Wednesday, 22 December 2010

All I Don't Want This Christmas

1. I don't want to be stuck in London.
Although I have never spent Christmas here, and it would be nice, I don't want to start this year: since I have left my country, festivities and all they concern turned from being something that "has to be done" to something that I definitely want to do: spend time with the family. We will all be heartbroken if I missed those days because of the snow leaving airports in chaos. A Skype conference call won't do, this time.

2. I don't want to end up in front of the TV after the meals.
Whenever I go back, it seems like I never left. Therefore, I end up doing what I used to do, forgetting that I now see Rome twice a year if I am lucky; I should be out enjoying the beauty of my hometown, taking a stroll in the chilly air, remember what it is to look at hundreds of years of history. Rome during Christmas is a magic place to share with the people you love.

3. I don't want to be necessarily happy.
"Merry Christmas" is just a wish. People hope that you will be merry, but this doesn't mean that you have to. Well, putting bad feelings aside for a day or two can only do you good, but pretending is another matter. This would be my wish for Christmas: be yourself, whatever mood you woke up in.

4. I don't want to miss a thing.
Wish I wouldn't, at least. But when you've been away two years things happen, things which are not necessarily shared over the phone, things that put you, willy-nilly, out of the loop. Everyone is nice to you because you are there just for a short time and they don't want you to worry, or to burden you with anything. This is, in my opinion, even more worrying.

5. I don't want to eat too much.
I know: just a silly thought. It's just that food and alcohol fuddle you (which brings us back to point 2) and you end up always having the same discussions around the table: politics and your parents telling all the pranks you did as a child to your husband, in-laws and everyone happening to pop by for a quick greet.

6. I don't want to come back to London with yet another set of bed linens.
Of course presents are not important, but please, Auntie dear, please. To see the family all together is already a great present.

7. I don't want to forget this Christmas.
Let's admit it: we do do always the same stuff at Christmas; this makes the days muddled and interchangeable, making you forget what happened in the specific. This year could be the year before or the one after, and so on. Some changes in the routine will make an unforgettable day.

8. I don't want to make anyone unhappy.
I have put my best effort in the presents this year. I have searched, selected, and really thought about the people I am going to give them to. Little thoughts, nothing special, but everything is heart-made.

I would like to also add points 9 and 10 to have a nice, round list, but that's all for now.
For some serious good wishes, please come back later!

Pictured: my Christmas Ficus Tree and home-made garland, realised from scratch with till's receipts.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Falling Slowly: the three works show

Exercising is vital.

I have been neglecting the blog and writing terribly lately, but in the rush up to Christmas things picked up and distraction is not an option, otherwise mistakes occur.
I have to say that they do occur even without distractions, but that's another story.

Talking about University and MA instead, I would like to report here an "exercise" that our tutor gave us:
Choose three artworks and make a show out of it, completed of an exhibition plan.

That is what I came out with and, I must say, I really like the idea of a small, virtual show.
The title would be Falling Slowly, taken from a song:

Take this sinking boat and point it home / We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice / you had a choice / You've made it now
Falling slowly sing your melody / I'll sing it loud

Glen Hansard, musician

These would be the artworks on display, in an ordinary, four walls room:

John Everett Millais, Ophelia, 1851 ca, Oil on canvas, 76 x 111 cm
First one to be seen from the entrance: it's quite a large work and has to make its impact. Not to mention the incredible importance that it had for many future generations of painters, so the spot of honor is definitely for it.

Lee Miller, Dead SS Guard in Canal, Dachau, Germany 1945
This small photograph goes in front of the Millais. I am very interested in the dialogue between the two mediums, painting and photography. And that is why the third selected work is:

Yigal Ozeri, Priscilla in Ecstasi, 2006, Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 cm
This one would go on the bottom wall between the two mentioned artworks. 

The text accompanying the show would be this:

John E. Millais’ Ophelia is the depiction of a tragedy: an exceptionally young woman, who was driven crazy by death and loss, lets herself drown while singing until the very last moment. From painting to photograph, Lee Miller’s most famous war reportage picture of a dead SS soldier in Dachau’s canal has often been described by the critics as a contemporary take of the above painting. In the middle, here it stands Yigal Ozeri’s small work: at first sight it does look like another photograph but is, in fact, an incredibly detailed painting; the reprise of Ophelia is, this time, turned from agony to ecstasy, with the techniques of the other two works fused together in a confusing, hybrid result.

The dialogue between the three pieces moves on from the investigated technique to explore the meaning of a fall: according to Eduardo Cycelin, who in turn drew from Deleuze, “falling is the most vivid of sensations, and it is here where one recognizes the feeling of being alive. The staging of death is not its content, but rather indicates the place where the tension of representation is highest and the fall most rapid.”
These look like Apollonian, perfectly represented forms: from the obsessive precision of the Pre-Raphaelite painting to the photograph’s automatic depiction of reality, culminating in the surgical exactness of a painting copied from a photograp; at the same time, they seem to hem in the expression of our Dionysian bestial selves, the intensity of the sensation expressed by gaping, singing mouths and culminating, at the end of the fall, in the self-contemplative silence of death.

