Between paper and the internet, reversing the usual roles of the two media: an online show commissioned by NERO and presented here through its press release
CADAVERE QUOTIDIANO A Daily Mourning
Opening Cadavere Quotidiano
online: March 15 - May 15, 2013
Sunday: Francesco Pedraglio
Monday: Katrina Palmer
Tuesday: Paul Becker
Wednesday: Alex Cecchetti
Thursday: Jesper List Thomsen
Friday: Ed Atkins
Saturday: Siôn Parkinson
Sunday: Heather Phillipson
Today I did nothing. Yesterday, again, I did nothing at all. The day before that, I simply killed time lying down on that uncomfortable couch of hers, procrastinating the hell out of my worthless day trying to figure out whether that stain on the ceiling was a watermark or the consequence of a badly done plastering job (a map… a face?). And yet I feel impelled to confess how my doing nothing has indeed always been very different from hers… so different that I occasionally wondered whether nothingness could be progressively categorized, quantified, differentiated and even evaluated, a doubt, by the way, that caused me to experience a considerable degree of stress and anxiety, hence the decision to go back to the stain-on-the-ceiling enigma and forget all about such trivial issues. Anyway, words don’t really have to look like what it is they actually designate, right? So why bother… why not drop the entire evaluation business in the first place? Still I can’t really deny that, at the time we were both supposedly doing the same nothing, she did manage to scribble down some frightfully beautiful lines that I wish it were possible to repeat here, for you… but I really can’t, my inability being mostly the result of laziness or short attention span from my side or, to lie to myself unashamedly, springing from my fascination for the peripheral, my excitement about the marginal that prevents any in-depth dipping into any real constructive topic. Anyhow… none of this matters now. All in all, doing nothing is what I’ve been up to from the day of her demise, and I just thought it would be right and proper to tell all about this habit of mine as, in the long run, I might as well get used to it and make of this wastage a life-long purpose, a pride-filling goal. To do nothing… to be utterly passive. Then again, I might be deceiving myself from the start, as the day before yesterday I did actually spend God knows how many hours up there clearing out her attic, and Jesus Christ I ask you… how much rubbish can one single soul accumulate in the relatively short amount of time of a life time? And what for? Seriously… such worthless debris… like pocket-shaped dust balls fallen off of her dirty trouser pockets. I can almost picture it! I can actually picture that long, dried up face of hers cringing and contorting like an animal while her fingers dig into that all-too-familiar clothing cavity, tunnelling through the worn-out fabric in the desperate hope, I suppose, of fishing out a few coins and spare change. And instead… well, there it comes that filthy filthy fluff, that filthy fluff, that fluffy fuzz made out of torn-up receipts, chocolate wraps, bus tickets, cigarette filters and who knows what else really. Disintegrated, reduced to smithereens by the rinse and spin cycles of the carefully chosen "economy program" of her washing machine… that same filth that then would get stuck under her fingernails or simply tossed aside, levitating in mid-air suddenly finding itself having to deal with gravity… a gravity as heavy as the responsibilities for our actions!
Well, let me tell you… in the grand scheme of things, nothing of all this will save her from sure-fire forgetfulness! Nothing… not one bit…. not even her beautiful lines scribbled on those mountains of shrivelled papers that I now have to randomly chuck into semi-transparent blue bags for the garbage man to come and collect. Stuff, stuff and again more stuff… really? Was that her plan? Her life-long ingenious strategy?
I’m not gonna go down that same path, no way!
I decided to start a list… simple, slender, agile. A list of things to make sense of, to mourn for, just so I can forget about it all and go on doing nothing, laying down here, eyes fixed on the ceiling. I’m going to do all this one last time before someone has to mourn my demise, before dumping me and all my belongings out of the window as I am doing now with hers.
Imagine a confined stretch of time and the passing of so many objects in so many days… everyday a different corpse, a daily cadaver, un cadavere quotidiano really! An otiosity, a redundant belief system, a useless limb, a dead person. I’m talking about the ultimate abstraction or subtraction in form of obituaries, elegies, eulogies, epitaphs for the daily demised, for expirations, cessations, disappearances, beheadings and defenestrations of ideas, emotions, objects, images and movements.
So let’s start this devilish machine! Now, MONDAY…
Francesco Pedraglio (1981) is an artist, writer and co-founder of FormContent. Through short-stories, performances and installations, his work reflects on the mechanics of storytelling. He has performed at Transmission Gallery, Kunsthalle Basel, Hayward Gallery, Auto Italia South East, The National Portrait Gallery, ICA, Wysing Arts Centre, Galerie Kamm, Hollybush Gardens. Initiated by Paul Becker, Alex Cecchetti and Pedraglio himself, an extended version of Cadavere Quotidiano with more than 30 contributions will be published in spring 2013.