by pietro gaglianò
In front of a wall, every citizen has the right to choose in which side of the bound he wants to stay.
Artists and intellectuals, instead, have a duty: report the existence of walls.
The Wall (archives) arises from the need to detect a geography emotional, aesthetic and intellectual, to take stock of the state of global awareness and of individual responsibility, to amplify the questions on the reasons of the art through non-conventional devices of participation. Concepted for domestic space, outside the logic of the “exhibition”, The Wall proposes itself as a collection of materials around a central theme, the wall, which, contrary to its ordinary meaning, is not intended as a limitation, but is the bearer of a wide freedom of expression: a file cabinet, moving and growing, thought of as a viable model, and replicable, for the discussion on contemporary languages. Started from the classic geopolitical definition of border – of which the Berlin Wall it is the prototype for excellence – the project gives an alternative to the actual practice of the art system colonized by the monumental or minimal events and embedded from the autism of critical: The Wall is both a training event and an exhibition that can travel with a minimum requirement of productive resources and allestitive and reach the maximum participation and involvement of the public.
Andreas Calamandrei, Keine Hälfte der Welt kann ohne die andere Hälfte der Welt überleben, 2007 (the whole project is still in progress), inkjet on paper
The Wall is the chronicle of an ongoing dialogue, a relationship sought with artists, filmmakers, curators, scholars, sometimes found other times failed. Each one of my interlocutors has accepted some rules (primarily the acceptance of a specific theme, that of geopolitics, variously declinable) deciding to reply to my invitation to participate with a formal o theoretical contribution, but someone else has also declined. Then everyone has reflected on that theme following their own inclinations, expressing a personal point of view.
The project, born in 2010, moves completely out of the exhibition logics, it really is the restitution of a private archive to the public. And the paradox is this: a project imagined as intimate and private is able to declare itself, even if not directly understandable, at least investigable, accessible to the audience. Here is another doubtless fallible dialogue, but with a decent number of successes. Finally, more than anything else, I wanted to create an active opening between arts (for various reasons) and emergencies concerning human and civil rights. The project derives mainly from a lacking acknowledgement, from the inability to identify a pass of coherence in the duties that anyone involved in contemporary languages should assume.
Cuoghi Corsello, Poesia sui muri, received 03.01.2011 on suggestion of Elisa Del Prete, Nosadella.due. Photos are connected with some poem and they have been printed in 2011.
My interest addresses to civil rights and freedom of opinion, to the real opportunity to acquire the instruments to create a personal point of view in the relationship between citizens and institutions. Hannah Arendt called it “a matter of individual responsibility,” a general attitude towards reality and politics that now seems very accessory. As a citizen, everyone has the right to choice on which side of the wall be placed, but artists and intellectuals have a duty: to raise the issue of the walls existence (now, in our country, even the most abstract one take dangerously tangible forms), and instigate a discussion, return to take on the “responsibility”, get one’s hands dirty.
Giovanni Oberti, I muri non parlano/walls can’t speak, 2011, project for writing, variable size, received 01.04.2011
In this process the archive is considered as a collection and selection space oriented to the future rather than the past despite the etymology of the term. The project develops a discussion model on contemporary languages and communication with the audience who reinterprets the contemporary practice of archiving. Arrange the items as pawns in a single path. The archive reflects choices and geographical moves, allows me to collect and represent my own story, the story I want to tell, I try to make sure that all the things I do have a sense, even if the meaning is revealed retrospectively. I am moved by this anxiety to examine in depth, by the need to categorize, the archive is not intended in an extensive way, but rather intensive one, It penetrates the meaning of the work. I have always been fascinated by artists who collect and catalog objects, artists who make of the collection a mimetic matter.
In The Wall, the archive lives a dual existence: one is dematerialized, on the web, and the other is material, in the exhibitions, although the latest is the only one for me. The items must have a physical precipitate.
Angelo Maggio, Tramonto a Gioia Tauro (RC), 2010, digital photo, variable size, received 12.31.2010
I am interested in the symbolic and relational space that is generated when the audience enters into the physical space of direct contact with the work. This is the reason of the various steps taken from the archive to bring together the audience and the documents. The archive, and this project in particular, makes sense when the consultation is open to the public. Its main purpose is to be generator of meaning, symptom and icon of the conflict, the formalization symbol of possible things.
The items, videos, photos, drawings, artworks, letters, books, objects, verbal statements are not arranged in narrations a priori, but according to a fortuitous and necessary storytelling. In that precise connection every document tells something new, something different. Unexpected relationships are created, a kind of anarchy that goes against the principles of hierarchy that regulate generally contemporary art, reigns. Each order tells a tale. Interpretations overlap.
John Duncan, There must be a way across this river, 2011, tale, text printed on paper, received 02.27.2011 on suggestion of Elisa Del Prete, Nosadella.due
For the first editions of The Wall, moved by a taxonomical inclination, I tried to make a cataloging of items according to some criteria (geopolitical, social, linguistic, emotional) in an attempt to maintain a certain classification of the articles, but soon I had to surrender to chance or whim, or to my perception of the existence at that given time so that everyone can build their own personal speech. This feature of horizontality, of inclusive share in the archiving is inevitably reflected in the way in which people have access to the various contributions.
On june 2010 I asked Muta Imago to participate at The Wall (archirves).
They loved immediately the nomadic and temporary identity of the project, both enduring and boundless. So they decided it shold be beautiful to enclose the archives behind a wall, in order to preserve it. As it happens during a war, or an invasion, and people is forced to escape and to protect documents, papers, photos: the memory of a place is hidden behind a wall, walled up. Any time they arrive in the venue that will host the archive and they built a wall, with bricks and concrete. Who wants visit the archive must make a gesture, a striking action, he/she has to take a position: to break down a wall and get in. The archives travels from town to town, and moves also the wall that hides it.
moves from city to city, and expanded itself with the work of new authors.
Previous steps: Florence, Rome (with Reload), Bologna (with Nosadella.due), Lecce (with Archiviazioni), City of Luxembourg (with Ultranature and Labo/Casino Luxembourg), Santa Croce sull’Arno, Pisa (with Villa Pacchiani), Cosenza (with Università della Calabria), Cremona (with B.go Loreto/SP), Pergola, Pesaro (with Sponge Artecontemporanea).
Consult the entire archive of The Wall
Pietro Gaglianò (1975) is an art critic and scholar of contemporary languages. His main topics of interest concern the urban, architectural, and social contexts as stages for contemporary artistic practices, the connection between art and geopolitical emergencies, and the relationship between the visual art experience and the theoretical system of performing arts and experimental theatre. He studies hybrid forms of art and form, where creative languages are exploited in non-discriminatory fashions to increase social awareness. Since 2000, he practices criticism, curatorship, and events planning, and collaborates with several public and private institutions and galleries, as well as several municipal and provincial administrations in Italy. He teaches in Italian and American Universities.