Empirical Survey on a Heritage. Magazine_ issue #0

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Empirical Survey on a Heritage issue #0 anno 2017



Preface ...........................................3 Editorial ........................................4 Contributors Nuno Vicente.................................6 Stella Veloce...................................18 Marisa Benjamim..........................22 Alessandro Sau..............................30 Giovanni Casu...............................36 Ewa Surowiec.................................44 Roberto Fanari...............................54 Bryn Chainey..................................62 Irene Balia.......................................64 Cristina Meloni..............................70 Ambra Pittoni................................78 Carlo Spiga.....................................96

Features Empirical Survey on a Heritage Three projects..................................96 Interviews from Culturia residency Alessandro Sau.............................. 126 Cristina Meloni............................. 130 Credits....................................... 171

Cover picture: Ambra Pittoni 2

PREFACE by Giusy Sanna

This publication contains the results of a ongoing art project, started in 2010. It is presented to you in form of a magazine divided in two parts: the first part is composed of new content provided by the participating artists. The second part consists of the documentation of the projects. The participating artists were selected with the aim of fostering diversity in artistic practices. For instance, some artists concentrated on geography and natural environment, others worked with tradition and folklore, and some had a more documentary approach. For the exhibition Empirical Survey on a Heritage at the Grimmuseum in Berlin, sardinian artists on a Berlin residency and European artists of sardinian lineage were invited to show their work. The Holiday Island Residency Program sparked fruitful exchanges between the local and visiting participants on art and the peculiarity of the insular condition. From these exchanges, the idea was formed to run an empirical study of sorts. “Based on experiments or experience rather than ideas or theories;” “depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory”: this is the Oxford dictionary’s definition of empirical. This is the approach we have taken with these projects. We posed the following questions: is it allowed to be playful with a cultural heritage- are we allowed to alter it? Would it be possible to change the meaning of the word Heritage itself? We were also interested in researching whether or not a sardinian cultural heritage could be found as a common denominator in the production of a group of artists. A further question was whether or not this heritage could be revived through external influences and contamination. This publication gathers some possible answers to these inquiries. Thanks to these projects we now look at sardinian culture with different eyes. We found out it is a culture that can renew itself and that has had a strong influence on the participants of this empirical study.

Installation detail: Pale blue dot, Carlo Spiga and Stella Veloce, 2013


Empirical survey on a Heritage by Giovanni Casu

Seven years after the beginning of all the encounters and projects resulting from “Empirical Survey on a Heritage”, we had the urge to draw up a clear balance and share it with our several potential readers. The results in words, images and text are the basis of this publication which gathers the works of many collaborators, 20 artists, various associations, four art centres ( the Grimmuseum, Supermarkt Berlin, the Node Center, the Lazzaretto in Cagliari ), three art galleries ( MEME in Cagliari, Joao Cocteau and the Lucas Carrieri Art Gallery in Berlin) from a span of just four years. The project generated six exhibitions, 15 exclusively conceived artworks among installations and performances, two residency programmes for eight artists, two publications, and a remarkable number of websites. Our project travelled several times between Sardinia and Germany and was seen by thousands of people, from art enthusiasts to art experts. Throughout “Empirical Survey on a Heritage” we display here the different moments of our journey, and we hope that our reader will have the same critical and logical approach we had through case and accident. Finally we hope you will be captivated by the artistic discoveries made visible by this project.


The three experiments connected with Empirical Survey on a Heritage are a playful way to eradicate many of the suppositions and inconsistencies related to our cultural heritage. Identity and cultural heritage are in fact hot topics in this survey, since we are a group of migrant artists and curators dealing daily with these aspects and living in a multicultural, undetermined and multiverse society. This also determinated our curatorial choices. The project has been carried out by Giusy Sanna and myself. The entire project’s structure is based on a few assumptions accompanying a certain tendency that shows the overuse of scientific criteria in the artistic and philosophical field. The project’s logic is conceived as a reaction to the fusion of artistic and scientific dialects in conceptual arts; these patterns were also recurring in the emergency of a new scheme for contemporary art. The project “Empirical Survey on a Heritage” is an investigative procedure on a grey area between several disciplines, as Deleuze would say, where artistic and scientific languages and instruments seem to mix and blend. The scientific method, based on experiments, and the creative processes, strictly connected to art, are here confused. The curator here acts like a researcher verifying, select-

I want to touch your body, installation detail, Ewa Surowiec, 2013

ing, investigating and conducting an experiment. The artist becomes the acting instrument of this research. Finally artworks and exhibitions are treated like the results of an experiment, and both are able to validate and invalidate the first assumption. As we see in the subtitle, “Empirical Survey on a Heritage� could be defined as a cultural experiment focusing on Sardinian culture and identity, using contemporary art as an instrument and Sardinia and Berlin as a laboratory or play-field.


Nuno Vicente


Luz (Light)



Luz (meaning light) is a village situated in the municipality of Mourão, in the Portuguese region of Alentejo. In 2002, it was rebuilt 2,5km east and up the valley due to the advent of the construction of Alqueva Dam. This event would originate one of the largest artificial lakes of Europe, “the big lake”, as it is called in the region. It is very hard to summarize what a person can feel in this region, especially in this village that was rebuilt as a replica and that only now, after almost 15 years, starts presenting the patina of time over its walls. This advent is still painful and a hard topic inside the community that struggles to keep some kind of collective identity in a place almost equal but truly different. The inhabitants of the village, not without emotion, still reefer to their old village calling it “Velha Luz” (old light); some conversations might even bring one to point the finger in direction to the lake, to an island (that used to be the top of a hill), and there, to an old pine tree that was a mark that would indicate one was approaching the village... Tens of tourists enter daily the village, sometimes in a bus, glued to their cameras, with the exact sense of distance and the curious empathy one would feel in presence of exotic animals. But nothing happens, the tourist feeling is strange: an experience that does not bring much. The memory is not visible and the ghost of hope lives among apparent normality.



On the banks of the Guadiana, oh woe, oh woe Where Light was situated… With the Alqueva Dam, oh my love… Oh Light you were drowned, oh woe, oh woe Oh Light you were drowned, oh woe, oh woe I cannot even think about… You were, for me, the most beautiful, oh my love…. In this Portugal of ours, oh woe, oh woe In this Portugal of ours, oh woe, oh woe On the board of Mourão… I will never forget you, oh my love… Oh Light of my heart, oh woe, oh woe

“Guadiana margins”, Lyrics from the coral Group of Nova Aldeia da Luz. Mourão, 2016.



Mirrors fragments, Moon I Reflecting floating object: old mirrors, led and messing; inner buoy made of foam. 40 x 35 x 45 cm Nova Aldeia da Luz, Portugal 2016




To the inhabitants of Luz and the destroyer of memory, I assume to be a child (playing around the lake) sought to know what the inside of the unfamiliar is.





Piano sharing piece (durational) Send a picture of a piano to your top 10 friends on Facebook, everyday for 10 days.


String quartet sharing piece (matinĂŠe) On a Sunday post a pictures of a violin on your Facebook wall the at noon, another violin at 12:05PM, a viola at 12:10PM, a cello at 12:15PM.


Opera sharing piece (recitativo accompagnato) Ctrl+C; Ctrl+V.



Floristaurant is an artist project based on the importance of eating flowers. In short, a restaurant of flowers. For this exhibition, Marisa Benjamim presents a video installation, inspired by a popular culinary show and a floral installation in one of the flower-stands at the Boqueria food market.

Marisa Benjamim wants to debunk the contemporary assumption that hunger was part of our original condition.

Marisa Benjamim

Marisa Benjamim embodies the role of a television personality where she examines nature/culture relations in the culinary language: A myth serving as vehicle for explanation and mediation from the history and presence of flowers in our main meals. The artist introduces and describes the edible flowers in a menu based on her own diary of everyday recipes.


“Dairy, honey, the fruits of the land, vegetables seasoned with salt, bread cooked in embers, these were the foods of the first peoples of the earth. They made use of these benefits of nature without any other refinement and were as a result only stronger, more robust, and less exposed to disease…” (Diderot et al. 1976).


Flowers are a symbol of life, and a necessity; a tasty and fruitful way of exploring the meaning of globalization. The markets are now full of new exotic fruits and flowers that come from the other side of the planet, what Pollan calls “old food from far away” (Pollan 2008: 157). They tell us that what is really better for our communities and our planet, and what is fresher and more tasty, is the food grown close to home, like it used to be.

Marisa Benjamim | Floristaurant


Marisa Benjamim | Edible Herbarium


Edible Herbarium Is a collection of ephemeral preserved plants, stored and catalogued in a structure inspired in the old herbariums from the 70s. Combines aspects of biology, cooking and nature to build up a new concept of botanical garden and nutrition laboratory. This project is an sequence of my on-going project, Hun-


ger Diary, evolved from an experiment that I undertook two years ago. This project began when, through illness, I developed an iron and vitamin C deficiency. I decide to start a new special diet based on Chakras colours, In Indian thought, each of seven centres of spiritual power in the human body.

The doctrine says that the body’s physical and spiritual harmony can be affected and modified by consuming different amounts of fruits and vegetables of specific colours. I start spontanously, eating red, and I really mean only red raw fruit and vegetables for one week. It turn out that I start to feel a lot of energy and I noticed a definite improvement in my overall state of health. From this I


decided to extende this experience, including the other six colours, always base in the same principle: Eating one coulor per week, raw fruit and vegetables. This experience was a moment of catharsis and I incorporated parts of the diet regimen into my normal routine and work since then.



Dwarfs and Origin

Alessandro Sau


It was a strange coincidence to find out that Zarathustra, at the moment he was in front of the gateway called ‘Moment’, was in company with an imaginary friend: a dwarf. Nietzsche employs a philosopher and a dwarf when he wants to create a meaningful dialogue in which he presents to the reader his disquieting conception of time. “Time itself is a circle”34 says the dwarf, and saying that, the dwarf himself knows that he will return eternally. There is a seeming difference between the childlike, happy Disney dwarfs that I discovered in the middle of the cemetery in San Michele and Nietzsche’s obscure and disquieting dwarf. This difference is evident since the outward appearances reduce every difference to the simple distinction of two things. This distinction is artificial: beyond appearances, the Disney dwarfs experience the same recurring condition of time.

The “image as origin” is not symbolic. Every attempt to explain this concept creates a metaphysical framework that undermines the concept itself. The “image as origin” is far from a conclusive thought. Every endeavour to legitimize this thought simplifies its esoteric life. It would be a mistake to resort to any kind of symbolism to explain the “image as origin”. The greatest misunderstanding would be to consider the image according to innate and universal rules as collective unconscious or archetype1,or to consider the idea of “origin” as a starting point, a moment at which the essence of the matter is found. The “origin as image” is not an original image and does not call for a world-behind-theworld to be explained. The “origin as image” does not need to be explained, does not need to be rationalized, because is not an event, but a process.

der to present ideas which fundamentally oppose Christian and Jewish morality and tradition. I think Nietzsche was aware of the importance of style to express his abyssal and esoteric truths. The “overman” (Übermensch), the “eternal recurrence”, and the “will to power” are themes that are still matters of debate. Nietzsche intentionally created an unreadable text that frustrates every academic attempt at analysis.

