In 2001, in response to an interviewer’s question, Derrida said that ‘[the question of animality] represents the limit upon which all the great questions are formed and determined, as well as the concepts that attempt to delimit what is proper to man, the essence and the future of humanity, ethics, politics, law, human rights, crimes against humanity, genocide, etc.’ I was 4 years old when I met in a farmhouse a young pony that was going to be slaughtered. With my mother, we managed to save him, and he remained with me for all his life, for 29 years, until he died in my hands, two years ago. I think this little episode changed my perspective about the other, opening a series of questions. Not only about the animal, but also about what for me is the other. I started to investigate the parallels and connections that exist between racism, sexism, and speciesism. ‘The violence of this injustice that consists in judging those who do not understand the idiom in which one claims, as one says in French, that ‘justice est faite [justice is done, made]’ is not just any violence, any injustice. This injustice, which supposes all the others, supposes that the other, the victim of the injustice of language, if one may say so, is capable of a language in general, is man as a speaking animal, in the sense that we, men, give to this word language. Moreover, there was a time, not long ago and not yet over, in which we, men meant we adult white male Europeans, carnivorous and capable of sacrifice.’ Jacques Derrida, The Beast and the Sovereign 2002-2003
P A N D O R A
P R O J E C T
performance, video, series of photographs and drawings, Parco Scientifico e Tecnologico L. Danieli, University of Udine, 2007
Pandora_Zero was the first of a series of performances. In this action, that took place at nightfall into a scientific park, I walked silently with a grey horse crossing the public. The moonbeams reflected on the sea, during the waxing moonphase, were projected on the vegetation, on me, on the horse and on the public. Six guys and one girl red the Canticle of Creatures, closed inside a large and impressive cane thicket, overlapping their voices until the words were not understandable. The Canticle of Creatures is the only biocentric song that belongs to the anthropocentric tradition of the Christian religion. I saved this young hungarian mare, named Velvet, directly from the trak. She had fallen down at the beginning of the travel for Italy, and the merchant left her on the floor of the trak, under the hooves of the other horses. After the performance, and after a period in which I rehabilitated her phisically and psicologically, I donated her to a centre of hippotherapy. Hippotheraphy is a very ancient healing tecnique, also described in the writings of Hippocrates. It is used to treat patients with neurological or other disabilities, such as autism, cerebal palsy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, head injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, behavioral disorders and psychiatric disorders. For the action I collaborated with the very patients of the centre, as my reading performers, who are now undertaking theraphy with this animal.
PANDORA_2: THE FIRST SUPPER
Performance, video, photographic series, installations, drawings, 2009
I was pregnant when I decided to realize this performance. I wanted to experience the first moment of a real change of perspective. And I wanted to do this with another life inside me. I saved two horses from the slaughterhouse, for then physically share a meal together with the performers and the public. In proximity to be represented as food, considered as objects, the animals turned into other, through a ritual of recognition.
photographic documentation of every phase of the Pandora project, 2007 - 2013
photographic series, 2008 this project is part of the Prix Pictet_Water video slide show, presented at Palais de Tokyo, Paris in 2008, by Kofi Annan (Nobel Peace Prize 2001 together with the United Nation)
During my long trip into Africa I found out with sorrow the actuality of the victorian idiomatic expression ‘white civilization’, sharply described by Joseph Conrad. Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar, has been the most important slave market of the east cost of Africa. These shores had been for centuries the starting point for the slave trade. The hegemony of the industrial countries is condamning the whole world. And it is a fact that the so called developing countries reek serious risk, and are the first to suffer. And contemporary Africa had played virtually no role in global warming, a problem that was caused by economic activity of the industrial countries such as the US. Bagamoyo means in Kiswahili ‘here I leave my heart’. It is the name of the last African city the prisoners saw before sailing for Zanzibar, and from there to the other continents, or, more probably, to death.
installation, paintings, drawings, nails, lambda print on plexiglas, ink on wall, 2010
White Shores is a project closely related to BAGAMOYO. â€œZanzibar was one of the most important slave markets of the east coast of Africa. The crows were introduced in Zanzibar to eat the corpses of the slaves that were thrown out to water, at the beginning of the XIX century. The crows remain on the shores.â€?
installation view at Walls of Authority, Old Police Station, London, 2010
site-specific installation University of Udine, International conference ‘Azania Speaks - visions of partnership in today’s Africa’, 2008
This photographic series was shot in the small and dark chambers underground where the prisoners were conducted and confined before being sold as slaves in the whipping post of the main square of Stone Town, Zanzibar, the largest slave market of East Africa. Visitors had to turn on the torch and to go through the blind, to enter into the narrow space, in the dark, to see the images.’
video 10â€™ 37â€? and light boxes, 2006-2008
Rebirth is a video-performance project that contemplates transformation; the indifference of the environment, the difficulty and necessity to be reborn in another form arise in the contemporary colonialism of a tropical fish shop. The shop, where I worked for two months before the action took place, was the oldest tropical fish shop in London, and was situated close to the house where Joseph Conrad used to live.
Butcherâ€™s Shop of Life
series of actions, installations and paintings (oil on canvas) 2007 - 2013
PIO PIO_COUS COUS performance, 2008
I realized this project inside 4 private houses, in december 2008. The spectators were only the owners, with some very close friends. These performances were part of a curatorial project called ‘Take Away Flat Art’. I was thinking about the kitchen. In the kitchen we use food. We use fruits, vegetables, cereals, and dead animals. So I wanted to carry a living animal inside the kitchen. An animal destined to be eaten, a usual one, one that is very often killed to be cut in pieces, put in the fridge and cooked: a small chick. In this project there is a reference to the performance of Rodrigo Garcia ‘Matar Para Comer’. But my project develops in the opposite direction. I was not going to kill and cook the small chick contained in the big pan I have taken with me. I was going to cook a vegan cous cous for dinner, to share and eat together with the owners of the house and with the chick. So, for a while, we have all been table companions. The chick was not ‘food’ anymore, and was free to do whatever she wanted. And she did. She ate, she walked on the table, she drank in some glasses, and she also pooed. It had been interesting to observe the reactions of the owners. Most of them were quite frightened and nervous because at the beginning, and until I served the food, they thaught I was going to hurt the chick. For some ways I let them believe it was in my intentions. So they were very happy to understand that nothing similar was going to happen, and for this reason they appreciated much more the dinner together with the animal. I think it was a strange, relaxing moment after the released tension.
THE BOX OF WONDERS installation, 2012
The spectator is invited to enter inside the box, and to switch on the torch. It is a sort of â€˜wunderkammerâ€™, a mellow nest containing differend ways of experiencing maternity, from the role-playing games with me and my son as lioness and pup of lion, to the mother rabbits and their babies in the intensive breeding cages.
The Box of Wonders, installation view, Cattedrale Ex Macello, Padova, 2012
THE BOX OF WONDERS
series of photograph printed on metal paper, mounted on plexiglass, 2012
IN YOUR RABBIT EYES
series of paintings and drawings (oil and graphite on canvas) 2012
AT THE END OF THE MIRROR installation, video installation, 2012
A vanity table opens the path of the site specific installation. A huge textil spiral traces the path of a white rabbit, playing on magnolia petals and on painted pink fabric. In the centre of the installation a video alternates the story of my domestic rabbit, that has been stolen, to passages of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. In the video the friendly images of my rabbit are interchanged by short parts portraying rabbits in vivisection laboratories, and activists of the A.L.F. (Animal Liberation Front) stealing rabbits destined for vivisection.
At the End of the Mirror, installation view, Cattedrale Ex Macello, Padova, 2012
At the End of the Mirror, installation view, Cattedrale Ex Macello, Padova, 2012
At the End of the Mirror, still from video, 2012
At the End of the Mirror, installation view, Cattedrale Ex Macello, Padova, 2012
AHIMSA (the Mass in Santa Cristina)
series of inkjet prints mounted on dibond, and site specific installation, 2013
It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us. Walter Benjamin Ahimsa is an ancient Sanskrit term meaning 'do not harm' (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). It is an important tenet of the religions that originated in ancient India. Ahimsa is a rule of conduct that bars the killing or injuring of living beings. It is closely connected with the notion that all kinds of violence entail negative karmic consequences. In modern times Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi promoted the principle of ahimsa very successfully by applying it to all spheres of life, particularly to politics. I saved this horse from the slaughterhouse, during my pregnancy. Then I wrote AHIMSA on his side. The picture below portraits a real Mass (May 26th, 2013) that took place in the baroque Santa Cristina Church in Parma. The photograph printed on fabric, depicting the painted side of the horse, was hung above the altar instead of the Cross.
I SEE YOU performance, video, photographic series, drawings and paintings Castello di Rivoli Museo dâ€™Arte Contemporanea @ Movie Set, in range of the exhibition Marinella Senatore / Building Communities, in collaboration with Vulcano and the Educational Department of the Castello di Rivoli, Rivoli, Torino, 2013
I connected via Skype 20 children from the Castello di Rivoli Museum to a young donkey that I had just saved from slaughterhouse, and now sheâ€™s spending her life on the wonderful hills of Friuli. The children could read some quotes, speak to her, clap their hands, or just watch her in the eyes. They did everything and more, while she remained all the time close to the computer, listening to the kids.
I see you, installation composed by a series of paintings (oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm each) and photographs (inkjet print on Hahnemuhle cotton paper, 40 x 60 cm each) 2014, Nuvole project, Scicli
ART_HISTORY Art_History is part of many projects. it consists in exchanging a work of mine, usually a painting, with a sentient being that was going to be slaughtered: horse, donkey, rabbit, lamb, chicken, pig, veil, depending on the project. It is a real act that permits to save a life by the means of art, without the use of money, and constitutes an open question on the value of life and on the value of art, at the same time.
