This research and participation to the UNIDEE program at Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto, were made possible by the Mondriaan Fund, that supported both with a Stipendium for Depth Development Artistic Practice.
In my practice, the position of the foreigner is central and necessary. From this foundation, I look at my habitat and I react on its visual forms. I believe that these forms and how they are perceived contain and communicate our culture, they delineate our imagination as an individual and finally as a group, they make of each one of us either a foreigner or an insider, someone who belongs, someone who owns, or someone on his way, ready to leave again and never settled. Many of us now know the feeling of unsettlement of having our home somewhere, but coming from a different place. It is unclear where you belong, if you belong anywhere, and under what circumstances you can claim the same feeling of home as others do in the place you currently occupy.
But what if that unsettlement was, by itself, at the base of our attachment to the place(s) where we live and to the place(s) that we left? These places, with their spatial qualities, might reinforce each other or grow together in your thoughts and in your experience. Eventually, I think, these processes affect the construction and perception of collective spaces, the places we share with others. Our imagination of the future and our memories are made possible by the visible places that we experience: our relationship to these places and their images is one of “leaving behind” or “becoming part of”, “coming back to” or “conquering”.
I am trying out what my role can be, as an artist, in the re-negotiation of the physical my role can be, as an artist, in the re-negotiation of the physical landscape, its esthetics and its "making". At Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto, I will research these matters by participating in 3 weekly residencial programs by Raumlaborberlin, STEALTH.unlimited and Andrea Caretto & Raffaella Spagna.
I will also move my studio and research to the Po area during 3 additional weeks: this is the area where I grew up before moving to the Netherlands and that I use as a visual source for my current work and research, placing its imagery in relation to Dutch landscape. For me, the foggy, emptied, flat Po-landscapes “hunt” the Dutch ones. At the same time, going back now is like going abroad for me: to a place that I no longer know, where I no longer feel at home, yet is my home. This virtual attachment/ detachment experienced towards places also relates to the construction of landscape in European artistic tradition (painting in particular), a practice that I see as a continuum towards current usage of images, especially in how “other” places (the “elsewhere”) are represented and so also imagined.
# 1: Terrain Vague with Raumlabor
The preparations for our architectural performance are in full swing. Tomorrow we will walk through the city of Biella, carrying the object that we designed and constructed in the past 4 days.
Biella: a walk map of the river's sound.
This images are provided by the Fototeca IBC, part of the Istituto per i Beni Culturali e Naturali Regione Emilia-Romagna.
For the open studio night, we built an installation out of fresh nettle leaves. The guests were invited to take a cup of our weed-soup out of the installation.
# 3: matter as experience: making iron from scratch
In the process we learned a lot about Valle del Cervo and its history. We visited the Bessa gold mines and their amazing landscape, made of river stones piled up by roman slaves during two centuries.
Some houses found during my drive to Ferrara/ Gorino/ Isola della Donzella.