Benjamin also denied every preconceived truth and the logical philosophic reasoning as method. Combining elements of the Jewish mysticism and German Idealism, his style consisted of sentences that do not originate in the ordinary way, do not progress into one another, and delineate no obvious line of reasoning as each sentence had to say or explain everything. Benjamin refers to Medieval treatises and the mosaic to explain his philosophical method: “the When Nietzsche decided to write Thus Spake Zarathusvalue of fragments of thought,” writes the philosopher, “is tra, the book that in his opinion stood above all his other works, he conceived the essay as a philosophical novel. The all the greater the less direct their relationship to the unentire essay is permeated by biblical language. I don't think derlying idea, and the brilliance of the representation dethat Nietzsche mimics ironically the style of the Bible in or- pends as much on this value as the brilliance of the mosaic does on the quality of the glass paste.(...) The truth-content 1 Carl Gustav Jung. L’uomo e i suoi simboli, is only to be grasped through immersion in the most min(Milano, TEA, 2009). 31

ute details of subject-matter”2. In Benjamin's style, fragments and quotations become truth-contents to express the idea. Enhancing fragments and quotations, Benjamin tries to emphasize the process instead of the event, to find the genealogy instead of the historical origin3. The style becomes the means to express the ineffable philosophical truth of becoming.

the process of genesis.”


The so-called “Nachleben” (meaning both afterlife and survival), was Warburg's extreme conceptual attempt to express the image as “Ursprung”, the “image as origin”. Warburg tried to go beyond every established rule of time and identity, because he was certain that the time of image could not coincide with the time of history, inasmuch as Aby Warburg was also particularly sensitive to the problem the identity of the image could not be eternally established of style, and he referred to his extremely dense writing style and determined in itself. Every image survives its own deas his “Aalsuppenstil” (eel-soup style). cay and death as an emerging figure of becoming that takes Let us imagine formless bodies, a tangle of serpentine shape within its continuous process of construction and forms, where every figure is beyond recognition, somedestruction. But if every image survives into another imthing that is between the sculpture of Laocoon and the age, every image is as origin. If every image is not subject Monki Indians’ dances with live serpents, 4 something to an ageing process just as human beings are, every image that has not principle and end, a terrible agglomeration of contains the entire range of images. heads and tails.5 This “eel soup” is the appropriate style to translate the visual experience. It may come as no surprise This concept is subtle and requires a better explanation. In that his magnum opus, the “Atlas Mnemosyne”, depends The Origin of German Tragic Drama, Benjamin discusses little on the written word. Warburg consciously renounced Plato's theory Ideas, and comes to expound his views on the written word, because he knew that image can be con- the configuration of the idea as a monad. This brief passage ceived as origin only by means of other images. The “Atlas about the idea as monad might be interpreted as an astonMnemosyne” goes beyond every aesthetic theory and does ishing theory of the true essence of image, and might help not search for the original image but repeats and multiplies the reader understand the image as monad. The representation of an idea can under no circumstances be considered the differences. We might consider the Warburg's “Atlas successful unless the whole range of possible extremes it Mnemosyne” as an overturned Platonism6 in which every contains has been virtually explored. Virtually, because that image refers to another, every single image gets lost in another one; between several metal frames, the infinite visual which is comprehended in the idea of origin still has history, in the sense of content, but not in the sense of a set of references allow neither “original” nor “origin” to subsist. occurrences which have befallen it. Its history is inward in The “Atlas Mnemosyne” with its process of images denies character and is not to be understood as something boundthe origin as event and time as “historical present” (single point on a continuum). The image can be conceived only as less, but as something related to essential being, and it can “Ursprung”, where the “Ursprung” is the German word that therefore be described as the past and subsequent history stands for “Origin”, but in this case the term origin assumes of this being8. a completely different meaning: “Origin (Ursprung),” writes Benjamin “although an entirely historical category, Paraphrasing Benjamin, the representation of an imhas, nevertheless, nothing to do with genesis (Entstehung). age cannot be considered successful unless it contains The term origin is not intended to describe the process by the whole range of possible images. And this is possible which the existent came into being, but rather to describe only virtually because we conceive the image as historical that which emerges from the process of becoming and present and not as a process of being in which the time is disappearance. Origin is an eddy in the stream of becomfilled by the presence of the now, in which past, present ing, and in its current it swallows the material involved in and future coexist. 2 Walter Benjamin. The Origin of German Tragic Drama, (New York, Verso, 1998), 29. 3 Michel Foucault. Nietzsche, Genealogy, History in Language, counter-memory, practice, (Cornell University Press, 1977). 4 Aby Warburg. A Lecture on Serpent Ritual, (Journal of the Warburg Institute, Vol. 2, No. 4), 286-292. 5 Georges Didi-Huberman. L’ immagine insepolta, Aby Warburg, la memoria dei fantasmi e la storia dell’arte, (Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 2006), 33. 6 Gilles Deleuze. Difference and Repetition, (New York, Columbia University Press, 2004), 80-81.

We will never understand why, in a cemetery, images of commercial consumption (the Disney dwarfs) have replaced sacred images as long as we keep explaining images according to normative identity and aesthetic representation. In Difference and Repetition, Deleuze states: “It is strange that aesthetics (as the science of the sensible) could be founded on what can be represented in the sensible [and not] the inverse procedure consisting of the attempt to withdraw the pure sensible from representation and to determine it as that which remains once representation is removed”9. 7 W. Benjamin. The Origin of German Tragic Drama, 27. 8 W. Benjamin. The Origin of German Tragic Drama, 47. 9 Gilles Deleuze. Difference and Repetition, 68.



In the introduction, I discussed the nature of the dwarfs’ image and I drew the conclusion that dwarfs are dwarfs, but are also angels, ancestor spirits, simple gardeners, caretakers, and the psychical desire of San Michele’s people to decorate the ground of the cemetery. The dwarfs are what remains once representation is removed, namely repetition, as Deleuze writes: Repetition is truly that which disguises itself in constituting itself, that which constitutes itself only by disguising itself. It is not underneath the masks, but is formed from one mask to another, as though from one distinctive point to another, from one privileged instant to another, with and within the variations. The masks do not hide anything except other masks. There is no first term which is repeated10.

“All truth is crooked; Time itself is a circle”11 says the dwarf, and saying that, the dwarf himself knows that he will return eternally.

10 Ibid., 19. 11 Friedrich Nietzsche. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, (Pennsylvania State University, 1999), 144.



Wax and C

Giovann iC



Giovanni Casu -Wax and Clay -


-1-Wax and Clayby Giovanni Casu. __________ If the artistic production of today and its manifestations might seem chaotic or decidedly extravagant, it is widely acknowledged by both experts and insiders that contemporary art actually moves and develops within relatively stable theoretical premises. The sociological description of what Nathalie Heinich defines as <the paradigm of contemporary art>(1) provides a useful theoretical tool for the analysis of a kind of art born as a result of modern art criticism. The development of the contemporary art paradigm is inscribed in the artistic discourse (2). The precursors of contemporary art were historically identified in Marcel Duchamp, Allan Kaprow and the resulting artistic movements of the ´60s: conceptual art, fluxus and minimal art. Central to this paradigm are the concepts of <criticality>, <relativism> and <limit> understood as a reaction to the concept of art proposed and established by the practices of high modernism. Contemporary art creates its counter-proposal to the clichés of modern art and its practices. Briefly resumed here are some aspects of modern art systematically criticized in contemporary art: the artwork as result of the individual production by the artist, the stereotypical figure of the artist in his atelier, the artwork as expression of the “soul“ of the artist, the artwork independent from the context, the artwork separated from its mode of production or commercialization, painting and sculpture as the main kinds of art, the work of art as an aesthetic object. The contemporary art paradigm developed out of a fierce criticism of the old certainties according to a sort of meticulous destruction process. The artistic proposal of contemporary art becomes analytical and demonstrative. The contemporary artwork is desecrated, dismembered, tortured, deconstructed, disintegrated and finally dematerialized in a demonstrative and analytical process. Fortunately, irony was not in short supply in this dissolution process “ one could cite as examples of this penchant for irony Baldessarri“s and Arakawa´s bodies of works. The theoretical premises on which the production of contemporary art is founded result from Duchamp´s artistic innovations and the huge impact of Wittgenstein´s Tractatus (1922) and Philosophical investigation (1953). But also from the influence of the development of analytic philosophy, studies in semiotics, anthropology and pragmatic sociology: language becomes central in the academic debate and Wittgenstein´s legacy rules. Quoting Thomas Mc Evilley in the preface (1986) to O´Doherty´s classic essay Inside the white cube: <It has been the special genius of our century to investigate things in relation to their context, to come to see the context as formative on the thing, and, finally, to see the context as a thing itself.>(3). Robert Smithson´s Art and Dialetics (4) is a one page text exemplifying this need for contextualisation: <Art critics and artists have for a long time considered the shell without the context of the ocean>. The protagonists of this gradual cultural revolution in the decades following WWII are Wittgenstein, Barthes, Derrida, Eco, Deleuze, the re-visited Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School (especially Adorno and Benjamin) and, more generally, an anti-essentialist cultural movement. Contemporary art is a direct derivative of a relativistic approach to studies related to <meaning>. Amanda Beech in Concept without Difference summarizes this process as follows: <... being Duchampian ... Immaterial, enaesthetic (...) Art as the game of representing the knowledge of the limits of knowledge itself. It is an art of irony and parody at the limits of meaning (...).>(5) The context becomes content. In Inside the White Cube (3) O´Doherty indicates the eye of the viewer as central element of the work of art. The work of art is in fact co-created, half created by the gaze of the viewer, as Duchamp and Warhol never stopped repeating. The artwork in con___________________________ (1) Le Paradigme de L´art contemPorain. StructureS d´une révoLution artiStique, PariS, gaLLimard. 2014.

