Parla del tuo Villaggio is, after Home Sweet Home–esplorazioni dell’abitare, the second chapter of a long-term research on the theme of dwelling that will accompany the artistic programming of KORA-Centro del Contemporaneo for the coming years. The exhibition, curated by Paolo Mele and Claudio Zecchi, is the first of three installations that will follow one another throughout the year with the intention of integrating a more complex vision through a broad and plural body of voices that will dirim through different formats such as masterclasses, talks, projections and performances. If the chapter on the house was a way to question the instituting dimension of a Center for Contemporary Production and Research, the chapter on the Village is instead a way to reflect on what it means to make cultural production in a liminal area, a small town, involving it in all its meshes.
The public art workshop held at KORA in the summer of 2021, coordinated by the artist duo Bianco-Valente, was the lever to begin systematizing a broader reflection on the potential offered by a village that seeks to transform its limitations into strengths.
The result of the workshop was a mural titled A chi appartieni collectively signed by the participants and created at the Corigliano d'Otranto-Melpignano-Castrignano de' Greci Comprehensive Institute and the permanent work Parla del tuo Villaggio by Bianco-Valente.
This, an LED inscription installed on the pediment of the west entrance of Palazzo de' Gualtieriis, gives the title to the entire exhibition while also representing a statement with respect to the intention to open and make the cultural proposal organic within the territory in which it operates.
The writing takes its cue from a quote by Russian poet Lev Tolstòj that reads in full, "If you want to be universal, speak of your village". This phrase is meant to state that taking care of a small town located in an ideal marginal line means taking care of human life in its essence and extremes and, therefore, also of its culture.
If the title of the exhibition is inspired by the work of Bianco-Valente, two texts, on the other hand, structure its theoretical basis: Realizable Utopias (1974) by Yona Friedman and Beyond the Floating Islands (1985) by Eugenio Barba, which intend to investigate the possible utopian thrust that resides in small groups, in "marginal movements," and in the strength of collective (or collectively activated) work.
Eugenio Barba writes: "[...] This country has long appeared to me as an archipelago. And its islands like floating islands. I used a historical comparison: a minor episode in New World history tells of men who abandoned the safety of the mainland to lead a precarious life of floating islands. To remain true to their desires, they built villages and towns, or meager dwellings with a fistful of land for a vegetable garden, there where it seemed impossible to build and cultivate anything: on the water and in the currents. These were men who, either out of personal necessity or because they were forced to, seemed destined to be antisocial and managed to create other models of sociality. The floating island is the earthly encounter that can get lost underfoot, but that can allow for encounter, for overcoming personal limitations.
But beyond floating islands, what exists? What or who does one encounter?".
Thus, the floating islands are a kind of utopia that, in Yona Friedman's words, we could precisely define as realizable: "believing in a utopia and being a realist at the same time is not a contradiction, "a utopia is, par excellence, realizable" provided that the necessary collective consensus is obtained because a utopia imposed by force is no longer such".
In continuity with the previous exhibition, Speak of Your Village will also run for one year: July 21, 2022-June 2023.
The first exhibition will last until November 18, 2022
Bianco-Valente, Filippo Berta, Carlos Casas, Francesco Cavaliere, Luigi Coppola, Giuseppe DeMattia, Alessandra Eramo,Claudia Losi, Theodoulos Polyvioue Alfatih, Andrea Nacciarriti, EnzoUmbaca, Marco Maria Zanin.
Artists collective mural:
Grazia Amelia Bellitta, Paolo Bini, Alice Caracciolo, Alice Di Nanna, Elena Eugeni, Sara Fiorentino,Rebecca Fuso, Nicola Guastamacchia, Vincenzo Luchena, Mariantonietta Clotilde Palasciano,Rossana Viola, Apo Yaghmourian.