Il popolo delle visiere

Spazio d’art Morel, Lugano, 28 June – 20 July 2017 (solo show)

Il popolo delle visiere (visor folks) is an installation showing a collection of caps spanning almost thirty years of trends, mostly linked to a Ticino reality. Included are caps produced from the 90’s to the present day, from bars and supermarkets in Ticino but also from the USA, showing an emergence of globalisation.

The choice to present the installation as a sort of anthropological exhibition creates a distance and supposes a parallel society which places caps as a central iconography to present itself and producing sculptures to stand this object.

This position stemmed from a Foucault theory on the difficulty for Western people to make their own anthropology and how to deal with creating an exterior gaze to see elements from our community. Presenting caps which are linked to a local reality and which are also part of a fictional community produces an effect of distance for the audience, who may see this collection with a historical point of view while feeling the local appropriation of this typical American outfit.

To make clearer the differentiation to our reality, during the opening only classical music was played and the professional singer Claire Michel de Haas performed a few pieces of contemporary vocalist composers. Placing this kind of sound produced a contrast with the usual programme of Morel Art Space who usually have a large rock and contemporary pop music programme. Changing the habits of sound linked with baseball caps and mixing it with « savant composition » was also on purpose in order to create a gap with our usual perception of this object.

Furtherreflections on the exhibition are written by Elisa Rusca and can be found at the bottom of the page. Below are also pictures of the installation and the vocal performance during the opening.

Lumpen Universität

Espace libre, 10 April – 29 May 2017, Biel/Bienne (solo show)

Lumpen Universität is a long term project which took place in espace libre Biel for almost two months. This work was inspired by “hobo culture” and the Hobo University in Chicago which opened in 1920. It is also possible to find roots in “house of people » invented by the early anarchist movement. Every week a programme of activities and conferences were presented in the space and creative or alternative documentation was produced. Several guests came to share the audience, research, discussions or workshops with me.

The main idea was to present my position as both an invited artist and as a student, or someone learning in real time, being inspired by other people and the surroundings of the work in progress exhibition. My artisticproduction was influenced by the various situations and discussions during the programme.

Throughout the exhibition I presented myself as director-student of this university and welcomed people in the space 4 days per week while I was preparing activities, reading or creating objects.

The result was an installation realised with notes I took during all the various activities. Several movies were produced, a part of them are archives of Lumpen activities, others are being considered as specific productions during the ”work in progress ». They are based on free speech, real time questioning of the on-going work and the wish of creating a transmission of knowledge passing through the exhibition. Most of the movies were posted on youtube each week to open the questions addressed in the space also on a virtual stage.

On the other hand, this work was also a great opportunity for me to share books which have been very important in the construction of my artistic position and to do it in a direct way. Lumpen Universität was a platform where people could meet and speak about their influences, artistic subjects but also mix disciplines with the wish to take on all inputs in a horizontal perspective. Most of the time people were hanging around, organising an improvised dinner or just sharing moments. On purpose I’m not presenting all those spontaneous situations as part of my work.

My position is to avoid « esthétique relationnelle”. As a result, all relations which happened there form part of the whole experience which I tried to resume in different forms. Those works are my interpretation of what happened – they are “personal notes » and this is what I consider as my artistic works.

Artists invited to contribute to the programme of Lumpen Universität were:

Antoine Läng (Geneva), Marcel Freymond (Zurich), Valentina Pini (Zurich), Karaoké Philosophique (Geneva), Nicolas Raufaste (Biel), Arnaud Wohlhauser (Basel), Cristian Valenzuela (Bruxelles), Viruuunga (Lugano), Roberto Biolzi (Lausanne)

Fish Society

Lokal-Int, 23 – 26 March 2017, Biel/Bienne (solo show)

This exhibition is the last chapter of the trilogy which started with Ekonization in La Rada, Locarno followed by In Wheels we Trust at Die Diele, Zürich. Here the display is composed by paintings, installations and a performance to present a speculative society which has based its aesthetics on fishing hooks. All objects are directly inspired by fishing graphics and placed here on canvas or as contemporary sculptures. The goal is to speculate on a contemporary society which functions only around fishing activity. Also is to consider that the tackle industry is a sort of creative graphics expression made for fishes, because they are supposed to catch the attention of fishes. So the logic of tackles here is dedicated to humans and becomes an aesthetic proposal.