TIZIANA PERS Born in 1976, lives and works in Trivignano Udinese (Italy) First-class honours arts degree _ PhD, University of Udine _ Compared Literatures Co-founder of the RAVE East Village Artist Residency www.raveresidency.com Project creator and art director of the first festival of biocentrism Gaia@menTe. www.gaiamente.org Visual artist and activist for animal and human rights http://tizianapers.blogspot.it/
selected performances and exhibitions:
2014 I SEE YOU, curated by Valentina Sonzogni, Nuvole project, Scicli 2013 I SEE YOU, performance, Castello di Rivoli Museum, in range of the exhibition Marinella Senatore / Building Communities, in collaboration with Vulcano and the Educational Department of the Castello di Rivoli, Rivoli, Torino, Italy ITALIAN MARKET_Friulian Reels Collective, Happy Valley Racecourse, Hong Kong, by Camera di commercio italiana di Hong Kong e Macao TRIVIGNANO DREAMS by Persisters, Targovishte City Art Gallery, Bulgaria, IIC Sofia AHIMSA, Chiesa di Santa Cristina, Chiesa di Sant'Antonio e Istituto d'Arte Toschi, Parma, curated by Arsprima, text Silvia Bottani TRIVIGNANO DREAMS, by Persisters, Plovdiv City Art Gallery, Bulgaria, IIC Sofia 2012 TRIVIGNANO DREAMS, public installation by Persisters, NDK Lovers Bridge @National Palace of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria AT THE END OF THE MIRROR, Cuori sulla Terra, Cattedrale ex-Macello, Padova, in collaboration con the Munipality of Padova and Arsprima PANDORA_3: The Commensal, Corpiscomodi, Cant霉, Milano MORE OR LESS POSITIVE @MMC Luka, Pula PANDORA_2: The First Supper, Vicino/lontano Premio Terzani, in collaboration with Arsprima, UD CROSSING OVER _ spazio CLANG, Scicli 2011 BUTCHER始S SHOP OF LIFE, Arsprima-Nur gallery, Milano, curated by Cristina Gilda Artese H-OUR ZERO, ex slaughterhouse, Padova 2010 WALLS OF AUTHORITY, Old Police Station, London MACELLERIA DI VITA, performance, Corte di Palazzo Morpurgo, Udine BLICKE. SGUARDI. POGLEDI, curated by CRAF, Landesarchiv, Klagenfurt SGUARDI POGLEDI, curated by CRAF, Udine, Chiesa di San Antonio THE BERLIN WALL, Promenade gallery, Vlore, Albania, curated by Artan Shabani
2009 PANDORA_2: The First Supper, KROSSING, collateral event of the 53rd International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, Venice SGUARDI POGLEDI, Slovenski Etnografski Muzej, Ljubljana VIDEOSPRITZ®EST#4, curated by Laura Spolaore, Trieste Contemporanea, Trieste NEW DIGITAL AGE Russian Biennal of Photography, Novosibirsk State Art Museum, curated by Andrey Martynov, Novosibirsk, Russia 2008 PRIX PICTET, Bagamoyo, video slide show, Palais De Tokyo, Parigi AZANIA SPEAKS Visions of Partnership in todayʼs Africa, International Conference and Visual Art exhibition, Università degli Studi di Udine PRIX PICTET, Bagamoyo, video slide show, Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) N.EST, Project Room Museo MADRE, curated by Gigiotto Del Vecchio e Stefania Palumbo, Napoli TAKE AWAY FLAT ART, performance Pio Pio_ Cous Cous, Udine MARAVEE_RECYCLE, Pandora_Uno, Villa Ottelio-Savorgnan, Ariis, Udine, curated by Sabrina Zannier BAU A.U.S., Como, curated by Viviana Siviero SPILIMBERGO FOTOGRAFIA 08, The Play, Spilimbergo, CRAF, curated by Antonio Giusa and Roberto Del Grande 2007 VICINO/LONTANO_PREMIO TERZANI, Udine, video Rebirth I CERCALUNA, with and by Pierluigi Cappello, theatre performance Stazione di Topolò, 13° edition, ʻLettere al Direttoreʼ, progetto postale per Piermario Ciani, Topolò (Udine) MARAVEE_ECO, Pandora_Zero, performance, L.Danieli Scientific Park, Udine University , curated by S.Zannier 2006 ARTISTE-TEPPISTE, GAMC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bondeno, Ferrara PREMIO MARIO RAZZANO, Museum of Sannio, Benevento 2005 NEW HORIZONS IN CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN PAINTING, Miami-Dade Public Library, Miami NORTH EAST-FAR EAST, Far East Film Festival, 3g arte contemporanea, Udine HIC ET NUNC, S.Vito al Tagliamento, Pordenone, curated by Angelo Bertani 2004 FABULA, 3g arte contemporanea, Udine, curated by Sabrina Zannier MARAVEE, CLOROFILLA, Villa Ottelio-Savorgnan, Ariis di Rivignano, curated by S. Zannier PREMIO CELESTE, S. Gimignano, curated by Gianluca Marziani
Tiziana Pers t. +39.348.7450871