Cherimus was founded in Perdaxius in 2007 by three friends: Marco Colombaioni, Matteo Rubbi and Emiliana Sabiu.
Cherimus’ aim is to contribute to the development of the social and cultural patrimony – past and present – of the the Sulcis-Iglesiente region (south-west Sardinia, Italy) through art.
Like most ‘peripheries’ of today, Sulcis is torn between the preservation of its heritage (nuragic, pre-nuragic, pastoral, industrial) and its ongoing incorporation into the global sphere. The risk, though, is that it may not be able to actively control this transition: its local history and identity may turn into mere ‘anecdotes’ or curiosities for tourists, rather than being consciously integrated into the real existence of communities, so as to create new avenues for culture and life in common.
Cherimus works towards this aim. We do not view art only as production of artistic artifacts, but as an alternative way of reflecting and intervening into the economic, social, political and cultural problems of Sulcis. We would like to develop – effectively and in a way that is accessible to the people involved, and to the widest possible audience – a new sensibility and a new approach to the questions we address, so as to offer the local community a different perspective on itself.
To do that, Cherimus also seeks to open Sulcis up to inputs and experiences coming from distant places (the Mediterranean, Africa, Europe), through international cooperation projects aimed at revitalizing and transforming the specific characters of its territory. Our goal is to build a bridge between regions that are geographically remote or apparently incompatible, but that nonetheless experience similar contradictions between their marginality and cultural richness.
Our projects take each time a different form, as they seek to adjust to the communities’ existing energies and tensions, to the encounters we make on our way and to the guest artists we collaborate with.
Cherimus is a group of artists and professionals from different sectors and disciplines, coming from Sardinia and from all over the world.
In the Sardinian language, Cherimus means ‘we wish’, ‘we desire’.
Visit website: www.cherimus.net
- 2015-ongoing Santu Jacu
- 2015-ongoing Darajart
- 2014-ongoing Côte à Côte
- 2012-13 La biblioteca fantastica
- 2010-11 Chadal
- 2009-15 Il gioco dell’oca
- 2008-ongoing Caro Giacomo
- 2008-09 La Sardegna è un’isola? / Is Sardinia an island?
2015-ongoing. In collaboration with Charles Nshimiyimana.
In 2014 the statue of Perdaxius’ patron saint, Santu Jacu (St James), accidentally broke into pieces during the yearly procession dedicated to him, when it got caught in a garland of flags.
The fall of the Saint upset the community, who viewed it a sign of future misfortunes.
The following May, while in Nairobi for the Darajart residence project, Cherimus decided to realize a new statue for Perdaxius.
The Cherimus’ artists Derek Maria Francesco Di Fabio, Matteo Rubbi and Emiliana Sabiu collaborated with a group of Rwandan refugees specialized in wood carving. Together with Charles Nshimiyimana Cherimus realized the new Saint, which was made of jacaranda wood.
Once back in Sardinia, they completed the sculpture with
the aid of people form Perdaxius during Caro Giacomo 2015. The eyes of the Saint are made of hard-coal extracted from the mines of Serbariu in Carbonia, while his walking stick is made of wild olive wood. The statue is thus a synthesis of diverse sensibilities, the Rwandese one of origins and the Sardinian one of destination.
Once finished, the statue was donated to the town of Perdaxius, who was however reluctant to welcome it, because of its Masai-like features and its unconventional clothes, which look more suited to a pilgrim than to a Saint. Cherimus thus sought to make it accepted to the population, so that it may become a real ‘bridge’ between the two cultures.
In 2016, the statue was thus used for the first time for the patron festival’s yearly procession. It was then placed in the old countryside church of St James, where local people now often go to visit it.
2015-ongoing. Artist in residence program. Nairobi, Kenya.
Darajart is an art residency program for international artists in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenia. Darajart is based in the rescue centres co-run by Amani, an NGO working with the street children of the slum.