The performance is a production of digital sound mixed with an invented traditional way of singing, also the language used is totally improvised and it’s a personal grammelot. The exhibition also aimed to question the relation of a community to its environment and how this relation affects the production of artistic phenomena.

Below are a few pictures of the opening and an edited archive of the performance.

In wheels we trust

Die Diele, 9 March- 17 April 2017, Zurich (solo show)

This work was developed during an eight month long road trip across several countries in Europe. The main topic was to invent a spiritual connection between roads, landscape and drivers. At that point the wish of a specific aesthetic emerged and the exhibition is the result of such a hypothesis.

Several objects have been created to underline the necessity of a human group or community to customise their everyday tools in something more abstract. A research of producing an social identity. The visitors form a sort of archeology where the wheels are a recurrent matrix.

During the opening the movie In wheels we trust was projected into the van I used to travel to consider as a ephemeral extension of the art space an « on the road » room.

The soundtrack of the movie is an original feature realized with the rock band Viruuunga and is a ritual of the belief presented throughout the exhibition. My wish was to reproduce the change of mindset that appears while on a long drive, when the driver starts to experience a sort of hypnosis from the landscape and the music (and the noise of the motor). All these element can be perceived as a modern mantra.

Below are a few documentation pictures, a video of the live performance with Viruuunga and the full extended version of the movie with the original soundtrack.

Ekonization, Hello my Friend

La rada, Locarno, 10 Febraury-11 March, 2017 (solo show)

This work is based on a personal experience I had in the refugee camp of Eko, nearby Polykastro which is a few kilometers from the Macedonian border. During this experience I had the feeling that my artistic background couldn’t afford to share this collective situation. More to handle emotionally this reality, I started to collect material there, drying vegetables and documenting all kind of activities that weren’t strictly about surviving, in other words, all activities were done in order to (sort of) live decently in those precarious conditions.

The exhibition is a proposed circuit in which the audience enter in a camp, the fence in the entrance is decorated with the slogan « Hello my friend » which is also written on all human sculptures. Presences are made by wood and hold a few pictures of my documentation. Those wood panels are based on Luna Park painted boards. The wish was to create a direct contact with the visitor whom is asked directly to give his face to those people who seem to be no longer individuals. At the same time the hole reminds them that they are individuals and that the situation they are living in has made them a mass.

Ekonization is a word created from the name of the camp Eko which is also a gas station nearby where two thousand Syrians have stayed for nearly six months. In this time they created facilities but also neighborhood rules, which somehow created the feeling of a community. People there had start to call themselves Eko People and continued to use that name even after they were removed. Eko, became a sort of new identity for most of the people living therefrom Syria, as well as the independent volunteers coming from western countries.

Ekonization tries to describe a collective process of transformation and describe at the same time a personal memory of the realities of the camp. My wish was to immerse the audience in an experience more than just an informative installation. The main point I had to deal with, was the contrast of feelings I had first in the camp – the necessity to manage an emotional balance between the positive moments which happened there with people I met and the dramatic conditions I had to face. The exhibition tries to place the visitor in front a similar challenge, between the appreciation of art and the consciousness of the reality that same art is based on.

Soirée Cabaret DADA

Théâtre de Vidy, 28 Janvier 2017, Lausanne

I was invited by Théâtre de Vidy to perform three short plays during a night dedicated to the DADA movement. All three compositions were autonomous moments but were also thought about as a whole; and they follow a sort of climax. Here the goal was to get directly into a defined situation and create for the audience the sensation of an emotional rollercoaster.

The acting and construction of plays are strongly influenced by Andy Kaufmann whom I consider as a follower of the « Dada movement ». My goal wasn’t to enter in a game of citation or to get stuck in what Dada might have been – my interest was to use the stage to explore situations which are linked with living nowadays.

Below are presented full videos of these performances:

Badenfest

Tu vois ce que je veux dire

performance, in From Concrete to Liquid to Spoken Worlds to the Words (group show), CAC Genève, 1 June 2017

Presented here is an extract of the text with some pictures. All images are courtesy of Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève.