Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least if that no more, thought through my eyes.
Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot.
Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane…

James Joyce, Ulysses

The Ulysses series is a body of work based upon the novel of the same name by James Joyce. The project goes ceaselessly back and forth from James Joyce’s text to the places he still haunts, like Trieste, where the Irish author composed the first chapters of his masterwork and lived for several years. The Ulysses images express a sense of wandering, of interior research, following in the footsteps of an imaginary and enigmatic journey, full of hints to the book and also its internal play upon Homer’s Odyssey.

… …  the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and … … …

… … … and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes

Since its outset the project has evolved in several forms: artist book, photo exhibition, interdisciplinary installation and sound & vision performance. As part of the KG+ satellite events of Kyotographie festival in 2015, within the beautiful architecture of Aesop Kawaramachi in Kyoto, the Ulysses show was featuring a magic lantern created by the photographer Leo Pellegatta and the artist-designer Hiroko Shiratori.

“Each imagining himself to be the first last and only alone, whereas he is neither first last nor last nor only not alone in a series originating in and repeated to infinity.”

“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”

To celebrate James Joyce, on the 100th anniversary of the first edition of his illustrious novel Ulysses (1922), the photographer Leo Pellegatta and the composer Nicol Faer present at Italian Cultural Institute and the Irish Cultural Center in Paris And yes I said yes I will Yes a multimedia installation in which images, music and words evoke Joyce’s imaginary and explore new paths in the labyrinthine book that lends itself to multiple readings and infinite interpretations.

IIC Paris “100th Anniversary of the Ulysses”
Site specific installation: In the footsteps of Ulysses
Photo – Leo Pellegatta | Sound piece – Nicol Faer 

Four large prints on fabric with quotes from the book are associated with a sound installation and displayed at the IIC entrance in Paris, inviting the audience to a sensorial experience.

IIC Paris “100th Anniversary of the Ulysses”
In the footsteps of Ulysses

A monumental photograph exhibited on entering the CCI and its accompanying sound piece evoke the Sirens chapter from Ulysses

CCI Paris “100th Anniversary of the Ulysses”
Site specific installation: Sirens  
Photo – Leo Pellegatta | Sound piece – Nicol Faer 

The composition by Nicol Faer evokes the sea crossing of the mythical hero of the Odyssey and his initiatory journey into the unknown.
It also pays homage both to the musical sensitivity of the Joycean language and to the author’s fascination with the element of water, often at the origin of his poetic inspiration.
A string quartet, a piano and James Joyce’s voice emerging to the rhythm of the sea, seem to evoke an interior monologue which melts into the electric clouds of the guitars, as if to outline the stream of consciousness of the heroes of Joyce and Homer.

Ulysses – The Sound of Water
Leo Pellegatta © 2022

The song “Ulysses” which opens the composition by Nicol Faer, is a free adaptation of the only known song composed by James Joyce: Bid adieu to girlish days.