It would be nice to hear your opinions: is this a show worth seeing?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Warp and Weft

This is the critical essay accompanying the performance "Scala 1:18" by Marco Dalbosco

Behind the intertwining of textiles the remnants of the history of modern society are concealed. The Industrial Revolution, which began in England in the middle of the 18th Century, brought about the textile industries that drove people from the countryside to the city, to serve in the factories. The constant and never changing rhythm of factory machines has since lasted for centuries upon centuries.

With a long experience as a worker in an Italian textile factory, Dalbosco, originally from the Trentino region of Northern Italy, has taken on the meanings of factory work, investigating its dynamics. Following Guy Debord’s idea of society as a spectacle, instead of the spectacularization of the production system, the alienation of the individual, the suspension of a thinking being and the unavoidable conformation to the masses underline Dalbosco’s work. Still following Debord’s ideas, the same suspension is applied to the definition of art: every artwork holds a crystallized and closed eternity within it, whereas the direct experience of the ephemeral carries forward the concept of situation. A situation’s flux expires in the space of an action, and in this clever passage suspension is transformed into movement.

Dalbosco’s performance not only engages with but also engrosses the public; there is no account of its fleeting passage but for the films and photographs, today’s techniques of reproduction. In Scala 1:18, five performers, all dressed and with their hair in the same style, move according to the imagined trajectory of a warp and weft. They weave the void, pushing it towards something unknown as if to redeem the mechanics of alienation. It may succeed for a second, yet they can neither go beyond their starting point nor change a predetermined trajectory, as this would result in the breakdown of the machine put into motion. Hence, the dancers/performers are stuck in a never-ending production. A performance that appears to be a metaphor for our own thoughts: the movement may appear free but it is, without our knowing, constructed and constricted.

Monday, 13 December 2010

MARCO DAL BOSCO > Scala 1:18

SYBINQ ART PROJECTS, in collaboration with LONDON METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY, is pleased to invite you to:

SCALA 1:18 a performance by  

Presented by sybin > susanna bianchini

from 6:30 pm

Unit G15
London Metropolitan University
41 Commercial Road
London E1 1LA


Italian artist Marco Dalbosco presented the performance Scala 1:18 for the first time as a parallel event at Manifesta 7 (Rovereto, Italy 2008). Setting its contents in the factory ambient and analyzing its obsessive and repetitive production process, the performance involves five women, dressed and combed the same, repeating all the same gestures, steps and sequences enhanced by a projected video of machines at work. The entire operation seems to have a liberating aspect that redeems creativity from job alienation; in fact it focuses, at the same time, on the issue of repeating and modulating mechanisms, set behind the creativity myth. The performers look like they are free, whereas they always come back to the starting point; they become metaphor for our own way of thinking, which sometimes may be constructed and constricted.
Following Guy Debord’s idea of society as a spectacle, instead of turning the production system into a show it is the alienation of the individual, the suspension of a thinking being and the unavoidable conformation of the mass that underline Dalbosco’s work. The choreographer Gloria Ploritch and her students, all from the Italian Northern Region of Trentino, have been working all along with Dalbosco to give shape to this performance, never before presented in the UK.

The exhibition is accompanied by a text by the Curator. 

Scala 1:18 is the closing event of SybinQ Art Projects for the year 2010.


MARCO DALBOSCO lives and works in London. Selected Events > 2010: Scala 1:18, London Metropolitan University, London (UK) and 26cc Space for Contemporary Art, Rome (IT); Meeting Ring, SybinQ Art Projects, London (IT);Incerti Arredi # Office Sales, Cesare Pietroiusti’s Studio, Rome (IT). 2009: 1h Art Project, London (UK). 2008: Scala 1:18, Manifesta7, Parallel Event, Rovereto (IT). 2008: Incerti Arredi, Paolo Tonin  Contemporary Art, Turin (IT).

GLORIA POTRICH lives and works in Rovereto, Italy, where she teaches Contemporary and African dance at the CDM – Didactic Centre for Music, Theatre and Dance. Her research started from Expressive African Dance passing through Contact and Dance Theatre to arrive to a research-based type of dance characterised with a bond with live music. 

SUSANNA BIANCHINI lives and works in London. By using the pseudonym of sybin, she curated various shows and created SybinQ Art Projects, a nomad space devoted to the promotion of exhibition projects, especially with young artists. This is mainly through the commissions of new artworks and the creation of unusual shows settings, outside the so-called “regular” exhibition’s parameters.

This event is possible thanks to the support of the Provincia Autonoma di Trento (IT), Cultural Association Ordine_Sparso (IT), London Metropolitan University and Levent Bozdere (UK).

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