TUE-SAT: H10:00 H18:00
TUE-SAT: H10:00 H18:00
The exhibition is on view at Spazio In Situ, Via San Biagio Platani 7, Rome.
Free entrance (registration at the door).
Opening hours: tuesday-saturday H10:00 – H18:00
Istituto Svizzero is pleased to collaborate with Spazio In Situ to the exhibition Un ipotetico corso (A Hypothetical Course), featuring artworks by Dianita, Claire Frachebourg, Alex Ghandour, Petra Köhle & Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin, Lucia Masu, Michèle Rochat and curated by Federica Martini.
Un ipotetico corso starts with a free collective reading of the short story Another Story, or a Fisherman of the Inland Sea (1994) by US writer Ursula K. Le Guin. Having abandoned scientific research, the narrator sends a report to themselves in which the story of a vanished world is juxtaposed with the protagonist’s experiments on transilience, a process that indicates radical and sudden historical changes, geological mutations and impermanence.
In Le Guin’s story, the search for a suspended time without intervals is linked to the legend of the fisherman Urashima, who crosses waters and epochs. On their return to the nation Earth, Urashima discovers that their journey has not lasted a few hours but centuries; the landscape that awaits them is desolate, the fields are infested with weeds. Urashima’s journey is a prelude to the story of a community in the process of reconstruction after the forced abandonment of the Earth nation. It traces back their search for new forms of sociality and the difficulty of resolving collectively and univocally the tensions between science and belief, formal and informal knowledge.
Un ipotetico corso fits into the narrative breach opened by Le Guin and adheres to the hypothesis of a journey with a circular temporality where past, present and potential event are intertwined in an organic and horizontal way. “Where words lack precision,” writes Le Guin, “syntax could transport us to another planet and then bring us home in an instant”. The word models, investigates the ambiguous proximity between belief and empirical knowledge, aligns with the methods of thought-experiment that speculative narratives share with the works in the exhibition. Like participating observers of community resilience dynamics, the works seize sharp historical breakthroughs and deviations from main narrative courses. They engage with active listening of voices in their raw and unexpected state; they refer plausible but unverifiable, referring to truths and narratives necessarily conjugated in the plural.
The exhibition opens with the installation O (2021) by Claire Frachebourg, which infiltrates the ceiling of the space. According to a variable and random geometry, a series of skin-coloured balloons inflated with helium alludes to the solar etymology of the gas. The interplay of transparency and opacity established by O further takes on metaphorical significance in the work of Petra Köhle & Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin. A curtain crosses the space and simulates transparency on an opaque fabric. In It remains to be seen if […] and if it will be (2021) a mute loudspeaker can be seen, alluding to a Carrara marble surface that was the subject of a commercial transaction between Italy and the Palais des Nations in Geneva in the 1930s. At the centre of the work is the potential inherent in the blind spots of the archives of the League of Nations, now the UN. A video essay alludes to the co-existence of transparency and opacity in the unique experience of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, a monumental construction site completed in 1938, whose furnishings (artworks, furniture, covering materials, etc.) were in part entrusted to the eclectic diplomatic gifts of the member states. In Köhle & Vermot’s work, the furnishings of the Palais des Nations and all the gifts accepted and refused bear witness as much to the artistic and industrial expertise of the donor countries as to the insoluble aesthetic and political conflicts implicit in international dynamics. In Lucia Masu’s video Brainstorm (2021), the stratification of time becomes a material hypothesis. The narration focuses on the processes of fragmentation and repair that are inherent in the familial and collective dimension of mental illness, and in the documentation and bureaucratic protocols in which diagnoses are inscribed. In the video, water acts as an archive of memory and a unifying element that connects and evokes fluid human and non-human genealogies as opposed to the separation implicit in dissociative illnesses. The dynamics of affinity, association and repulsion also occupy the video installation Through the Rim (2021), a narrative relationship in three voices by Dianita, Claire Frachebourg and Alex Ghandour. The video weaves a series of interrupted correspondences and post-industrial scenarios and records three individual experiences of a common journey through the lunar and industrial landscapes of an Alpine site. According to a collaborative protocol based on repetition and resonance, the work is articulated in three video variations from the same corpus of images and extends into the sound installation 42’65325836,25152417 (2021) by the duo rêve jaune (Dianita and Claire Frachebourg), where the register of randomness activates “temporalities that bend, touch and distance themselves”. Dianita’s fanzine An Edition of Through the Rim (2021), a limited edition that assembles reading notes, texts and images from Le Guin’s Another Story and the travel notes at the centre of the video installation of the same name, also materialises the collective process.
Alex Ghandour’s Visqueux, chiffonné et turbulent (2021) is a “topological mirage composed of an organic-looking bas-relief”, with an uncertain morphology between obstacle and passage that echoes the post-industrial scenarios of disappearance and erasure evoked by the photograph Gases for life (2021) and a natural viscose fibre suspended from the ceiling. The tension between organic and inorganic also gives shape to the glazed ceramic elements of Michèle Rochat’s Something Must Be Wrong (2021), brought together in an installation that alludes to the constructed dimension of the natural landscape. The result of a physical and chemical transformation of the material through firing, the iridescent pebbles evoke the transmutation dreamed of by alchemists and, on the other hand, the limits of the earth’s resources and their exhaustion.
The exhibition Un ipotetico corso will also be the occasion for the launch of issue 2 of Blackout Magazine (2021), an EDHEA publication based on an editorial project by Federica Martini and Christof Nüssli.
Access is allowed only to those who obtained the Reinforced Green Pass health certificate, which proves vaccination or recovery. It is mandatory to wear a Ffp2 face mask within the spaces.
A proposal by EDHEA – Ecole de design et haute école d’art du Valais (Switzerland), in collaboration with Istituto Svizzero.