Sharing books as a way to fight the crisis

Since the beginning of PIIGS_An Alternative Geography of Curating, one of the most important part of it has been the decision to constantly share links, materials, articles about artists or past exhibitions, essays on different issues, and, as most important thing, some books everyone has found as relevant for the researching aspects and discursive evolution of our project. So we decided to gather all them into one common bibliography which will, at the same time, define and represent our conceptual frame where working on together. We would say that “sharing” is one of the word of this project, this is also the reason why we activated the blog talking PIIGS as a tool of collective reflection for creating something that very soon is going to be materialized. Continue reading “Sharing books as a way to fight the crisis”

Oliver Ressler

Oliver Ressler (Knittelfeld, 1970), artist and filmmaker, lives and works in Vienna. Since 1995, he has exhibited in museums and art institutions all-overs the world, in ar/ge kunst (IT), Berkeley Art Museum (US), Museum of Contemporary Art of Belgrade (SCG) and he has taken part in many biennials such as in Prague, Moscow and Taipei.
His artistic practice is characterised by a complex and political use of video, from films applying different documentary formats to multi-channel video installations. His artistic methodology is based on an in-depth sociological analysis of the new challenges triggered by neoliberalism and on a clear final result. Several works focus on the contestation of the new economical and anthropological forms allowed by neoliberalism. Continue reading “Oliver Ressler”

Learning from South (as a State of Mind)

South as a State of Mind is a contemporary arts and culture magazine founded by Marina Fokidis in 2012, the fourth violent year of economic crisis. Fokidis launched the first issue two years after the foundation of Kunsthalle Athena, a flexible institution, close to the idea of the kunstverein, and interested in making contemporary art from Athens public.

South as a State of Mind has since become a platform, an “experiment to try to break the barriers of place through a magazine … and focuses on the concept and personality of the symbolic South.”
Rethinking the southern attitude means redefining new postures, new ways and ideas to conceive questions related to the identity of a nation-state. Since late 2015, South as a State of Mind has become the temporary official magazine of documenta 14. Four special issues will be published before the opening of the exhibition in Athens and Kassel in 2017; the diagonal that is connecting two poles, two seemingly contrary cities. Quinn Latimer, documenta 14’s Editor-in-Chief of Publications, and documenta 14 Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk are the editors of the current configuration of the magazine.

A History of South as a State of Mind and A Contemporary Reading is the panel that Michelangelo Corsaro, curatorial assistant, and Laura Preston, editorial assistant, of documenta 14 will present during PIIGS_An Alternative Geography of Curating. Continue reading “Learning from South (as a State of Mind)”

Cesare Pietroiusti. The “economy” of language

Veronica Billi and Chiara Prodi, IL MANIFESTO DELLA LINGUA, in “La lingua degli affetti e del desiderio”, seminario condotto da Cesare Pietroiusti al Raum di Bologna (2016)
For conceptual reasons related to the article’s issue, this paper it is proposed in two languages, Italian and English (Italian version below)

One of the crux of PIIGS An Alternative Geography of Curating project is certainly the debate; the tool of comparison between different point of view, different practices and curatorial education, different cultures and languages.
Through the on-line platform, TalkingPiigs, we attempt to create shared language and a code that, in the course of time, became the common field where to reflect on. During the meetings of November and through discussions, talks and projections this dialogue will carry on; it will materialize in a concrete form also through an exhibition that in a dialogical way will try to create a narrative between the different curatorial project presented by each of the five nations involved. Continue reading “Cesare Pietroiusti. The “economy” of language”

The Financial Singing by Elena Mazzi

Elena Mazzi, The financial singing, 2014, installation view
One of the main goals of PIIGS and curators involved in this project must be – and it has been so far – try to understand how artists approach to the crisis. In my research I had the chance to meet Elena Mazzi (Reggio Emilia, 1984), an artist who is often dealing with the concept of crisis in its wider meaning, not only from the economic point of view.
“I’m working since long time on the crisis. In 2009 I was in L’Aquila and I lived the experience of the earthquake. I started to think about the crisis as an opportunity for positive change, the chance to start again, also thanks to Per Bak and his book How nature works, in which the Danish physicist compares ability of nature to self-organize and how so this is imitated by men”.
I had a chance to talk with Elena Mazzi about one of her works in particular, The financial singing (2014), a video installation with two screens that, through a graph and a singing performance, on the one hand it provides a real track of the trend Stock Exchange of a specific context (USA 1871-2011), the other a musical interpretation of the same.
“At a certain point in his book, Bak faces the economic issue, especially how men reacts to changes. And the Stock Exchange is one of the clearest reflections of the trend of contemporary society. It is an unpredictable complex system whose line is characterized by high and low. It is a structure in which you can find a not linear rhythm, but in some way it is cyclical. In my opinion the American Stock Exchange is the symbol of Western capitalist society that has determined the course of the twentieth century. Working closely with a soprano we transferred the graph on the pentagram. The same soprano subsequently played it in a singing performance “. Continue reading “The Financial Singing by Elena Mazzi”

Transnational Capitalism Examined by Oliver Ressler

Oliver Ressler, Transnational Capitalism Examined, exhibition view.

