards, pinned up on the same nail as the police calendar, and I remember that there was a photo of Maradona next to them, above the one of my sister as a little girl. I’d sit there putting up with the noise of the brush, the stench of the acid, and my mother’s nagging.
I remember that heart, battered by willpower, giving in to blow after blow, to then glimmer with gold in the blackened hands of the master craftsman.
That’s how I picture the patient work of those attentive souls, those meticulous workers, the place where they worked so hard, the embedded marks, trying to see the heart in those enormous hands, the heart that, one movement at a time, made them shine with dignity.
My father’s hands, without ever seeing it, without any words, taught me the wonder of the world that day.

Gianluca Vassallo

Gianluca Vassallo lives and works in San Teodoro (Sardinia, Italy) and the world. Do not call him a photographer, because he might take offence. He works through video, sound, photography and installations, with a particular focus on relational and process aspects. His work has been shown in institutions and galleries in Italy and abroad, including: Caleum Gallery, New York (2017); Fondazione di Sardegna, Cagliari (2016/2017); Portuguese Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice (2016); Museo dell’Emigrazione, Asuni (2016); Foscarini Spazio Soho, New York (2015,2016); Palazzo della Penna, Perugia (2014); Schauwerk Museum, Sindelfingen (2013, 2014); Museo MAN, Nuoro (2014); Stadtgalerie, Kiel (2014); Temple of Hadrian, Rome (2013); Masedu Museo, Sassari (2013); Fondazione Meta, Alghero (2013); Museo MART, Rovereto (2012); PAN, Naples (2010). He has won the Premio Terna 2013, and received a special mention for the Premio VAF 2014. His public art projects include Exposed (2013), Shoot Me Orlando (2016), La Città Invisibile (2016). He is the founder and artistic director of White Box Studio, through which he offers his own work and that of other talents to companies in the fields of industrial design, fashion and publishing, and cultural institutions.

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