(2) L´archéoLogie du Savoir, PariS, gaLLimard, BiBLiothèque deS ScienceS humaineS , 1969 (3) Brian o´doherty, inSide the White cuBe: the ideoLogy of the gaLLery SPace, (1976), BerkeLey and LoS angeLeS: univerSity of caLifornia PreSS, 1999. (4) Jack d. fLam. roBert SmithSon, the coLLected WritingS.. univerSity of caLifornia PreSS, 1996. (5) concePt Without difference: the PromiSe of the generic amanda Beech. httP://WWW.Sommerakademie.zPk.org/fiLeadmin/uSer_uPLoad/2015/PdfS/reading_LiSt_By_BaSSam/Beech-generic.Pdf 37

-2temporary art exhibits its own relative nature, negotiable and interpretable. The viewer-artwork relationship is generative, open and contingent. If this relationship in modern art was armoured and protected by frames and the almost sacred/surgical gallery environment, (where interferences seem to be painstakingly removed) in contemporary art the viewer-artwork relationship is literally exposed to a sort of perfect storm where almost nothing remains afloat. Everything counts in this relationship since everything is necessarily submitted to interactions and contingencies. <Nonsense> assumes a specific value in the contemporary art discourse. It is on this theoretical ground that the idea of <different levels of reading> of an artwork gained increasing prominence in criticism: an artwork can be approached by anybody, from naïve viewers to professional insiders. The artwork accepts all the interpretations and comments, but allows connoisseurs only to access the deeper levels of the artist´s intentions.



The artwork thus comes to be seen as a kind of multidimensional distributor of interpretations for everybody. The contemporary art paradigm finally opened the door to the <opinion> and the <doxa> as infinite possibility of renegotiation of meaning and interpretation in a subjectivist, democratic, infinitely debatable and indeed joyfully and properly capitalist way. The drift of contemporary art into its most neoliberal, speculative (linked to the global market) forms contrasts with the duchampian and earlier conceptual propositions. The intention of Duchamp and earlier conceptual artists (6) was to set up a reaction against the established codes of the art world and their capitalist dynamics; the dematerialization of the art object was to function as the disintegration of the very possibility of its commercialization. The art system easily found a way to overcome the obstacle and sales contracts of conceptual artworks became the tragicomic symptoms of the paradoxical tension between anti-commercialization efforts and market needs. The gradual acceptance of the contemporary art paradigm by the world´s artistic community occurred during the ´60s and the ´70s: at the Venice Biennale of 1964 the Grand Prize for painting was awarded to Robert Rauschenberg. 2/// The gradual acceptance of this paradigm seems to be based on the direct and indirect application of logic and the scientific approach in philosophy and art. The understanding of this cultural influence is essential in order to identify the theoretical basis of contemporary art and thus effectively overcome the contemporary paradigm itself. Conceptual art integrated analytic philosophy in a very specific way, this cultural legacy is direct. Indeed, Kosuth goes as far as to claim that: <if one realizes the implications of Wittgenstein´s thinking, and the thinking influenced by him and after him, <Continental> philosophy need not seriously be considered here>(8). Kosuth underlines this cultural legacy by ultimately defining art as an <analytic proposition>: <Works of art are analytic propositions. That is, if viewed within their context < as art > they provide no information whatsoever about any matter of fact. A work of art is a tautology in that it is a presentation of the artist´s intention, that is, he is saying that that particular work of art is art, which means, is a definition of art. Thus, that it is art is true a priori (which is what Judd means when he states that <if someone calls it art, it´s art>> (8). Indeed the artwork is a tautology, a self-defined comment on the nature of art itself and its own limits. In this vicious cycle, the definition of what-art-is is unnecessary because the ultimate definition is the artwork itself and in its various relations: relations to the artworld, the art contexts, the art gallery and art gallerists, the art market, the artist, the curator, the transport of the artwork, its taxation, the collectors, the museum ... what else? To technology, science, philosophy, art schools etc. During the last century analytic philosophy, sociology and logical positivism have massively integrated logic and the scientific method into the philosophical discourse. Particularly in English-speaking societies this integration has led to a subordination de facto of philosophy to science. Conceptual artists used the vocabulary of analytic philosophy, applying the mechanisms of logic and the power of description of science to artistic creation. But before that, analytic philosophy (by the heritage of Carnap and pragmatic philosophy) used positivism as a method of philosophical inquiry. Let me provide a short introduction to the story of analytic philosophy and its powerful rise in American society. In his Analytic Philosophy in America, Scott Soames wrote: _____________________________________

(6) Six yearS: the demateriaLization of the art oBJect from 1966 to 1972; a croSS-reference Book of information on Some eSthetic BoundarieS. neW york: Praeger. 1973. (7) Danto arthur. the artworlD” (1964) Journal of PhilosoPhy lXi, 571-584 (8) JosePh Kosuth, ”art after PhilosoPhy,” in art after PhilosoPhy anD after: ColleCteD writings, 1960”1990. 38


<(...) starting with the pragmatism of Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and (later) Clarence Irving Lewis, and continuing through the great immigration of philosophers of science, philosophical logicians, and logical positivists from the turn of the twentieth century to the outbreak of World War II. With the absorption of this stream of philosophical talent, center of philosophical logic and analytic philosophy grew at the City College of NY, the University of Chicago, Berkeley, UCLA, and elsewhere. By the early 1950s, the first great analytic department in America had emerged at Harvard under the leadership of Willard Van Orman Quine, and by the mid-1960s the analytic tradition had become the dominant philosophical force in America.> (emphasis added), and: < The young Wittgenstein saw his achievement as effectively ending philosophy. Of course it didn´t, though it did play a large role in influencing the next stage(s) of analytic philosophy. > We can easily trace the genealogy of this branch of philosophy: Frege, Russel, Wittgestein, then Carnap. Bertrand Russell famously claimed: <Philosophy is that part of science which at present people chose to have opinions about, but which they have no knowledge about. Therefore every advance in knowledge robs philosophy of some problems which formerly it had and will belong to science.>(9) And Carnap´s <1934> Manifesto sentenced:


<Philosophy is to be replaced by the logic of science, that is to say by logical analysis of concepts and sentences of the science.> (9_2) In short, in the early ´60s science indirectly invaded these other two spheres of knowledge. The cultural scene in which contemporary art developed is marked by this massive invasion. The second battlefront is directly produced by science itself through what has been called the Cognitive Revolution (10). The Cognitive Revolution represents the very attempt at a definitive paradigm shift whereby art and philosophy are incorporated within science. The dynamics of this type of epistemological revolution (epistemological paradigm shift) are described in Thomas Kuhn´s famous The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (11) and are the same used to develop the concept of <contemporary art paradigm>. Cognitive science postulates and tests the very possibility of reducing all human activities to their description from a cognitive perspective. According to cognitive science the mind-world can be inscribed into the physical-world through the concepts of information, computation and feedback. In this scenario I would like to observe that analytic philosophy has already transformed philosophy, and neuroscience has already proposed a scientific investigation of art; the works of Semir Zeki (12), Ramachandran (13), Jean-Pierre Changeux (14) and Antonio Damasio (15) are symptomatic of this specific attempt. To complete this landscape I would like to invite the attentive reader to find around her/him examples of artworks, exhibitions, events, curatorial propositions, art publications, art texts, art articles etc. that relate art and science or art and technology nowadays. Does anything come to mind? In this context the relationship (and the differences) between disciplines are fundamental. But is this conflation of art and philosophy into science unavoidable, fruitful or even necessary? Following the proposition of Gilles Deleuze and Guattari (16) in What is Philosophy? will allow us to draft a possible systematisation of this problem: philosophy, science and art create three different and distinct forms of thought. Deleuze and Guattari go to great critical effort to warn us about the danger of introducing the scientific approach into the fields of philosophy and art. The attempt to apply logic and the scientific discourse in art and philosophy are not only improper, but also based on a misunderstanding of the nature of the limits of the scientific method. Deleuze and Guattari describe the difference between art, science and philosophy following a functional discrimination. Science creates functions through which mathematics can describe the relationships between different applied variables, art creates percepts and affect (not to be confused with perceptions and feelings) and philosophy creates concepts (16). Deleuze _____________________________________

(9) the PhilosoPhy of logiCal atomism” (1918). in BetranD russell anD roBert Charles marsh (eD.), logiC anD KnowleDge: essays, 1901-1950 (1988), 281. (9_2) Page 292 of the logiCal syntaX of language (lonDon : Kegan Paul). (10) httPS://en.WikiPedia.org/Wiki/cognitive_revoLution). (11) kuhn, thomaS S. (1962). the Structure of Scientific revoLutionS (1St ed.). univerSity of chicago PreSS. (12) Semir zeki. neuroeStheticS (httP://en.WikiPedia.org/Wiki/neuroeStheticS). (13) viLayanur ramachandran_ httPS:// WWW.youtuBe.com/Watch?v=x0tkyxaygga. (14) Jean Pierre changeux. ( httP://en.WikiPedia.org/Wiki/Jean-Pierre_changeux). (15) antonio damaSio. WWW.youtuBe.com/Watch?v=J2rodmJcn7g. the center for academic reSearch and training in anthroPogeny* (carta). (16) (16_2) gilles Deleuze et féliX guattari Qu”est-Ce Que la PhilosoPhie? (1991). trans. what is PhilosoPhy? (1994). tranSLation By BurcheLL and tomLinSon.) 39

-4and Guattari in What is philosophy?: <Conceptual art seeks an opposite dematerialisation through generalisation, by installing a sufficiently neutralised plane of composition (the catalog that brings together works not displayed, the ground covered by its own map, disused spaces without architecture and the <flatbed> plane) so that everything takes on a value of sensation reproducible to infinity: things, images or clichés, propositions-a thing, its photograph on the same scale and in the same place, its dictionary definition. However, in the latter case it is not at all clear that this way leads either to the sensation or to the concept, because the plan of the composition tends to become < informative>, and the sensation depends on the simple <opinion> of the spectator who determines whether or not to <materialize> the sensation, that is to say, decides whether or not it is art. This is a lot of effort to find ordinary perceptions and affections in the infinite and to reduce the concept to a doxa of the social body or great American metropolis. >(16_2) Using Deleuzian terminology, I can say that the massive application of Functions in the field of philosophy and art generates an impoverishment of both concepts of art and philosophy. If accepted, the demonstrative or analytical approach to art and philosophy entails an implicit subordination of art and philosophy to science. Both are reduced to their descriptive ability and skills. Philosophy is reduced to the description of the mechanisms related to knowledge (epistemology) and of what is real (metaphysics and ontology), while art is reduced to the description of the mechanisms of perception and meaning. But Deleuze warned us: the creative power of the three disciplines is maintained precisely and necessarily through their independence; the intersections between philosophy, art and science are possible only at a developed stage. If conceptual art brought an enormous contribution, how deeply should we agree with Deleuze`s warning? 3/// The most recent waves of this long philosophical debate produced the emergence of a contemporary philosophical movement that approaches the problem of the relationship between philosophical and scientific knowledge from multiple perspectives. Art naturally and enthusiastically invited itself into this debate. The different theories that have been grouped together under the label of <new materialism> or<speculative materialism>(17) question the possibility of a reconciliation between continental philosophy and science. Their philosophical inspirations among others are the works of W. Sellars but also Heidegger, Husserl, Whitehead, Latour and Deleuze. Levi R. Bryant describes this new philosophical movement thusly: <Continental philosophy has entered a new period of ferment. The long deconstructionist era was followed with a period dominated by Deleuze, which has in turn evolved into a new situation still difficult to define. (...) Meanwhile, the new generation of continental thinkers is pushing these trends still further, as seen in currents ranging from transcendental materialism to the London-based speculative realism movement to new revivals of Derrida. As indicated by the title The Speculative Turn, the new currents of continental philosophy depart from the textcentered hermeneutic models of the past and engage in daring speculations about the nature of reality itself> (17). Unlike analytic philosophy this philosophical movement seeks to reconcile the typically idealist and <correlationist> (18) continental tradition with scientific knowledge. Christov-Bakargiev´s dOCUMENTA 13 invited and published contributions by Grahan Harman (19), and became a platform for the ideas of OOO (Object Oriented Ontology). Svenja Bromberg describes the phenomenon as follows: <The exhibition´s curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev left no doubt as to the enormous impact object-oriented ontology had had on the development of her aesthetic. Since dOCUMENTA there _____________________________________

(17) Bryant, Levi, graham harman, and nick Srnicek. 2011. the SPecuLative turn: continentaL materiaLiSm and reaLiSm. meLBourne: re.PreSS. (18) Quentin meillassouX .aPrès la finituDe. essai sur la néCessité De la ContingenCe, Paris, seuil. (19) graham harman. the third taBLe (hatJe cantz, 2012), (20) svenJa BromBerg. institute for the unstaBle meDia, oP. Cit., P.26 anD Kia vahlanD”s, ”DoCumenta-leiterin Carolyn Christov-BaKargiev: ÜBer Die PolitisChe intention Der erDBeere,” sueDDeutsChe.De, 8 June, 2012, seC. Kultur, WWW.SueddeutSche.de/kuLtur/documenta-Leiterin-caroLyn-chriStov-Bakargiev-ueBer-die-PoLitiSche-intention-der-erdBeere-1.1370514.v2_ (P.15. ) httPS://doctorzamaLek2.WordPreSS.com/2010/07/23/Brief-Srooo-tutoriaL/). SvenJa BromBerg, the anti-PoLiticaL aeStheticS of oBJectS and WorLdS Beyond. By 25 JuLy 2013. 40

-5has been a real explosion in art exhibitions that explicitly centre around objects and articulate a relation to the philosophical strand of Object-Oriented Ontolgy (OOO) / Speculative Realism (SR). >(20) Quotes from Harman and Meillassoux´s work have proliferated in texts by artists, critics and curators. As example I report here several significant quotes indicative of the influence of this philosophical <turn towards objects> in the art world. ArtReview: <it´s hard to ignore how speculative realism offers new challenges for Artworld thinking - curator Nicolas Bourriaud, for example, name-checking Harman in his current Taipei Biennial. Gaining traction among a second generation of young academics, speculative realism´s influence - for better or worse - is growing fast.> Svenja Bromberg: <What do we see when we linger for a moment on what is now celebrated as the turn towards objects in the overlapping spaces of art and philosophy? At first glance, a colourful potpourri of theories that have gained wide recognition in an extremely short time span, especially through their presence in both the blogosphere and the classical academic sphere. The thinkers featuring most prominently are Graham Harman with his <Object-Oriented Ontology>, and Quentin Meillassoux, who became best known for coining the critical term <correlationism> in his first major work After Finitude. In this term Meillassoux summarises the generalised antirealist stance of all of continental philosophy in its understanding of all perception as being always already correlated with a human, and therefore subjectivist, perspective.> (20) Suhail Malik: <Correlationism consists in disqualifying all claims, to consider the spheres of subjectivity and objectivity independently from one another. So intersubjectivity, the consensus of a community, was destined to substitute to the adequacy of representations of a solitary subject to the matter itself, as a case of authentic criteria of objectivity, and more especially of scientific objectivity.>(21) Speculative Realism becomes an ally for new artistic practices pushing for an overcoming of the paradigm of contemporary art. Harman“s Object-Oriented Aesthetics provides the basis for a possible overcoming of the tiresome-suffocating contemporary art tautology proposition. Although this attempt is still uncertain, it seems to bring the practice of art to its original nature advocated precisely by Deleuze. At best it could lead to a mature and certainly less critical and cynical artistic discourse. What Arthur Danto calls <some necessary conditions> (22) to the existence of a work of art are called into question here, and yet those <necessary conditions> still seem to apply. The ObjectOriented Aesthetics is symptomatic of the need to challenge an old paradigm. Only the artists practices will indicate if other possibilities are already at work. Besides, speculative materialism is far from having escaped the invasion of scientific discourse in art and philosophy, on the contrary many participants call for a more extended influence of science. I would also like to point out that many critics of speculative realist philosophy come from the philosophical front itself (23). I will end this short essay by indicating a singular pictorial work that seems particularly significant in this context: Gerhard Richter ´s 1966 <Ema (Nude on a Staircase)>. This painting appears at a time when conceptual art is experiencing a meteoric rise... Duchamp is triumphant. <Ema> has a special power because it almost looks like a reactionary gesture, and yet, given its connections to pictorial history, it is revolutionary. Warhol was painting the Marilyns, the depersonalization and de-materialization of the aesthetic experience anticipate the digital era. Images become disintegrated, fragile, tenuous, forced to repeat themselves and recur constantly in order not to evaporate. Instead, Richter painted an oil-on-canvas nude with an almost academic technique: a painting of a photo of a nude of his (pregnant) wife descending a staircase. Richter was hinting precisely at a Duchamp painting that marked the conceptual breakthrough. He seems to be saying <Here, Herr Duchamp, my answer to your bare-cubist-futurist concept>; Trés bien. Richter takes one step back and two steps forward. Just as Duchamp with his Dadaist proposition, Richter presented the avant-garde (in this case the conceptual avant-garde) with the possibility of its own overcoming just at a time when it ruled the artworld.

___________________ (21) chriStoPh cox, Jenny JaSkey, SuhaiL maLik (edS.)reaLiSm materiaLiSm art. httP://WWW.SPikeartmagazine.com/en/articLeS/Born-ruinS-PhiLoSoPhy. (22) a.danto. What art iS. kant and the Work of art. P. 134. (23) thoSe oBScure oBJectS of deSire. andreW coLe on the uSeS and aBuSeS of oBJect-oriented ontoLogy and SPecuLative reaLiSm. 41

SEVEN WAYS TO LOSE IDENTITY. For the past 5 years I really enjoyed myself walking around Berliner Flohmarkts on Sunday afternoons. Those walks are mostly about floating in empty states-ofmind and searches for nothing and surprises, a quiet excitement on snows or dirties suns. This activity is about submitting to a kindly evaluation thousands of "something", the range of possibilities of result are huge: from the rusty forks to forgotten pieces of art. To recognize an object is to me a funny activity of attraction or indifference; the perception in such pleasant circumstances became, if you are lucky, a game of creation: to "recognise" and "identify" is a gentle appropriation and an easy achievement. Almost always the objects cannot escape from this process and, like in a losing battle they return back their identity light. But some of them are stronger then this, some of them withhold their who-I-am and they offered a discrete resistance, they hide their function but mostly and unluckily they reveal then a cheap nature or an uninteresting being. In very rare occasions a complicate kinds of coincidences are together there to offer to my private experience an object that did not reveals his own identity, that did not reveals his own function and still it maintain the capacity to be simple, mysterious and in a charming tension. Still I can took it and touched it still I cannot won that battle and this for different reasons. I attributed a value to each of such objects because they won and because they deserved it. I tried to buy each of them and mainly I got them for a really reasonable price (around 1-5â‚Ź), things that lose their identity are affordable. So I can now preserve them as trophy of the underdog. Here you can find my collections of seven objects that lost their identity. Happened that, after researches or deeper analysis, finally some of them said who they were they revealed their names but still, this special tension is there and continue to subsists.



Ewa Surowiec ASKhIM

In this page and the next: still frame from ASKhIM, 9 Channels Videoinstallation, HD, sound, color, Istanbul 2014 44

„To love belongs blindness, because it exists only as a vector into the uncertain. The subject accelerates towards a void the placeholder of which is the loved “object”. Markus Steinweg



I have nobody Im just stupid and stuborn but u never disturb me we are friends even if we dont know each other and we think bad things about each other whatever I say, u ll get me wrong so better to speak like that so do you wanna kiss me do you wanna have sex with me like last time did you have orgasm i love to play with your mind u think u know me u think u know everything and its nice to surprise u not everything is how u think and how u know and it makes u angry now u cannot accept that u were wrong and it makes u so angry to be wrong Orkunz


Come to me but dont go to Istanbul its not good for you seriously i want you to come to me i dont want you to be there alone its dangerous for you you dont know the people anything about Istanbul you should be extra carefull I mean dont go they will aproach you just for sex fuck did you have sex with anybody else? Please be carefull baby answer my question I want to continue and I want to know, because you are mine Ozgur





I kiss you askim Sleep my girl you are tired Yes im also happy that i will see you Turkish men are jealouse Im also jealouse I will kill you if you do that You are my woman Only i can touch you but we have nothing else to do than.just enjoy time together i will never forget you M u s t a f a


Making of ASKhIM, Istanbul, Chihangir



Roberto Fanari

Appello, iron wire, 115x50x40cm each, 2014 55

Caccia grossa, iron wire, 250x200cm, 2016



Gallodromo, acrylic on paper, 200x150cm, 2016


Verdi colline d’Africa, acrylic on paper, 200x150cm, 2016


Il laghetto delle carpe giganti, iron wire, 200x150cm, 2015



This page and previous: La stanza delle meraviglie (details), iron wire, acrylic enamel, 2014


KILL YOUR Written & Directed by Bryn Chainey



Things have been tough between Rhys and his dad Lawrence since the divorce. But after meeting a new woman and discovering his “spiritual” side, Lawrence comes up with a brilliant plan to reconnect with his son: to kill and eat a cow together. It’s going to be a really meaningful experience. Unfortunately the only thing that comes naturally to this family is disaster, and when the cow runs away they must go on a hunt to find it. Tensions reach breaking point as they’re faced with the reality of what they must do if they hope to salvage their relationship.

Nicholas Bakopoulos-Cooke, Steve Rodgers, Sacha Horler Produced by Christopher Sharp & Alexandra Taussig A Revlover production supported by Screen Australia


Prizes Best Australian Director - Dungog Film Festival Best Director & Best Casting - Atlas & Aeris Awards

DINNER Short film, 2016, Australia, Length: 12:15

Festival Screenings Ale Kino Festival, PL Atlas & Aeris Awards, US Auckland International Film Festival, NZ Berlin International Film Festival, DE Carrousel international du film de Rimouski, CA Devour! International Food Film Festival, CA Dungog Film Festival, AU

Fargo Film Festival, US Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival, AU Irvine International Film Festival, US KUKI + Teen Screen Festival, DE Palm Springs International Shortfest, US Rotterdam International Film Festival, NL


Irene Balia

Autoritratto, acrylic on paper, cm 50x70cm, 2016


Grande natura morta - vanitas -, acrylic on canvas, 100x150 cm, 2015


Natura morta -muggine-, acrylic on canvas, 120x100cm, 2015


Natura morta - febbraio-, acrylic on canvas, 120x100cm, 2015


Pescetti, acrylic on canvas, 100x70cm, 2016


Natura morta con limone - balcone-, acrylic on canvas, 150x100cm, 2015


"Nella figurazione dei miti eroici, l'isola nativa rappresenta una felice reclusione originaria e, insieme, la tentazione delle terre ignote. L'isola, dunque, è il punto di una scelta [...] una scelta rischiosa, perchè non si da uscita dall'isola senza l’ attraversata del mare materno: come dire il passaggio dalla preistoria infantile verso la storia e la coscienza." L’ isola di Arturo, Elsa Morante


Cristina Meloni












(1) Leucanthemum, print on blueback paper, 70x100cm, 2015 (2) traccia#1, traccia#2, sound installation, 2015 (3) Pomerium, installation view, slides, 2015 (4) Meriggio d’or, Video installation, DVD video, color, no sound, 2’28”, ear defenders, 2013 (5) Passavamo sulla terra leggeri, frames, video, color, sound, 5’06”, 2015


Ambra Pittoni and Paul-Flavien Enriquez Sarano UNTITLED LANDSCAPE 78

UNTITLED LANDSCAPE Invention of an island: score for a landscape.

This pages contain a series of pictures we shot in Cagliari during the spring 2012 and in Beirut during the spring 2014. Untitled Landscape is an attempt to use the cinema’s ability to produce spacial heterotopies by inventing a landscape and the life that goes on in it. Due to its specific geographical conditions, the island gives the possibility to imagine a constant reinvention of the real and of the idea of reality. Thus Untitled Landscape is a performative device for live actions en plein air, but could also become a movie, a book, an improvised tale.

Ambra Pittoni and Paul-Flavien Enriquez-Sarano


Day exterior

A woman leans out the window of her apartment situated at the 8th floor of a public house in the periphery of the city. The sun is at its Zenith and she struggles to keep her eyes opened. She scrutinizes the sky, the horizon, the parking belonging to the building in search of any kinf of event. Instead everything is still, except for the discretes silouhettes of some errant cat sliding along the stone’s walls or slip into the darkness of mediterrenean bushes or that slip away behind a garbage bin with an agile and phlegmatic bound. The woman stays for a while leaning on her elbows on the balcony, her thoughts are inscrutables, frown eyebrows, then with a last spottering gaze (a resigned wheeze) she also sinks in the darkness of the apartment.



...which creatures live on deserted islands? — one could only answer: human beings live there already, but uncommon humans, they are absolutely separate, absolute creators, in short, an Idea of humanity, a prototype, a man who would almost be a god, a woman who would be a goddess, a great Amnesiac, a pure Artist, a consciousness of Earth and Ocean, an enormous hurricane, a beautiful witch, a statue from the Easter Islands. There you have a human being who precedes itself. Such a creature on a deserted island would be the deserted island itself, insofar as it imagines and reflects itself in its first movement. (1)

(1) Gilles Deleuze Desert island and other texts. 82



THE TURTLE MAN Every day there is an old man who comes on the terrace to configure and reconfigure his micro universe. The terrace is an island. Inhabited by two turtles behaving like dogs. They follow the old guy at every step he does. Then the old guy seat on a plastic chair, after having changed the order of the terrace for 1 or 2 hours, he observes the work he has done.



March 1st 2013 THE STORM


Close up on the storm striking the palms


Exterior day, nightfall

The shadows of shrubs are emerging on the crest of the hill like stolid infantry men where the light of the setting sunset inflames the remains of a fort built up against the sea. The workers abandoned their tools, their machinery, bulldozers and cement mixers, on the deserted site; empty orange jackets with fluorescent strips lie on the sandy soil throwing around dazzling silver rays. Large gray bricks climb onto each other forming an enigmatic alveolar pyramid, while water puddles redraw gigantic tire prints and project flashes of iridescent lights around. A ferry boat slowly traces back the course of the sea leaving behind it a white trail.


Exterior night Strong wind on palm trees A star appears in the sky. Large image of the city. A melody comes from somewhere...


The storm is over. Nobody is around.


Close up on the shed on the roof. Music go on playing. Nobody appears.


Close up on the object. The recorded track of the museum guide goes on “ ...by looking carefully you can recognize fragments of a small Phoenician statue similar to that one in the display n.21. As you can see, the agglomeration caused by the explosion fused together different materials : bronze coins , green glass, stone , obsidian and so on...�




Empirical Survey on a Heritage Since 2010, the Sardisches Kulturzentrum e.V. (Sardinian cultural center) started the promotion of sardinian contemporary art, together with the the artist Giovanni Casu and the curator Giusy Sanna, that are the ideators of the projects. In the next pages will presented in the detail all the project that became later “Empirical survey on a Heritage�. It starts with Genau! Sardinia, continues with the two art residencies programm Holiday Island and Berlin-Island and ends with the two exhibitions Empirical Survey on a Heritage in Grimmuseum in Berlin and the final one in Cagliari.


The three main projects: Genau! Sardinia, Holiday Island | a sardinian experience Empirical Survey on a Heritage


| GENAU! Sardinia |

The exhibition Genau! Sardinia in May 2010 was the first of our projects and the beginning of a collaboration between the Sardischeskulturzentrum, the artist Giovanni Casu and the curator Giusy Sanna. The first idea was to put together the artistic production of six young Sardinian artists working and living in Berlin; while working on the exhibition we tried to gauge artists coming from the same Island, could have had somehow developed common characteristics in their artistic production (as it often happens in a specific geographical context influencing an artistic production). The aim of the exhibition was to investigate the existence of a particular artistic feature, thus if a living sign of a common cultural identity could be spotted in the various artworks. Genau! Sardinia tried to answer this question. The artists involved were Irene Balia, Roberto Fanari, Ambra Pittoni, Carlo Spiga, Cristian Atzori (aka E.) and Giovanni Casu, who used different media and actually don’t have very much in common. They were instead linked by the will to come to Berlin in order to start a new artistic research; they all shared the desire to live in a different place away from the native island and to get influences from the city and from its unique art scene. The exhibition curated by Giusy Sanna, took place in the Lucas Carrieri Gallery in the central Torstrasse during the Berlin Art Weekend on May 1st 2010.


group show | 2010

Artists (clockwise): Irene Balia, Giovanni Casu, E., Carlo Spiga, Ambra Pittoni, Roberto Fanari,


| Holiday Island |

After Genau! Sardinia we tried to go deeper in our search for a sign of a common heritage in the art production. We started working on the second project Holiday Island with the following question in mind: if the Sardinian culture is still alive and progressing, could it be able to influence also foreign artists who get in touch with it? This question laid the basis for Holiday – Island residency, that started with an open call for not Italian artists willing to participate to our experiment. The respond was really impressive! But after a rigorous selection, three artists from Portugal (Nuno Vicente), Poland (Ewa Surowiec) and Australia (Bryn Chainey) all based in Berlin, were chosen to be part of the residency program in June 2011 in Sardinia. The artists were hosted for one week in Samatzai, a small village in southern Sardinia, far away from fancy beaches and tourist tracks. This short trip was necessary in order to give a subjective impression of the region. This experience meant to demolish many stereotypes about the Mediterranean island, giving a very different image from tourist postcards and the “Holiday Island” ’s takeaway idea.


residency | 2011

NUNO VICENTE, during the installation of his sculpture Object to return II (prototype for human axes to return to nature), in the hills around Samatzai.


EWA SUROWIEC, the making of the video Family portrait and Loosing sharpness, with the participation of the Sanna Family and the Proloco Samatzai (and a chicken).


BRYN CHAINEY, in interview with the former postman Rinaldo Vacca as a research for the script of Field notes on Oriondo, who lost his mind, but with very good reason; Bryn take a documentation of the “graffiti� present all around the village, they will become the photographic serie Monument. 103

Marisa BenjamiM, is helped by the inhabitants of Samatzai to plant new flowers and succulent for a abandoned flowerbed in the new central square.


carlo spiga, during the residency in Samatzai the population was informed about the event through the Bando, the local communication system, which works through speakers located in several spots in town. The message had a specific text and was accompanied by a song of the local rock band Tamanera.


| Holiday Island |

After the residency, the artists started creating several artworks for the second and main part of the project: Holiday Island - a Sardinian experience. Nuno Vicente, Ewa Surowiec and Bryn Chainey showed their personal view of this experience in Sardinia through videos, photos and installations using the material collected in Samatzai. The show “Holiday Island | a Sardinian experience” hosted two guest artists, who presented their performances in Berlin: Marisa Benjamim (Portugal) and Carlo Spiga (Italy), who have enriched the Sardinian experience with their collaboration during their residency. “Holiday – Island | a Sardinian experience” took place at Supermarkt, an exceptional and original independent space in Brunnenstrasse ( February 3rd, 2012 ).


a sardinian experience | 2012 The opening event was also an occasion to present the cultural exchange also trought the music, with concerts by:

Stella Veloce Berlin based experimental cellist from Cagliari.

Lavoisier a Portuguese duo influenced by “tropicalismo� and fado music.

Arrogalla (aka Francesco Medda) producer who mix ancient sardinian sounds with electro dub, based in Quartu S.Elena.



MARISA Benjamim Pé enterrado na terra (foot buried in the ground) Marisa’s work in Samatzai was very simple but also very effective: she made a cactus garden in a unused and empty flower bed in the newly built central square, close to the few shops of the Town. To build the garden, she went from house to house asking if someone could offer her a piece of any succulent plant, as it usually happens between neighbours in small towns. After facing the initial distrust of the inhabitants, the word spread among people and the doors of many houses opened to Marisa, proud to take part to this unique project. Many people have offered to help building this little public garden, in a common act of care for something that


is usually relegated to municipal operators. The work’s aim was to sensitize the population in being active and taking care of the place they live in, through the garden’s sense of ownership, since it was made of plants from each citizen in town. In Berlin Marisa re-created the same atmosphere of collaboration between people, asking visitors to bring a small cactus as a gift. The work of Marisa not only tries to establish a human bond between people but also aims to reconstruct the close connection between humans and plants.

Nuno Vicente Mutation of two forms \ Tracing I (human presence translated to clay) \ Tracing II (Rock dust) \ Tracing III (time)\ Object to translate presence into air Nuno’s work was initially influenced by Sardinian’s geography, then he started to work with basic elements that characterize that landscape, the concrete of the hills of Samatzai , the wind, the fauna and flora and the time.


Wind was the power that influenced the first sculpture he created while in the town. A tower for the dispersion of the ashes. In Berlin he set up different landscapes, translating the immaterial presence of the sardinian experience in something more physical.

ewa surowiec Family portrait / loosing sharpness The traditional Mediterranean family has inspired the work of Ewa Surowiec, who set up a living portrait of the SannaFamily, inspired by the relation between old paintings and photography, as the artist says: “In the past painters used to work for rich, noble families, to freeze the significant, often idealistic features of the person, then with time the formbecame more varying and changing. The photographic medium allowed grasping the moment, but enforced people to fake their expressions. Psychological deepness of the painting was depending on the intention and talent of the painter. He was long time interpreting and filtering personalities of his subject. In the case of photogra-


phy the factor of coincidence was essential. The family photos became even casual part of life. Portraits have always been also a kind of way of immortalizing banality and embalming memories�.

Bryn Chainey Monument Is a series of photographs documenting Samatzai’s most unexpected inhabitants. “The families we met were incredibly warm and generous, but from the outside you get the feeling of being within a fortress-city: each home is guarded behind a high stone wall and iron gate. There is a deep conservatism to the community; a sense that the streets are only used when absolutely necessary. There are no cars, no loitering youth, no advertisements. However, there are penises. Many of them. Spray-painted, scratched and scribbled onto walls, doors and streets signs, these are the sole occupants of Samatzai’s neglected streets. Apparently the penises have always been there, though no one admits to being responsible. I found over twenty of them - each one unique in size,


shape and style. This is not the work of a lone vandal; this is a secret community project. It was fairly shocking to find these profanities (which I had previously associated with teenage suburbia) all over this rural Catholic community, but perhaps the rocket-ship-penis is just one of humanity’s fundamental images. Perhaps it’s even vital”.

CARLO Spiga Biaxi Biaxi in southern Sardinian dialect means journey – more specifically, “traveling with a luggage”. The whole project is based on this idea of ​transcultural, transnational transport. During the residency in Samatzai the population was informed about the event through Bando, the local communication system, which works through speakers located in several spots in town. The message had a specific text and was accompanied by a song of the local rock band Tamanera. The performance in Berlin remains the goal of bringing an ad hoc communication, tailored on the visual urban noise context of the German capital. Carlo Spiga went around the city carrying a speaker, dressed with a self-made cos-

tume (that looked similar to the ones used during religious processions), spreading the information about the exhibition in German, this time interspersed with a traditional repertoire of Sardinian music.


BIAXI ( 2016 ) Carlo Spiga 113







| Holiday Island |

When we first thought about the project “Holiday – Island”, we didn’t mean to come back to Sardinia after the residency, but after the exhibition in Berlin coming back from where it started it felt like a natural consequence. With the collaboration of the project space “MEME arte contemporanea a prossima” based in Cagliari, we managed to organize a new show with some of the works already exhibited in Berlin plus some new works, still influenced by the time spent in Samatzai. The residency project was a very prolific experience not only for the artists directly involved, but also for many people that got in touch during the whole project; Holiday - Island generated a new network between people working within contemporary art in Berlin and in Sardinia, laying the base for new projects and collaborations.


...and back.| 2012


Nuno Vicente Transformation of a dead body into a foundation for Life

Sculpture composed by tourtle (ashes) mixed with concrete from Samatzai containing water and bird seeds, 5x8x12cm x2, Parrot in a cage, Video documentation: HDV transfered on DVD, 04'39'', Loop.

Bryn Chainey Monument Slides loop.


Ewa Surowiec Family Portrait, Loosing Sharpness

16mm Film transfered on DVD, 04’12’’, Loop, Sound.


Carlo Spiga Biaxi

Biaxi Samatzai-Berlino. Video Loop BIAXI maquette Beautifull eyes/Look! look! Guard it/You are deceiving Poster BIAXI. Coidanas (decoration for the Oxen).

Marisa Benjamim untitled

Succulent, paper, wooden frames.


| Berlin - Island |

Detail of Alessandro Sau artwork for Culturia Residents show

Berlin-Island | Art residency in Berlin Empirical survey on Heritage | Grimmuseum Empirical survey on Heritage | Cagliari.


residency | 2012 Berlin-island art residency was the opposite of what we did with Holiday – Island. This time we started an open call for Sardinian artists together with the Culturia Artist Residency Program based in Berlin, which hosted the selected artists in their spaces. The purpose of this residency was to provide the Sardinian artists with the space and infrastructure required to further develop their artistic practices and focus on new concepts and projects. Another goal was connecting the selected artists with the Berlin international art scene: galleries, curators and various independent spaces. Artists were also encouraged to collaborate and work together with other resident artists , attend workshops and develop their artistic work contemporary art. Together with the Culturia directors we selected two Sardinian artists; each of them was invited for a three month residency, living with other 3 artists and curators. Alessandro Sau was selected for the first part of the residency, from May to July 2012. During the residency he took part to several exhibitions and workshops ( he was also selected for the 2nd Speed​​Potfolio, where one of the curators involved was Joanna Warsza, co-curator of the 2011 Berlin Biennale). After three months of residency in Culturia, Alessandro Sau and the artists Nicholas Pye, Chantal Riekel presented their works in an opening night show at João Cocteau on the 20th of July. Cristina Meloni was the second artist taking part in the program, from August to October 2012. Cristina shared her experience together with Elena Chronopoulou from Greece and Kim Yoon Hee from South Korea, and the curator Matthew Crookes from New Zealand. Among others, Cristina also took part in the workshop at the Node Center for Curatorial Studies, led by Perla Montelongo. During the residency it was possible to visit documenta, the most important event in the field of contemporary art.

Alessandro Sau and Cristina Meloni during the art residency in Berlin.


Giusy Sanna in dialog with Alessandro Sau

Interview made during the art residency in Culturia, in August 2012.

Giusy -What do you mean with “work”? Because I know that a large part of your work is to read and What’s your definiton of “work”? Because I know that a large part of your artwork is about reading and doing research, maybe there is a more theoretical than practical part, so I would be more interested to know what your practical part of the work is, where did it come form? Do you usually do drafts? How do you approach the work, the material that will follow in the future?

G. - So in the end, you’re never saying “Ok, now I will work on this topic because I’m reading this” and you focus on it, but it is a quite slow process, which I completely understand; before you decide to make a work, let’s say your tempera on Snow White for example, at first you have had days and days of documentation, and in fact you didn’t do any draft about it..

Alessandro - Well, thanks for this question that no one ever asked me, because actually I create my works always through a sort of enlightment. I mean, is not that I’m looking for things, let’s say that I range over, so I read a lot, I try to document myself, and then at a certain point I find out something that makes me realize I need to know more, then I start to go deeper and usually it’s a little bit like falling in love. No? There’ss this thing, I start to bringing books to bed, and I can’t stop! And then in the end, I work on that thing I’m already doing.

G. - How does it work, this is what I want to know! How does the work start, from A to Z. I just want to ask this because looking at your work, it seems that the problem is this, I do not know how much of your instinct there is in your work and how much is truly weighted, “Ok , now I do this”, which steps do you do? This is what I want to know.


A. - No.

A. - Of course I can tell you, if you want, something about the work you just mentioned. It’s a work that I have not finished yet, that I’m going to finish; I think I will but I

don’t know. It began two years ago, it lasted, and of course will last perhaps more than two years. And every work, every series of works arises from meetings and special enlightments. So for example, in the case of the snails, I would never have thought of doing a work with snails, but then when I found them inside the cemetery, I realized that these snails came from graves and they probably devoured the corpses on the graves. I had an epiphany about what I was doing. Because at that time I was analizing the problem of distance between the viewer and the image ,and the possibility to touch the image and so get the difference between what is the aesthetic object, that can not be touched and the anthropological object that you can actually touch. In this case the dwarfs was the anthropological object instead of the figure of the saint. G. - With a well-defined aesthetic I guess, something that no one wants, something kitsch, completely away from the idea of aesthetics… A. - Yes, you feel the object in your hand and then the idea that these paintings could be touched, then eaten, just to get an idea of the appropriation of matter; this led me to use these snails just to eat the paint away, in order to transform the painting.This is one of the examples. G. - In fact, a typical feature of your work is that you use animals, and not just snails, you used mice and bees. You see, this is one things that characterizes your work, especially regarding snails; was it a random choice? Or as in the case of the mice, maybe it was something more meditated, you knew you wanted to use a mouse. How does this relationship start with this living animal that acts in your own work, and intervenes, it seems random, as you told several times. But is not random at all, because you force your animals to do exactly what you want. You see, about this aspect of your work: tell me a bit more, because I don’t know if you really want to force the animal to do what you want, or if you are interested in the random aspect of animals. Because in both cases it’s not very clear if the animal’s casualty is still existing, because you can’t predict what it does but in a way you seem to control it very well. A. - I think it’s the animal that wants to be part of my work and not vice versa, in the sense that they find it quite fun to work with me, so I don’t think I force them, but actually they are forcing me to do the work! Regarding the relationship with the animal, I don’t think there is a reason... I can tell you that I have always been attracted by animals, because my grandfather was a hunter, in Italian he could be defined as a “caccia grossa” hunter, animals like elephants, lions ... so in my house there were actually embalmed crocodiles, elephants, tigers. It was still possible to go for hunting safaris - we are talking about many years ago - so I think this relationship with animals is almost pretty tied to my DNA. G. - But it is not a sort of relationship, let’s say, like a biologist that observes an animal. It is more like in the case of your grandfather. More like forcing animals, impositing 127

something on their behavior, in a way... I don’t know why you tend to say that “ They find it quite fun to work with me” because you are actually deciding that, you decide! I like this aspect that you have, almost like a demiurge: I create this image, I use this just like you are using a tempera. It is not an apology to animal rights, not at all! But it is interesting how you use animals as a medium, in the sense that you also need to study them, exactly how you do when taking temperas and learning how to use them, to handle techniques; you use, you study, you try, and it’s interesting that you do the same with animals. Before using mice in your work you did some research , you had to know, to try, you had to know if it worked or not. This is the interesting aspect: using an animal not as a living being, random, nice to see, left there; but as a medium, just using a living creature in a very distant way, just like you would use a tempera. It happens that you have a crucial idea about your work, and many times, however, somebody comes up and sees something completely different from what your initial idea was, from what you wanted to communicate. How do you react when someone comes along and gives you a completely different point of view, or maybe clashes with what your original idea was...how you take it? I don’t know if you ever had someone coming up and saying “ Yes, but I thought you meant this... “and you would never have thought of that aspect, or even an idea that horrifies you or something that you never thought. Did you ever had this experience and how did you react?

The origin of society, 2010-2011.

A. - Well, you know, I started to show and perhaps to create the first interesting works quite late, I don’t know why, I don’t ask myself anymore. It happened to me, yes, that people would give me a quite different opinion, perhaps oversimplified, or wrong, or just different from my work.

When I started, in the beginning, I tried in every way to bring the person who gave the judgment on my side, so I would say, ‘Look, no, but I think so... “ . Then, you know, the more you go on, the more you understand that art or at least the artist - I don’t even know if I’m acting like an artist or if I’m doing art, but it is something that is not up to you. The doctor is a doctor because he takes the title. He doesn’t need that others say “you’re doctor”. While, regarding the artist, it’s people that have to tell him. Then it means that you must wait for other people’s judgment, the most important thing, but not only the curator’s opinion, even a child’s, or your mother’s. The object is there to be looked at, so in the end it doesn’t matter in terms of “right and wrong”, you have to think that Art is something determined by others, not by yourself. G. - In fact how much - if ever - has your work’s review been influenced by the opinions of others? Because you work on series, there are three or four series that can follow different developments, even if the theme stays the same. As for example with Snow White, it’s a two years’ work, and maybe it will take four years while you are developing it. In this case, since you started, did the viewer change your way of proceeding or didn’t he manage to affect it, and you’re going straight on your own way? Or even the experiences you had, maybe we will see how you are really changing only during your next exhibition: you are no longer showing


the finished object, but the object you are showing is in the making, right? Through direct intervention. It’s something that you had already thought or is it given by the experience from what people said to you, or is it maybe originated by new encounters? A. - No, the ratings do not influence my works, in the sense that the judgment is aesthetic and it doesn’t change my work. The encounters can change my work, but the encounter is in another environment. This meeting may also be to drink a beer with a person that in a specific moment says something special, but just as a friend, then this can change my work. Simply, I believe that aesthetic judgment can hardly affect my work.


Giusy Sanna in dialog with Cristina Meloni

Interview done during the art residency in Culturia, October 2012.

Giusy -What I know about your path is that you are born as a performer and then you slowly abandoned this idea, while usually it goes the other way round. You have exposed your person, you’ve put yourself in the foreground, and then little by little, you have eliminated much of yourself, you as a face, you as a person. So, I just want you to talk about this process, how it happened and why. Cristina -It was born perhaps a bit randomly, I cannot tell exactly how it came out. I felt the need initially, because my very first work was a performance. So I was very young and I was not even aware of what the performance per se was. Initially the performance was soething I challenged myself with, and tperforming maybe was giving more impact, and it was perhaps even more aesthetic. G- Yes, and more playful, because I remember that your performances were a little humourous, even if ... C-... even if I’ve treated quite dramatic topics.


G-It was the beauty of your performance, because there was always a bitter end C-Yes, but always with humour and a smile. G-And maybe that’s what hurts the most, I think. C-Exactly. It was a display of our society, at that time and even now because it ihasn’t changed that much. And then, gradually my research has become a little bit more introspective; I have tried to show, to tell emotions, life experiences and put them into practice, G- Yes, in fact, there is always a relationship with your body. In your latest works,which are those of “skins” or “life on mars”, you’re always present in some way with your own body, and always representing a certain kind of femininity, that goes beyond the aesthetic canons of which we don’t want to talk about now.. How much criticism exists in your body, I don’t know, suffering against your body, or how much joy is your body showing? Because what I want to

know is: when you show your medical stockings, your body flaws, the scars that you have, is it something painful or something that gives you pleasure or pride? How do you put your body in relation to your work? C-Well, I clarified that the fact of using my body was an accident, not a deliberate choice, “I want to put myself in the middle because I am me,” no, it was fortuity. In fact, in the past I have also tried to hire a professional to impersonate my performance, my work, but I’ve never been satisfied with the results. So I got in the game in first person because I managed to represent exactly what I meant. Having said this, while at first I represented the figure of the woman, who was the figure that I never wanted to be, and to date, I still don’t want to be that kind of woman nor that kind of housewife. It was a sort of therapy. G-exorcise that role ... C-A little bit like the ancient Greece and the catharsis in tragedy. It is my therapy, it was about pushing that side away from me. And then later I actually worked on itt, always treating these issues. Sorry, about your question, precisely, dealing with those issues, I wanted to, you know, represent the things that belong to me, relate to my experience; initially this represented something painful, like my stockings, because in fact it’s a sign of a quite serious medical problem . And then it’s more a question of payback, now I show them with pride, I’m not ashamed of myself. It’s part of me, always with a hint of irony.

a jreason, if ever, or is it something random? C-I think it’s just something random. I like these media because I use them depending on what I want to display. Sometimes through a video it’s much easier to represent an emotion or an idea, than through a photograph or vice versa. I used performance because it is very fast, instantaneous. Also because I like human contact, it helps me to understand and see the reaction within the audience. This aspect was also very interesting from a psychological point of view. I like it because it gets really immediate. I do not use the painting, I do not use drawings because of this reason. G-But you also used embroidery for one of your works, which I liked a lot. A work that you have kept hidden and I didn’t even know it existed, then when I saw it I found a side that I really liked: patience, this feminine side then eventually you tried to hide away through performance and so on... C-In fact in this case I wanted to make fun of this aspect of embroidery, typically feminine and domestic, with subjects that are absolutely unsuitable and unconventional. We could never ever imagine our grandmother or our aunt embroidering a vagina or a penis. For sure this embroidery work could not be hung in the living room or... G- ...Or in the kitchen nor done on a blanket!

G-Which then became a symbol of something else, a symbol of social redemption. C-It is the same thing, but a little different in the work called “life on mars” in which I photographed body details that I never considered negative; it is precisely for this reason that I started this work. I always thought that beauty lies in imperfection. It’s something I always thought of, and then these little details often go unnoticed and this is why I wanted to enlarge them, to let them be something else that really ... but maybe skin moles are seen as something cute, decorative G-... or charming C-yes, I remember that my mother did a beauty spot with a pencil for Carnival... but when I go to treat bruises and scars, which are often the synonym of something tragic and violent, I consider them as if they were forms, shapes, so I like to turn these imperfections into something else. G-That means removing the background from an image. C-It’s giving a new life, a new dimension. G-Well, regarding the media you use, you went through performance to video and photography. Why did you choose these media, if there is, let’s say, a particular aesthetic aspect that interests you and why did you use these images, is there


Skin, treated stockings

Still from Qawa, 2012, DVD video, color, sound 1’46”.


From the serie Life on Mars? 2012, digital print, 25,5x25,5 cm each.


|Empirical survey on a Heritage |

What is cultural heritage? What does it mean to belong to a certain culture? With this question in mind we wanted to complete the path started with Genau! Sadinia in 2010. For the exhibition “Empirical Survey on Heritage�, we invited, besides Alessandro Sau and Cristina Meloni (both born and raised in Sardinia ) two other artists: Rugiada Cadoni and Igor Muroni who represented artists with Sardinian migration backgrounds. Their families are originally from Sardinia, but both were born elsewhere and never lived in the country of their parents. However they feel connected with Sardinian habits and lifestyle through their families’ tradition, that was passed on in their families. But, is it possible that common roots leave a track that goes beyond the geography, beyond the genetics? Our empirical survey on a heritage was working on a possible answer to those questions. The main object of investigation remains the Sardinian culture, this time analyzed though the works of four artists that maintained a very complex and different relations with Sardinia and its heritage. 134

Grimmuseum Berlin | 2012 ALESSANDRO SAU The Image as the origin. The series consists of three distinct works - Mandala - Dwarfs - Relic. Alessandro Sau used bees and snails in this installation as a new way to create and destroy works. “Mandala” has its origin in a series of frames taken from a famous animated Disney movie. This series of paintings was changed and “eaten” by snails, which have here contributed to the creation of new images. In the video “Relic” we see the destruction of the Dwarfs through the explosion of Snow White. The Dwarfs are then recreated with the help of the bees. “Image as origin” works on the concept of image and is based on the axiom that to know and to believe in something, you have to touch it, open it and destroy it. The whole work derives from a critique on the distribution of aesthetic categories. The result is a work oriented towards the destruction of judgement, exploiting the ambiguity of a well-known Image: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as part of the kitsch imagery. In this work this clear assignment has been weakened.


Cristina Meloni Flowers (A vase looking for a flower) - In Loving Memory. In this exhibition, the artist presents a trilogy about time. Cristina Meloni analyzes this concept observing nature and the daily course of events. The transience of life is represented here by small signs of the passage of time in everyday life, such as dried flowers. This trilogy has a cynical and ironic vision of Fate that manifests itself even in our homes. As in the work “In Loving Memory”, where the story of one of these little domestic dramas is summed up by the artist in a little poem: It was a normal, cold but sunny morning on the 6th of January, long after the cockcrow, when Orpheus kidnapped me and Paolo. He drank milk with coffee and a piece of pandoro cake, and I drank green tea and rice cakes with apricot jam. It was cold and we started a wood pellet stove to warm us, but ten minutes later the stove didn’t work and we smoke inside. Paolo removed the stove cover and we cleaned the chimney flue together,when we woke up we ate breakfast.There was a small grey bird inside, it probably fell in the flue. Finally we removed the obstruction. The day didn’t start in the best way. The problem was the stove fan, which was blocked. We tried to save it but it was useless. The smoke coming from the wood pellet stove had killed it. It was dead. Also for the small grey bird, the day didn’t start in the best way. 136

Rugiada Cadoni Polyptych Allure. This Polyptych is a work organized in a series depicting the concept of Representation as Personification. Five European countries are played by five female characters: Signora Antonella, Madame Madeleine, Frau Olga, Mrs Robyn and Señora Estebana are respectively the embodiment of Italy, France, Germany, England and Spain. Their features and their behavioral traits translate each time those of a character, whose radically fictitious nature highlights the ambiguous concept of culture. “Polyptych Allure” is a video installation, divided into five simultaneous projections. The attitudes of the five women emerge from the darkness of a theatre scene, and are interpreted with a posing movement by dancer Danila Massara.



IGOR MURONI Glich. His work consists of sound and noise. His artistic grammar includes a close interaction between his work and the public, visitors and sound space. The environmental characteristics are used in his work to amplify the sound experience. In the performance presented during the opening of Empirical Survey on Heritage the artist is leading his relationship with an island where he has never really lived; in collaboration with the Launeddas player Jonathan della Marianna, he has managed to create a dialogue between the Sardinian culture heritage and his personal sound research. Igor Muroni was born in Genoa, a port city from where ships depart daily to Sardinia, where his family originates.


|Empirical survey on a heritage |

A few months after the exhibition in Berlin, we were invited to present the whole project in Sardinia. The 1st March 2013 we brought all 15 artists in Sardinia: Irene Balia, Giovanni Casu, Roberto Fanari, Ambra Pittoni - Paul-Flavien EnriquezSarano, Carlo Spiga, Stella Veloce, E., Nuno Vicente, Ewa Surowiec, Bryn Chainey, Marisa Benjamim, Alessandro Sau, Cristina Meloni, Rugiada Cadoni, Igor Muroni, that took part to each project: Genau! Sardinia, Holiday Island, Berlin – Island. The show exhibited mostly new artwork, and during the opening night in the Lazzaretto of Cagliari we presented two live acts from Igor Muroni and Carlo Spiga & Stella Veloce (as Pale Blue Dot), plus two performances of artists Marisa Benjamim and Ambra Pittoni with Paul-Flavien Enriquez-Sarano. In Cagliari we once again had the opportnity to meet all the people that contributed to the success of the three projects; we put together artists from all around the world and created a new network of people that are still cooperating and making new projects.


