11 April 2013
As part of an ongoing partnership with Xing, and specifically as media partner of Live Arts Week II, the 5 days festival dedicated to live arts organized by Xing in Bologna, NERO is presenting an extensive interview with the curators of the festival by Piersandra Di Matteo. Xing is an independent network, founded in 2000, committed to the production, realization and promotion of various multidisciplinary projects, many of which stand out for a special attention in confronting the issues related to the reception of the arts as autonomous languages. Here is the interview, conceived and edited as a list of key-terms, which defines the theoretical frame of the festival that will start next week.
Key Terms for curator. In conversation with Xing — Silvia Fanti Daniele Gasparinetti Andrea Lissoni — on the second edition of Live Arts Week in Bologna.
by Piersandra Di Matteo
I. THEY ARE MANY AND THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT
Live Arts Week II creates bastard universes which enclose forms of imbalanced equilibrium. As curators and creators of a space-time to be shared with spectators, this year we are looking at eccentric figures, which can be defined as individual avant-gardists, but without the “ism” that marked the premises of the avant-garde, i.e. the aggregation under a manifesto, a precise aesthetic stance. Last year we introduced a reasoning about the manifesto which this year is not present or it is very marginal. Today we are interested in the notion of “polysingularity” which is a concept developed by Dmitry Paranyushkin, a Russian artist who works on the internet, on the design of computer systems and on the networks. From a similar – even though more romantic and solitary – trajectory, Riccardo Benassi is presenting a meta-reflection, almost godardian, on the question: what is a TecnoHouse?
I. 1# PROCESSES RATHER THAN OBJECTS
In this edition we make space for “existential athletics”. Unlike at the time of Netmage, we have abandoned the idea of recognition and we are looking at creative singularities, more unique than exemplar ones. More generally, we started from the interest in the individual universes of the artists, in their continuous practices, even in their follies, rather than in the condensation of their works. For example Goodiepal, a Danish composer and performer, will come by bicycle from the Faroe Islands. You cannot say that the performance is the journey, but for sure that trip is an integral part of his artistic action. Once here—hopefully in time—he will inhabit the space for the entire duration of the festival, and he will cross it in various forms, modulating intersections and meetings. Mårten Spångberg fully matters in this issue, too. He is presenting a book that is not a book yet, which he started on his blog with 47 posts. For the moment, he has decided to end it during the festival.
However, it is also important to say that even though the objects are very few in this festival, they have the same force of a human being. The relationship between animate/inanimate has to be re-discussed. In some works, we could also talk about animism. The object, in a certain context, generates reactions. It is active, not in terms of the exhibition obviously. For example, in the work of Alix Eynaudi, the object has the same power of a living body. Something similar we could say about Goodiepal’s waste or his squandered goods.
I. 2# FRACTAL ENCOUNTERS
It is interesting that polysingularity lives in random encounters. It is not the negation of the other. It is the result of unstable and unsteady connections, therefore it is a more fluid form of society. It deals with approaching and leaving tactics. In some way Gianny Päng is a polysingularity figure. You should read Riccardo Benassi’s sub-editorial, or the text by Lucia Amara of the last year in order to understand what Gi?anny Päng is. Its presence serves as a meeting area. It is no coincidence that in the LAW there are many artistic couples resulting from random encounters, teams created for the occasion. The collaboration between Dracula Lewis and the American video-maker of Out4Pizza is part of this issue. But let’s also think about the urgent needs concerning Marcel Türkowsky and Elise Florenty. It is no coincidence that Lewis and Helms have also record labels. They produce other artist and this aspect makes them not only exposed egos, but also filters.
II. SQUATTING MAMbo. SPATIAL AND HUMORAL PERMUTATIONS
The festival takes place mainly at MAMbo. Live arts in a place that is actually designed for death arts. MAMbo is used as a mono-block, not in its articulation. We are going to use only the large space on the ground floor. For the entrance of the museum—that is a large and empty area, difficult to imagine functionally—we decided to work with the matter in order to break this totalitarian architecture. Canedicoda has thought to make it accessible, putting in communication inside and outside. Its set-up starts from outside with a wooden sculptural intervention, and then proceeds in the interior, creeping into the cavities.
On closer view, at present time, the encounter between Xing and MAMbo is extremely mature. They are two realities which have experienced different paths and which they confront each other in an adult way. When the museum area was redesigned, it would have been great to see it living soon after. Doubtless, there would be another impulse, more intuitive and natural, to redesign even Bologna in terms of culture. MAMbo, once a Museum of Contemporary Art, took made the decision to become a Museum of Modern Art.
On the planning in relation with space, we imagine a constant mobility. There will not be any object or installation in the museum. We do not use stages or similar things. We intentionally do not want to introduce art with its recognised stereotypes. We do not consider works—performances, shows, lectures, concerts and live medias—defined objects but we think that they represent a multidimensional flow subjected to combination logics which give rise to a complex matter made of occurrences in space. For this reason, we decided to begin the evening events without indicating the fractures in the show schedule. We want to recreate stop hypothesis rather than the Way of the Cross logic. The basic idea is to create an environment, a context, reasoning also about the forms of social relations.