Darajart was created thanks to a visionary idea by Cherimus’ cofunder Marco Colombaioni(1983-2011), who visited the place several times and lived there as a volunteer for some time. In the Swahili language, Daraja means ‘bridge’. In Marco’s mind, Darajart was a way of building bridges for unexpected encounters between the art world and the pulsating life of Kibera. His idea was to invite every year artists working with different media (music, writing, cinema and visual arts) to live and work in the largest slum of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Darajart. Artist in Residence Pilot Edition. May 2015
(Text by Derek Francesco Maria di Fabio from Cherimus.net)
In 2015, we decided to put together the first pilot edition of Darajart, with artists Derek di Fabio, Matteo Rubbi and Emiliana Sabiu. This first edition helped us come into contact with Kibera and understand its context better.
The second edition of Darajart will take place in 2017 and Cherimus will invite new artists to work in Kibera.
We were in Nairobi – at night time always in Riruta Satellite at daytime often in Kibera – in Ndugu Mdogo. Cherimus was hosted by the NGO Amani, who works with street children, while running different rescue centres in the slum. We had just started to work there for the Darajart pilot edition and we already had three projects: Ndugu Mdogo’s Wallpainting, The Dragon and Santu Jacu. The first project was a wall painting made on the facade of the centre. All the children hosted in Ndugu Mdogo contributed to its realisation. During a three-day workshop we asked them to draw their favourite objects on the wall and then to paint them. The wall got populated by an incredible number of fantasy inventions, which all together composed a puzzle of enormous animals, absurd signals and tiny unusual tangled characters, often overlapping with each other. You need to take your time to discover all the details hidden in this painting! The children realised their wall together with the artists: they had only left the street one month earlier, and now Ndugu Mdogo was their home, and the community their family. It was essential that they felt as the owner of their space. Above all, the wall is beautiful!
CÔTE À CÔTE
2014-2015. A project by Susana Moliner, La Companyia, in partnership with Cherimus.
Côte à Côte” is a collaboration project in situ realized by the Italian artist Matteo Rubbi and the Moroccan artist Yassine Balbzioui, curated by Cherimus and La Companya (Madrid). The first phase took place in Rabat, afterwards in Perdaxius, Sardinia, where the artists dealt with the social and subjective process that unfolds between these southern coastal cities.
FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DES AVIONS EN PAPIER
2014-2015, Workshop, sport event.
Bibliotheque National du Royame du Maroc, Rabat; Lazzaretto, Cagliari.
Côte à Côte’s aim is to make two artists from different areas of the Mediterranean work together, inviting them to realize a common project at the end of a period of residence.
The project takes its cue from the observation of the night sky, as an ideal place where the Arabic coast meets the European one (hence Cote à cote, coast to coast). The night sky is one of the most perfect examples of an exchange between different cultures, a wonderful mix of civilizations that have been in constant struggle.
The artists invited were Yassine Balbzioui (Marocco) and Matteo Rubbi (Italy). They lived and worked together for three weeks at Le Cube_ Independent Art Room, in Rabat’s city centre, and for another three weeks in Perdaxius, interacting daily with these places.
Côte à Côte started in October 2014 with a public performance at the National Library of Rabat. Here, the artists organized the First International Festival of Paper Airplanes, where they invited the public to realize paper airplanes with old newspapers found in the Medina of Rabat.
The performance began with the painting of a big canvas announcing the event. This canvas, which was about four meters long, was created together by the two artists and rapresented some of the constellat ions in the night sky between Rabat and Perdaxius. Constellations are often represented as animals, both in the Western and in the Arabic culture. This is why the banner is populated by bears, whales, eagles, fish and scorpions.
In December 2015, the two artists met again in Sardinia, between Perdaxius and Cagliari. Together with the association Sant’Elia Viva, they designed new types of pasta, starting from those of the Sardinian tradition, which they transformed and coloured in blue.