Lazzaretto di Cagliari | 2013

Installation detail: Pale blue dot, Carlo Spiga and Stella Veloce, 2013



Ewa Surowiec I want to touch your body The structure of the video refers to “Fireworks”, a video from Kenneth Anger (1947) exploring transsexuality, homosexuality and sadomasochism. This work is a reflection about sexuality and the ambiguous perception of sexual behaviors. Some scenes are partially rearranged directly from Anger’s video, asking several men to act together without knowing each other. Ewa decided to transfer the meaning of the sadomasochistic environment into a melancholic atmosphere, a romantic vision, relating more to Ribeira’s or Caravaggio’s style than to pop pornography. The recording process was an experiment about male sexuality – particularly in the Berlin scene. The second part consists of a series of interviews both of heterosexual and homosexual men. 143


Alessandro Sau Deltitnu Deltitnu is the title of a video divided in two chapters, loosely based on the 120 days of Sodom from the Marquis De Sade. “The four fuckers” constitutes the first chapter of a story that explores the problematic relationship between image and language. The categories of aesthetic judgment are challenged as linguistic rules of perversion and imaginative domain. The language that doesn’t get submitted by the image but that actually enslaves it; a language that turns towards itself in the lack of meaning of an excrement. The game of cubes will confuse the two different ways of reaching the totality of the image, the one that reaches totality giving up the power of the image (see minimalist shapes), and the one that pushes singularity to universal extents (Van Gogh). Deltitnu: Uabzrem is about the confusion of languages, an incautious system that plays with the categories of meaning created by aesthetics and art history, pushing towards the problematic nature of a form combining various parameters of the artwork’s modern interpretation. The minimal form and the pictorial representation intersect to problematize the sense of perspective that has been split between relational and aesthetic practice. Uabzrem can therefore only exist in its empty showmanship and inconsistency, in which the theatrical aspect and commissioning of the object scene becomes the legitimating and founding value of ​​ the artwork in itself. 145


Giovanni Casu Bulb Halogen spotlight, tripod, wooden pedestal and magnifying lens. If you decide to play with a point of light and a magnifying lens, different things can happen. The optical game between these two objects can create, under specific circumstances, a new object. This new object is created by the magnifying lens, the object that produces light, and a 3rd element: the projection that the light produces with and through the magnifying lens. This projection, when the focus is well established, provides a clear picture of the incandescent filament. The act of recognizing what´s happening in the relationship between the lamp and the lens enhances the semantic dimension of the installation in a metaphorical way. The fact that the representation of the part of the lamp that “produces” the light (we could call it the “core” part of the lamp) is the product of the interaction between the lamp and the lens seems to create another level of meaning. The fact that both the magnifying lens and light have a symbolic power calls forth different levels of meaning related to this symbolic interaction and how the two objects stand in space. The viewer is confronted with a meaningful structure and this meaningful structure can be related in metaphorical ways to other contents. 147


Bryn Chainey Field notes on Oriondo, who lost his mind, but with very good reason Field notes on Oriondo, who lost his mind, but with a very good reason (2013) is a new work of filmmaker Bryn Chainey (1986 - London). The work can be described as a deconstructed documentary in different parts: photography, field recordings and stories. This work tells the strange story of Oriondo Floris, a resident of Samatzai died in 1992. 149


Nuno Vicente To give back the imprint of my hand to the universe Nuno Vicente presents a piece that projects the footprint of his hand on a mirror in to the sky through an optical system. The simplicity of the poetic gesture wants to spread the light of Sardinia and a human track up to the cosmos. 151


Marisa Benjamim Holding Gravity Benjamim’s work plays on the metaphor of the opposition existing between imagination and the concrete approach to reality through poetry, combining performance and construction of objects. Her latest works suspend the concept of gravity, creating a metaphor on imagination - the real antagonist. In this project, Marisa continues on this path, using water, vegetation and rocks for the performance. 153


Igor Muroni IMAGO (GLITCH) Live Concert (glitch noise / Drone con luce strobo). Duration 20 min. Igor Muroni’s performance transforms the exhibition space into a noise room, where noise itself, emancipated from the meaning of musical genre, takes the more culturally widespread nauseating physical state generated by a “pop-bulimia.” The sounds, atonal, distorted and dissonant, generate a non-melee, in an acoustic plot that thickens repeatedly creating an impressive sound monolith, invisible and yet omnipresent as the mythical Minotaur in the labyrinth. The body is a simulacrum that breathes, as sound, and moves as the music breathes. It could be the performer’s body, but also that of the spectator which enters a created, built and tested environment. Often the space that surrounds this body is white, blank, black, boundless, so that the image is out of context. The generated sounds vibrate inside the body, but are related to architecture, which accompanies and condenses them. These influences are originated by music and images, reaching the strength of Plato’s Cave Myth. 155


Carlo Spiga, Stella Veloce Pale blue dot During its trip, a million kilometers from Earth, the spacecraft Voyager II turns around and takes a picture. At that distance only a black abyss is visible, and the only thing you see is a timid blue dot, the Earth. In that blue flickering and floating dot there’s everything. “Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.” [Carl Sagan “Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the human Future in Space” ] If we could maximize it we would immerse ourselves into the familiar chaos of signs, sounds and experiences. When you move away there’s the concept of indefinite, abstract, albeit tremendously precise in its core. A friendship can be told in the same way: by focusing on details or the overall picture or the two things simultaneously. Narrating a friendship through a concert or a YouTube channel where you can share your ideas on what to offer the public. A lineup of dismantled covers, so zoomed and blurred that they’re hardly recognizable. Personal and artistic experiences deepen in different points of space and time. 157


Roberto Fanari Doll The displayed subject doesn’t a defined environment. But, even if there are no clues that can give a precise idea of its world, the viewer can define its specific context. A small detail in the clothing or the decoration of an object are enough to reconstruct the frame in which it exists. Entirely made of iron wire and cotton thread, the sculpture is the result of a balance of solids and voids, in which a simple line acts like the true protagonist. 159


irene Balia Untitled The people, animals and landscapes displayed in these works are just an excuse to investigate a particular state of mind. A feeling that lasts a moment, a moment of deep disconnection from reality. In these paintings a short span of time can be frozen and expanded. Everything is still, motionless and static. There is no time. The real merges with the unreal in a dreamlike atmosphere, creating a new symbolic energy.



Cristina Meloni FLOWER - A vase in search of a flower Cristina Meloni analyzes the concept of time observing nature and the transience of events. The daily course of life is represented here by small signs of the passage of time in everyday life, such as through dead and dried flowers. 163


E (Cristian Atzori) Ma per gli amici E In the video E. presents itself as his alter ego, “E� is the name that the artist has chosen as the most fitting to express his intentions and his artistc project. The video, mounted with a crescendo of images and flash lights as the character changes his attitude, was presented in the first exhibition Genau.



Rugiada Cadoni Polyptych Allure This Polyptych is a work organized in a series depicting the concept of Representation as Personification. Five European countries are played by five female characters: Signora Antonella, Madame Madeleine, Frau Olga, Mrs Robyn and SeĂąora Estebana are respectively the embodiment of Italy, France, Germany, England and Spain. 167


Ambra Pittoni Die gerettete Nacht (La notte salva) Die Gerettete Nacht is a project permeated by sunset. The story, meant as the set of conquests and battles resulting from mankind’s actions, here reaches its apogee. This long epilogue generates a series of thoughts regarding the relationship between human beings and nature. In this scenario, humans are considered a breaking point in constant evolution and decay, stretched between divine and animal. This installation includes sounds extracted from an archive has been growing continuosly since 2011: a hybrid taxonomy collecting animal sounds produced by human beings. The objects are located in space in order to build an archeology of the present. The two vessels were previously split and reassembled. They lived an artificial end and now they act as artificial relics. The photo depicts a medieval armor resting on the ground in an antique market in Warsaw. The weapon was laid down and the anthropological machine remains suspended Night saves // Hybrids. Dummy recording field, Berlin - 29th March 2012. 169

Giusy and Giovanni would like to express their very special thanks to: Irene Balia , Roberto Fanari, Ambra Pittoni, Paul-Flavien Enriquez-Sarano, Carlo Spiga, Stella Veloce, Cristian Atzori, Nuno Vicente, Ewa Surowiec, Bryn Chainey, Marisa Benjamim, Alessandro Sau, Cristina Meloni, Rugiada Cadoni, Igor Muroni for their irreplaceble participation. Alexandra Porcu and Fabrizio Palazzari that made it happen. The Sanna Family, Tobias Kecht, and all our the friends that supported us.


IMPRINT Empirical Survey on a Heritage Published by Circolo Sardo di Berlin e. V.

Design and editing Giusy Sanna

Supported by Regione Autonoma della Sardegna Regione Autònoma de Sardigna assessorato del lavoro, formazione professionale, cooperazione e sicurezza sociale Assessoradu de su traballu, formatzione professionale, cooperatzione e seguràntzia sotziale

Texts by Giusy Sanna Giovanni Casu ©2016, Circolo Sardo di Berlino e.V. Giusy Sanna, Giovanni Casu © artworks courtesy of the Artists

a project by Giovanni Casu and Giusy Sanna Text review Ilaria di Benedetto Alyson Kenny

©Photo Credits

Stefano Urani Orange Ear- Frank Nagel Paolo Marchi Edna Gee Paolo Carta Alberto Musa Marco Zaccaria Chantal Riekiel Ania Pabis People: Claudia Lamas Cornejo Paolo Carta Enrico Cetonze Andrzej Raszyk Stefano Urani Perla Montelongo Giuliana Altea Fausto Ferrara Pierpaolo Cicalo Ercole Bartoli Francesca Sassu Jonathan della Marianna Daniele Garzia Dj Bjorte Lavoisier

Arrogalla Rinaldo Vacca Art Spaces: Culturia Grimmusem Node Center for Curatorial studies Lazzaretto di Cagliari Meme arte contemporanea e prossima Joao Cocteau Supermarkt project space Lucas Carrieri Gallery Sponsors and Support: Comune di Cagliari Pro Loco Samatzai Comune di Samatzai Istituto Fernando Santi Fondazione per l’ arte Bartoli Felter CTM Cagliari mobilità Pirandello scuola di lingue La paradisola Friend Fund PAS progetto contemporaneo Poxart Studio Cabori Berlinpool Vino e Libri Sardinien.de



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