II. 1# RESOCIALIZING THE CITY
Ten years ago we began to re-socialize Palazzo Re Enzo. The opening of that Medieval compound in the city center—used for private dinners or fair exhibitions—towards the new technology and the post-rave behaviours was an extreme forcing. Then it was brought back to normal and so it did not make sense to exist anymore. With respect to MAMbo, the bet is the opposite. We completely denuded ourselves of technology and we are working on body and behaviour nudeness. In this technical undress, there is nothing related to body art: we are in front of landscapes where categories look for different loads rather than for the parental authority. It is a dis-positioning operation. The challenge consists of understanding how to make live and carnal such a cold place. “Trying to make a museum live is like trying to fuck in a mortuary” someone said. Actually, it can be simply considered a location with rigid structures. Even the hall of Palazzo Re Enzo was a difficult place to handle. Today, after 7 years from the overturn of that cube, we have another one that we will turn into a place and if we will fail, we would not insist on it. In the word games it represents an occupation in time and space.
II. 2# ITALIAN GUESTS
Reasoning on the programme, another important aspect of the creation of the LAW is that the Italian guests are Xing productions. We intentionally took choices on Bologna. Let’s think to Muna Mussie, Daniela Cattivelli with Michele di Stefano, Riccardo Benassi. It is a reflection on XING politics and an assessment of the city and of what is happening in Italy and Europe.
We want to value to the utmost what has been cultivated over the time in more restricted situations and to give visibility to what was born in the neighbourhood and deserves to have the right display. It is a generational discussion in terms of market and circulation in the production system.
II. 3# NOT ONLY THE MUSEUM…
Besides MAMbo, we tried to find other contexts in the city in order to articulate different registers. High-low for example. Last year the LAW was designed with spaces which had their own temporal density. In this edition—even though it is less articulated—places have extremely different temperatures. We tried to interlace relations even with more informal environments such as the senior centre or the Saturday bio market. We want to give to anyone the possibility to react in a different way: from the darkness of the basement of Pincio, once an air-raid shelter in the heart of Montagnola to the museum space, from Palazzo Pepoli to Cassero for the final weekend. For instance, Cinema Lumiere will be showing a film made by Pierre Huyghe as an impossible investigation on time-job of the keepers of a museum destined to be closed. They are filmed in specific single actions, in the three emblematic days of the invention of the capitalist spare time (Halloween, St. Valentine’s Day and the First of May).
III. NO PACT, JUST (NEO)-LANGUAGES
The LAW is not a thematic operation. Most of the attention is paid on the languages rather than on the pacts, so it focuses on something that comes before the pact. And probably pacts are agreed and broken much faster than one could think. We have a long twentieth-century history about the communities that manage to assert themselves as new models, which tells us how was it difficult and uncertain.
The selection of works is apparently elementary. Actually their length is something very carefully thought out and calculated by millimetre, they are a controlled construction of the relationship with the others. These plays interlace invisible complexities, inner ramifications that remain there abandoned for further interpretations. For example, the performance ideated by Sara Manente titled Faire un four requires a certain sensitivity, a desire to grasp the fineness, the stratification of the work. Junko works on the examination of yell and he sets up a concert based on a language-edge as a form of expression, structuring it. Eszter Salamon bases her action on micro language phrases. Daniela Cattivelli works with two persons who imitate the sound of birds in order to open a discussion about sound mimicry. The language, languages, the polylingualism, the linguistic restrictions and the invention of other alphabets and way of communication are urgencies in this festival. The neo-languages—that come out in different ways—are probably the attempt not to take part of an order, but to create relation instruments.
IV. THE PUBBLICATION
All the works that will be presented at the LAW last thirty minutes. They are like Haiku poems. Therefore, we decided to develop a larger publication than that one released the last year. The LAW is also the result of our research and it is extremely difficult to condense it in thirty minutes of action. For this reason, it has been important to create solid tools for a later reflection on it, a sort of help for memory. Having these documents is not having a gadget. This publication is a very important part of the issue. During the planning of this edition we thought that it needed to be transformed. The idea was to show at least two works per artist in order to display several possible views. But at the end it has not been possible.
We decided to make materials closer to artists, written by the artists, theoretical texts, reprints that could put in resonance and friction the different choices. And it is not by chance that we decided to reprint a text by Melanie Bonajo, a Dutch artist, composed by many hands from the entries on Wikipedia. For example, a winding question in the festival—which we did not intentionally look for—is the feminine, interpreted as sensibility rather than as gender. A Mårten Spångberg reprint about affection-effect brings into focus emotional approach vs planning. It is also a text that sounds like a challenge for those who work on organization: stumbling upon the mistake, looking for the impossible. This kind of operation concerns not only the artists but also the curators. So, what we are doing is walking through these territories, and then we will express our opinion, at the end of the festival, observing the reasons that stand out.