First published: Summer 2008
In 1978 the Italian state passed the legge centottanta, a law decreeing the closing of the worst psychiatric institutions in the country, which were run like high-security prisons. Patients were forcibly kept in bed, put into straitjackets, prescribed ice-cold baths, and subjected to electric shocks and brain surgery. One such institution was housed in a building on the outskirts of Volterra. When it was closed at the end of the 1970s, Nannetti was among those freed, having spent fourteen years behind its walls and in the closed-off courtyard.
The frieze Nannetti created during his incarceration does not give a straightforward account of what happened to him there. However, the signs, words and images he cut into the stone form a storia universale: a story of the world spanning centuries and finding its expression in individuals. It is about the conquering of imaginary states, electromagnetic waves and radiation, hyper-technological weapons, commercial flight and space vehicles, mysterious alchemical affinities, and the magical power of certain metals. Those who try to decipher Nannetti's scratched writings will come upon 'Corazzi Elizabeth of England spinachy large grown mouth severe the nose y-shaped' and 'Pope John XXIII Roncalli heavy tall-grown 1,80 dark', characters who are in telepathic contact with the astral colonel and the space-mining engineer.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #63