Living up to his saintly reputation, San Precario has made unexpected appearances in various locations and in different guises. In 2004, the saint came to incarnate the class-consciousness of a generation hit by a crisis rooted in unstable working conditions. Tapping into the Catholic traditions deeply entrenched in their social environment; a group of activists from northern Italy have used artistic competence to call into being a figure that embodies their own concerns, while simultaneously setting Italian sacral iconography in a new context. San Precario’s gender identity remains undetermined, which makes the saint an even more perfect figure to confront the volatile and undefined face of the era of liquid capital and unstable employment. In practicing the incantation “a proper saint for the current times,” San Precario began to embody a typical representative of the precariat; they who struggle with obstacles posed by flexible employment, diminishing welfare, and poor working conditions. The unique cult of this newly invented saint materializes in group actions, joint demonstrations in defence of labor rights, as well as individual “prayers” meant to offer protection against free market pathologies (see: habitat). The figure of San Precario appears in a broad array of iconographic variations, in figurines and devotional images. The saint has also conquered the Internet, which is used as yet another strategy for labor rights evangelisation and a platform of protest. San Precario’s Day, on February 29, is celebrated every four years.
The report presented in exhibition consists of a sculpture produced by Olga Micińska, commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in December 2015. The sculpture is accompanied by a prayer to San Precario (anonymous), a vase, and a bunch of flowers.