Subaltern Theatre: Regina José Galindo, Piero Gilardi at Prometeogallery, Milan

Piero Gilardi, Stop Pollution, 1983


Prometeogallery will open its new venue with Subaltern Theatre, featuring works by two eminent artists from different generations – Regina José Galindo and Piero Gilardi, who will share the same site, for the first time ever. It is not a double solo exhibition but one comprised of combinations, parallelisms, contaminations, where two key figures of the relationship between art and politics meet in a physical and metaphorical space at the same time.

This metaphorical place is the social geography of Latin America, always the preferred background for the performances of Regina José Galindo and, in 1982, the temporary field of a theatrical animation by Piero Gilardi in the compromised context of the barrio of San Judas di Managua at the time of the Sandinista victory. The type of aesthetic intervention that characterizes the two artists is, in fact, performativity and urban theatre as the strategy for articulating social claims, albeit in the different modalities typical of each. Hence the title of the exhibition Subaltern Theatre, curated by Marco Scotini, that relocates these experiences within the relationship between dominion and exploitation.

Piero Gilardi’s long and complex activity is embodied in the anthropological performances the artist holds at the beginning of the 1980s in peripheral and decentralized areas of the world that go from the San Judas populations of Managua to the Indian reservation of Akwesasne in North America or the Barsaloi Samburu tribe in Kenya. For the Italian artist, the question is to verify the claims and demands for collective creativity matured within the counter-culture of the 1970s in the context of “other” cultures. His political costumes made of polyurethane foam together with his Nature Carpets (also on display) are the expression not only of a choral and useable art but also of the desire to give voice to everything that both in nature and in society is dispossessed and subjugated.

The solitary theatre of Regina José Galindo, instead, prefers to present an individual denunciation and a stoic resistance to the forms of violence and abuse that characterize contemporary reality in Latin America. But she always does so in public contexts or in farming and natural areas where the tie that binds the effects of power on the body to the strategies of subordination of space are more evident. Indelible are the scorched-earth military strategies conducted by the army of Efraín Ríos Montt on women’s bodies, on the indigenous communities, on plant varieties, on the forms of production, just like the current expropriations perpetrated by the extractive character of multinational Neocolonialism. From the El dolor en un pañuelo project (1999) to La Verdad (2013), from Paisaje (2012) to Tierra (2013) the exhibition will try and present the historical course of the Guatemalan artist through foundational episodes in which the demand for justice never stops shouting out.

Curated by Marco Scotini

Prometeogallery – Via G. Ventura, 6 – Milan
Opening March 29 7 pm
30 March – 19 May, 2017