Oliver Ressler (Knittelfeld, Austria, 1970) will have a prominent role in PIIGS’ public program (4 to 6 November, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin) and he will give his point of view on the economic crisis in its various aspects in dialogue with Emanuele Guidi. During the last months Italy has dedicated special attention to him through a series of exhibitions that allowed the Austrian artist to expose his line of research. Everything Under Control was the first solo show in an Italian institution, ar / ge kunst Bolzano (26 February to 30 April 2016), an exhibition that primarily highlights the importance of video as a medium of a narrative that focuses on the ambiguity of the language used by the capitalist system to hide the effects of the crisis – not only economic – and the disparities between North and South. The exhibition reached its climax with Occupy, Resist, Produce (2014-2015), a three-channels video installation that in centralized on the meetings of workers of factories which had been already abandoned by their legal owners (Milan, Rome, Thessaloniki), their voices from the inside compare one to another and try to propose alternative social systems. The Visible and the Invisible (2014), also exhibited in Bolzano, is the last video of Transnational Capitalism Examined: Dancing on Systemically Important Graves, at the Fondazione Pastificio Cerere in Rome (27 September to 26 November 2016). This artwork tells the thorny reality of the commodity trade, particularly in Switzerland which is the main actress in a wild trading that acts only virtually as the products never pass through the Swiss territory. Ressler opposes to this invisibility the often catastrophic, visible, exploitation of the mining areas and of human labor in the South. The images flow marked by a smoky layer, a metaphor for the deadly toxic emissions that have anything to do with the calm, almost anonymity of Swiss commodity trading headquarters, authorized companies that contribute heavily to increase the gap between the northern few enriched and misery of the South. The exhibition in Rome proposes four other videos, the graphic rendering of an installation and a small bibliography that emphasizes on the one hand the Ressler’s documentary attitude, on the other his belief of art as sharp critical tool. In The Bull Laid Bear, made in collaboration with Zanny Begg (2012), those governments that have tried in every way to push through the banking crisis as collective economic crisis, contributing to the worsening of the global situation. The work includes four interviews with economists and activists which alternate a series of humorous cartoons of gangster bankers and corrupt courts. The Ressler’s survey is completed by Transnational Capitalism Examined: Border as Method, the second part of the roman project curated by Mike Watson, exhibited at The Gallery Apart (28 September to 26 November 2016).

Pastificio Cerere – Transnational Capitalism Examined

The Gallery Apart – Transnational Capitalism Examined 

Gianpaolo Cacciottolo

PIIGS Against Creativity.

In order to understand many of the ways of representation and visual production in Europe today if we understand EU in terms of the relationship center-periphery or north-south as seems to be the PIIGS concept’s starting point. This idea is the dialectic success-failure that seems to build expectations from people around the world have been imposed as Sensus Communis in every possibility, but especially in the neoliberal Europe today. One of the most powerful elements used to articulate the discourses of late-capitalism, and therefore in the european disruption the term of PIIGS make reference to, is ‘creativity’.

We trust, in this sense, that one of our most consolidated narratives is being influenced by an ‘ideological creativity’. A logic summed under the narratives of the austerity measures or the entrepreneur that can elucidate a society that needs the creative impulse to go on. In a context based on the image saturation, the cultural projects proliferation and the increase of artistic institutions; the word art seems to accompany to every contemporary production. Continue reading “PIIGS Against Creativity.”

Fiona Marron

Fiona Marron is a visual artist based in Dublin, Ireland. She holds a BA in Fine Art from Dublin Institute of Technology and an MA in Visual Arts Practice from IADT Dun Laoghaire.  Solo exhibitions include Co-location at RUA RED South Dublin Arts Centre, Ireland (2013), Last and First Men at The Joinery, Dublin, Ireland (2011),  As Topic and Tool at The Joinery (2010) and For Who Knows What at FOUR, Dublin, Ireland (2009).  Recent group exhibitions include In Free Circulation’ at Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin, Ingenious Showcase at The Drawing Project, Dun Laoghaire, We all live on the same sea at Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Co.Cork (2014). She has recently been awarded a residency as part the Digital Media Award at Firestation Artists’ Studios, Dublin and a production residency at Creative Spark, Dundalk, Co.Louth.

Sophie Behalf, Maeve Lynch, Steven Nestor, Rosie O’ Reilly and Benjamin Stafford had interviewed her.

Q1: Do you consider yourself an Irish practitioner of the arts? If so how does that manifest itself and is it difficult to be an Irish practitioner?

Yes – Identifying myself as an Irish practitioner of the arts, I acknowledge that my practice is based in Ireland and has a particular perspective because of this. While geographically on the periphery of Europe, and due of the island nature of the country I feel there are certain particularities to being an Irish artist. While still being exposed to European influences it is easier to be impartial to some trends. I don’t think being an artist in Ireland is necessarily difficult but I would be of the opinion that support for artists in other parts of Europe is more ingrained in society and perhaps eases certain pressures. Continue reading “Fiona Marron”

PIIGS Interview #5

Do you think PIIGS can fly? (ironical reference)

PT: The crisis that erupted in 2008, gave the neoliberal agenda a perfect excuse for its application. By the claim of “no other way”, the PIIGS countries were forced to implement large austerity measures and labour reforms, which disregard even the most fundamental EU tenets. Suddenly there were found pigs among us, and there is a fundamental logic behind this “warm” nickname. Continue reading “PIIGS Interview #5”

PIIGS Interview #4

As far as art is concerned, is it possible to defined it as the last critical space in neoliberalism reality? Can art free itself from the rules of the dominant market? Or if not, how can art deal with both the dominant economic rationality and develop an analytical approach to it?

PT: The modern economic system of art, which can be dated to the late XIX century, erupted in Paris somewhat by the instauration of the first art galleries. This galleries were envisioned to support the distribution and spreading of impressionist and post-impressionist artworks, thus representing a rebelliousness against the highly restricted art exhibited at the Salons, still clinging to the canons of the French Academie. At this point in history, approaching the spectators, by the means of another market segment, opened the possibilities of public choice and support of other artistic aspirations by the means of consumption, allowing the public to endorse another alternative order for art appreciation and validation. Continue reading “PIIGS Interview #4”