Davide Bertocchi

Are You Ready? (Once Upon a Time In the West)

Swansea Beach / The Maritime & Industrial Museum

The discovery of the history of Swansea, of industrial revolution, coal mines and the beginning of a modern era in the Western world, triggered a memory of Davide Bertocchi’s that has become the catalyst for a surreal performance on Swansea Beach. Bertocchi sees the beach, a great natural arena, as a psychological platform to combine a diverse collection of elements to recreate a ‘metaphysical landscape’, much like the elements in the surrealist works of the painter Giorgio De Chirico.

He has fused a childhood memory of the 1970’s ‘Spaghetti Western’: ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ with elements of history such as the transmission of the world’s first message by radio which was sent from Wales by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897. Prophetically the radio message was: ‘Are you ready?’ and it is the members of Swansea Metal Detectors Club (metaphors of researchers) who reveal the enigma.