“Same same but different”: the PIGS exhibition and how originality is no more a strong point in contemporary art, rather the lack of it highlights a common feeling about an unsolved issue.

Back in 2015, Escuela Moderna and Ateneo Libertario, two artistic and political groups who share the same operative platform created by Massimo Mazzone (www.escuelamoderna.eu), organized a show about crisis and the art from PIGS’ states. The exhibition structure was not focused on the “exhibition moment” rather than on the creation of a network capable of managing various issues about the crisis. The idea of making a show about crisis started in Italy, then it migrated to the other states of the acronym. Informed on a do-it-yourself politic, they specifically gathered artists and researchers uninvolved in any economical committee or in conflict of interests. Each nation showed a specific issue about the main topic, differing from the others; in Lisboa, at the BOESG, there has been some conferences about gentrification and immigration mainly held by Italian and Portuguese researchers and artists; in Athens, at the Nosotros, Giorgio Byron-Davos talked about artistic practice and activism, Franco Bifo Berardi on the debt and its social implication, Mauro Folci on crisis and existentialism; in Rome, at the Parco della Musica, researchers focused on the same problems as above. Both in Barcelona, but there the lecturers stressed the anthropological problems linked to the crisis. In particular, Beltran Roca Martinez insisted on the activist as a pivotal character who produce knowledge, among scientists, intellectuals and artists. The entire PIGS show was mainly centered on this aspect. Foremost the topics that came out from those meetings were about crisis and its implication on quotidianity, the city as a place of experimental artistic activism and the DIY international activism network as the unique solution against the crisis. What became evident, in those meetings, was the crisis as a form of exceptionality which, years by years, turn into norm. Following what Giorgio Agamben said in State of exception (2003), PIGS focused not only on the figure of contemporary activists but it tried to figure out the setting where crisis spreads itself.
In the background of each show has been projected some videos focused on crisis, mostly subbed. At the bottom of the text you can find the list of those videos.
In those projects, DIY ethics overcome the curatorial project of a showmaking; in order to have an autonomous discourse about crisis we should start on thinking about which kind of peculiarity our show can bring to the main topic. Actually, the shared topic should not interferes on the main theme, which is overall urgent and it is not a shame that two exhibitions reflect upon the same topic in the same years. Of couse we could differ from what concern the curatorial discouse.
Among the other points (“5 cues to design a non-exhibition – the curator’s studio“), I think we could focus also on these two points:

Our “critique of the economical system” should not use the megaphone: we can highlight the choice of the artists who takes part of the project as a curatiorial principle, instead of a mere contenutistic choice. The main goal is to argument the choice as an active will. I think we can also focus on artists who are in-crisis (due to crisis), not just artists talking about crisis.

Enlarging the horizon of crisis’ topic, not just insisting on the economical features, and showing visually how crisis can be intended as a starting point for a curatorial discourse. The exhibition space permits us to insist on the close contact of the participants; in order to apply the law benefits>costs we should insist on performativity and on immateriality. Conferences and meetings can be intended as dialectic/artistic exercises, too much underrated during crisis time.

List of video projected during each meetings:

Caosmos, Arthesis, Spain, 2015 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3uvLz2Ab_w)
L’astronauta, Fabrizio Boni and Giorgio de Finis, Italy, 2013
Global project frame/5, Nicoletta Braga, Itay, 2012-2015 (here is seenable only the third part instead of the fifth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hob1zel9F6A)
…No future is definite, Akis Stamadiatis, Greece, 2014
Il n’y a pas de spectateurs, Democracia, Spain, 2010 (www.democracia.com.es/proyectos/il-ny-a-pas-de-spectateurs/)
L’ameno appena in tempo, Mauro Folci, Italy, 2006 (https://vimeo.com/31326045)
Virgen con termitas, GrupoLatinoamericanoArteContemporaneo, Venezuela, 2009
La sindrome de Sherwood 2, Nuria Guell, Spain, 2013 (https://vimeo.com/79176932)
Laboratio Metropoliz_CittàMeticcia, Iralinks/Framecutter Fabbrica/Metropoliz_Autocostruzione/Biocompatibilità, Italy, 2014 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeqIINjcOyY)
Hackeando ritmos, LaRavala/Fotomovimiento, Spain, 2015
Terrorista son ellos, LaRavala, Spain, 2015 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxUfMVuYw5M)
BSR1, Biblioteca Social Reconstruir, Juan Pablo Macias, Mexico, 2009 (http://juanpablomacias.tumblr.com/)
Cultura&Locura, Antonio Manuel, Brasil, 1973
2 Giugno, Massimo Mazzone, Italy, 2006 (https://myspace.com/complotsystem/video/duegiugno/61986385)
Memory Capsules; Avlonas, Despina Meimaroglou, Greece, 2012
L’arte di Metropoliz, Metropoliz Lab, Italy, 2015
Interraciones ciudadanistas, Domingo Mestre, Spain, 2012 (https://vimeo.com/94641043)
4 Stelle Hotel, Paolo Palermo and Valerio Muscella, Italy, 2014-2015 (www.4stellehotel.it)
Urban action, Particula, Portugal, 2006 (www.vimeo.com/153232271)
Muy fràgil, Planta Peinazo and Bea Guijarro, Spain, 2015 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD671X6iKx4)
La formacion por la forma, Pedro G. Romero, Spain, 2000 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0tTAlEcFUM)
The iberic peninsula devoured by pigs, Santiago Sierra, Spain, 2013 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6ccT38HEeI)
Resistir es existir, VENKO, Spain, 2014 (www.youtube.com/watch?v=p90zv7W-llI)
Apocalissi in classe turistica, Alberto Zanazzo, Italy, 2001
Z/Zei!, Laura Cazzaniga, Italy, 2015 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8x89-HT-kA)
Semana tragica, Escuela Moderna/Ateneo Libertario, Spain, 2009 (www.escuelamoderna.eu)
Fiumara, Crisula Plakioti, Italia, 2015
No borders for people, Elisa Franzoi, Italia, 2014 (www.youtube.com/watch?v=upBvwYEyKjs)
Carbonenero, Sandro Mele, Italia, 2013 (www.anmgallery.com/carbonenero/#1)
Makita mi scappa la pipì, Angela Marzullo, Italia, 2014 (www.angelamarzullo.ch/?p=82)
Miradas: retrats sense sorte, David Fernandez and Silvia Cepero, Spain, 2014

Mostly reasearches who took part at the exhibition came from different background but shared same political ideas. Here is the list of the researchers who took part of each meeting:

Athens (Artheis and Nosotros Social Center, 16 – 22 march 2015 ):

Giorgio Byron-Davos (researcher, activist, curator)
Mauro Folci (artists and theacher of performativity at Brera Academy: http://www.maurofolci.it)
Franco Bifo Berardi (activist and researcher)

Rome (Parco della Musica 3 – 12 april 2015) :

Anna Cestelli Guidi (curator, director of Fondazione Musica per Roma and Auditorium di Roma)
Paolo Martore (researcher)
BPM: Blocchi Precari Metropolitani (https://www.facebook.com/Blocchi-Precari-Metropolitani-675076152611908/)

Barcelona (Arts Santa Monica, LaRavala, Reial Circle Artistic, 28 april – 4 may 2015) :

Beltran Roca Martinez (anthropologist)
LaRavala (activists)
Giorgio de Finis (artist)
Juan Domingo Sanchez Estop (philosopher)
Nello Barile (sociologist)
Beatriz Guijarro Turegano (researcher)
Laura Cazzaniga (http://www.lauracazzaniga.com/)
Mauro Folci (artists and theacher of performativity at Brera Academy: http://www.maurofolci.it)
Alberto Zanazzo (artist)
Venko (activists)

Lisbon (BOESG, 28 – 30 june 2015):

Nicoletta Braga (artists, http://www.nicolettabraga.it)
Andrea Staid (historian)
Alessandro Zorzetto (architect, http://www.ruralboxx.blogspot.it)
Silvia Braco Jorge and Mario Rui Pinto (architect and activist)
Sara Gonzalez (researcher)

You can find some photos of the exhibition here: http://escuelamoderna.eu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=34:pigs-i-luoghi-e-le-azioni-una-rete-di-reti&Itemid=4

Alessandro Ferraro

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