domenica 31 dicembre 2017

Mutoid Uri Moss in a Tony Graffio's photo

Uri in Mutonia on a homebuilt motor-tricycle, May 1993. Tony Graffio Photography.
Uri in Mutonia on a homebuilt motor-tricycle, May 1993. Tony Graffio Photography.

The Mutoid Waste Company is a very famous group of punk artists founded in the middle of the eightys, in West London. After a stay in Berlin and in Amsterdam, the  Mutoids arrived in Italy at the beginning of the ninetys. I knew them in Santarcangelo di Romagna, near Rimini, in 1993.
Last May I was invited to expose in Milan the picture I took to Uri and in November I showed the same picture in Jesi, in another collective exhibition; in this last occasion I got an interesting meeting with a woman who was visiting the exhibition who told me she lived in Mutonia for a few years and her ex-husband was the man who built the tricycle Uri was driving at the moment I shot the picture.
Here is a translation of what Allegra Corbo (Happy Crow) told me.

TG: Sometimes, strange things happen, and there are coincidences that make us reflect a lot. By hanging my gumprints on the wall of the Cotton Club Gallery in Jesi, I would not have imagined that anyone so close to Uri could have seen them and stay moved...

Allegra Corbo: I lived in the Mutonia Camp, I know Uri very well, he came to us because he was the cousin of Lucy Wisdom, another Mutoid girl. Uri had come from Israel in 1993. I also know the kart-tricycle very well because my ex-husband, named Stephan Duve had built it. He is German and he has lived in Italy for years, but now he lives in England. I'm from Ancona, I'm here in Jesi because tomorrow I'll close my art exhibition in a private gallery near here. I'd love if you decided to come and see me there. For me, your images are like family photos. I've always been an artist, I lived with Mutoids for a while, but then I did other things. The other boy portrayed with Uri around the three wheeler go karts is Johnny (she talks of another picture I showed in the exhibition TG). I was with the Mutoids from 1991 to 1995, then I left with Stefan, but once we got separated, I went back to Santarcangelo later, with my children and then I left again to go somewhere else...

TG: The experience in Mutonia was really so interesting and different from the life that was normally done at that time elsewhere?

Merry Corbo: I do not need to say it, anyway, yes. I was 23 when I arrived there and even if I came from a fairly alternative family that allowed me to visit India and travel the world, I have to say that in Mutonia I had a very interesting experience.

TG: In what way were your parents alternative?

Allegra Corbo: My parents were Hippies and I had already broken the patterns enough by being born and growing up in a family like that, but the Mutoids are different in another era. A Punk and Cyber-Punk world of the late 80s, early 90s when technology was already important and even the feeling of an imminent apocalypse resounded in the air, just because we realized that our society lived above its material possibilities.

TG: What were you doing at the camp?

Allegra Corbo: First of all we lived in a space that had been granted to us by the Municipality of Santarcangelo di Romagna; it was a former gravel pit. We lived in trucks and our homes were all self-built traveling houses. They were very beautiful; I was very happy there, then that's where my children were born. Lola in 1992 and Ezra in 1995. Together with the Mutoids I did shows only in Italy, precisely because my children were small, but they traveled a lot around Europe and also in other coutries. With the Mutoids there was also an Australian man, Robin, who was one of the founders of Burning Man in the Nevada desert. 
Now it's easier to go around everywhere and the borders are as if they no longer existed.

TG: Are you still on good terms with Uri?

Allegra Corbo: Yes. Two years ago I also organized a festival in Mutonia; together with Sue, a girl who still lives there. Vertigo Truth was a street art festival, on that occasion we invited artists to paint the trucks and the containers parked in the Camp. It was very nice...

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