Later on, at the Lazzaretto di Sant’Elia, they organized the Second International Festival of Paper Airplanes, to which participated a school class and another group of kids from the neighborhood of Sant’Elia in Cagliari. The event ended with a musical performance by Francesco Medda/ Arrogalla featuring Carlo Spiga (voice and guitar) and a Vjset by Yassine Balbzioui and Matteo Rubbi. Côte à Côte is a project conceived and realized by Cherimus and the association La Companyìa from Madrid.
Exhibition at Le Cube, Independent Art Room, Rabat
IL GIOCO DELL’OCA
A project by Marco Colombaioni
Il Gioco dell’Oca di Marco Colombaioni (Marco Colomabioni’s Game of the Goose) is inspired by the work Il Gioco dell’Oca, originally made in 2009 in Valledoria (Sardinia) by the artist Marco Colombaioni (1983, Milano – 2011, Ravenna), one of the cofounders of Cherimus. This was a large outdoor paint ing populated by animals, in which spectators could literally enter to play the game.
In 2011, Cherimus had already curated the production of Il Gioco dell’Oca for an exhibition at Bergamo’s Gamec museum.
On that occasion, 16 artists painted the game with gigantic animals on the courtyard in front of the museum.
For the exhibition ‘Open Museum Open City’ at Rome’s MAXXI museum, curated by Hou Honru, Cherimus further re-elaborated the project, adding a performative dimension to it. The game’s animals were realized in collaboration with local institutions, such as tailor’s workshops, art schools and SPRAR centres (System for the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers).
Marco Colombaioni’s painted animals thus became dresses that could be worn by the participants. The idea was to use the game as a forum for debates and as a tool to facilitate new encounters.
In line with its established way of working, Cherimus invited many artists to collaborate to the project and, in particular, Simone Berti – who realized several videos in which the animals of the game come to life to conquer the city of Rome – and Carlo Spiga – who collected and re-elaborated the recordings made during the workshops, mixing them with sounds coming from Gambia, Mali, Senegal and Indonesia.
Il gioco dell’oca. 2011. Acrylic on cement. GAMeC, Bergamo.
With Emiliana Sabiu, Yassine Balbiziui, Gemma Noris, Derek Francesco Maria Di Fabio, Cristhian Raimondi, Matteo Rubbi, Isa Griese, Béatrice Bailet, Elena Nerina Reverberi, Leonardo Chiappini, Giovanni Giaretta, Cleo Fariselli, Carlo Spiga, Michele Gabriele, Edna Gee, Alek O., Santo Tolone.
Il gioco dell’oca di Marco Colombaioni. 2014. workshops and performance, MAXXI and MACRO, Rome, Italy
With Alessandra Casadei, Leonardo Chiappini, Derek Maria Francesco Di Fabio, Cleo Fariselli, Edna Gee, Isa Griese, Valeria Frisolone, Michele Gabriele, Alice Mandelli, Marco Pezzotta, Matteo Rubbi, Emiliana Sabiu, Carlo Spiga.
with the collaboration of: A.T.I. Domus Caritatis – Casa San Bernardo, Roma, Auser Lazio – Laboratorio di Sartoria Solidale, Ostia, CARA Tivoli, CRS Caritas Roma – Centro Accoglienza Ferrhotel, Roma, Centro SPRAR Sant’Antonio, Centro SPRAR Valico, SPRAR Mostacciano, Roma, Coop Domus Caritatis – Roma, ICS “Daniele Manin”, Roma, IIS “Via Beata Maria De Mattias”, Roma, Liberi Nantes, Roma, MACRO Didattica, Roma, Re(d)cycleLab, Roma.
Artisti in residenza – Cherimus e Valentina Vetturi
MACRO, Museo d’arte contemporanea di Roma, Roma
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2010-ongoing. Music Band.
Chadal is the name of a Sardinian-Senegalese band, created as part of an international cooperation project, organized by Cherimus in collaboration with other Sardinian institutions and the association Ker Thiossane from Dakar. The project’s idea was to strengthen and deepen the dialogue between Sardinian and Senegalese people, the latter representing the largest African community within the Italian island.
Chadal debuted in Dakar on May 20, 2011, before embarking on a concert tour across Sardinia and the North of Italy. The visionary set of the concerts was created during a series of workshops held in Dakar and in several small towns of Sulcis, where Sardinian and Senegalese children also built traditional instruments from their respective regions and exchanged them.
The first songs composed by the musicians from the two countries were recorded on an LP. As part of the project, we also created a new magazine, which was “already one year old when it first came out”, called Dakar, whose first issue was entirely dedicated to Chadal.
We produced numerous other works which, together with live performances of the band, have been shown in many art institutions, such as Fondazione Querini Stampalia (Venice), NGBK and Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Villa Reale (Milan), Maison Rouge (Paris), ASU Museum (Phoenix, US), Institut Français de Rabat.
LA BIBLIOTECA FANTASTICA
2012-2013. Series of workshops in public libraries. Four short movies. Traveling exhibition.
Six art and culture personalities – coming from the mother countries of the six largest communities of immigrants in Sardinia – collaborated with middle school kids from six small towns in the Sulcis region (South-West of Sardinia) to help them re-imagine their local libraries.
Marcos Lora Read from the Dominican Republic, Yassine Balbzioui from Morocco, Kilap Gueye and Pape Thiam from Senegal, André Raatsch from Hungary, Daniella Isamit Morales from Venezuela then worked directly with the children of the towns of Masainas, Villaperuccio, Santadi, Piscinas, Giba and Perdaxius, in their respective libraries over 24 workshops, which started in November 2012 and ended in February 2013.
Their work resulted in the production of four short movies, which were subsequently shown in different parts of the Sulcis on different occasions. The movies were: Sentimento vietato (A Forbidden Feeling), Live in Vampiria, La leggenda dell’amuleto (The Legend of the Amulet), È andata così (And So it Went).
From the 14th of June, the museum MAN_Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro invited the artists that participated in the Biblioteca Fantastica to recount through their work, the encounter with the children of Sulcis and their endless stories. It resulted in a complex project in which the ideas that came to light during the year have found new and unexpected forms.
All of them works presented have been thought and realized especially for the occasion. In a whole it sought to convey the spirit and special relationships that were created during the project.
La Biblioteca Fantastica (The Fantastic Library) was the winner of the ‘2011 Library and Social Cohesion’ competition and was realized with the financial support of Fondazione Vodafone Italia and Fondazione CON IL SUD. Its aim was to promote and improve the role of libraries as sites of encounters and as instruments of social inclusion and cohesion.
Annual event, Perdaxius, Italy.
Since 2008, Cherimus organizes every year Caro Giacomo (Dear James), an event taking place on the occasion of Perdaxius’ patronal festival, dedicated to St James. Artists, musicians, film-makers and photographers from Italy and from around the world are invited to contribute to the festival with their works.
Perdaxius is the town that hosts Cherimus. It is a little town of around 1,500 people located in the centre of Sulcis (South-west of Sardinia), in an area which, in spite of its rich environmental heritage, is encumbered by several problems, such as the impoverishment of its productive fabric, depopulation of young people, cultural isolation and disaffection towards the territory.
Caro Giacomo seeks to contribute to this situation by inviting local and international artists to immerse themselves in the life of the community. The aim is both to give locals an opportunity to come into contact with cultural movements they are not familiar with, and to create the conditions for artists to develop new forms of expression thanks to the encounter and exchange with the community.
Each year the event touches on different themes, according to the visions and problems of the local people, who, in the weeks before the event, contribute to both the conception and the realization of the artworks.
On the days of St James’s festival, the works are finally shown in the town of Perdaxius, as an integral part of the celebrations. Many of them are made permanently available to the community and become part of its daily life.
CARO GIACOMO 2008