Installation-based performance, 2019
A pictorial-performative installation that I developed with daily sessions for two weeks during a residency at the Macro Museum in Rome. The installation begins with the construction of a symbolic wall, made by assembling cardboard modules found by chance in the network, whose sinister shape - which would seem to be the fruit of the manufacturer’s unawareness - fits perfectly into the concept of the work. The Wall, whatever its color, its latitude, and its substance, material or mental, is a diabolic idea: besides keeping out the unwanted, it imprisons people inside. The Wall, therefore, has a double value: separation from the outside and control of the interior.
This principle has its plastic manifestation in the second phase of the work, when, within the area circumscribed by the Wall, I marked the territory with the colors, symbols, and shapes of the American flag. In this phase, I was "assisted" by some small robots that interacted with the installation. Those that I place inside the Wall, equipped with black markers, contribute and at the same time always interfere with my design, but also tend to expand their random trajectories, ending up inevitably at the borders, where they attack the cardboard bricks looking for a way out. The performance then develops in my attempt to continue the design, while in the meantime I try to monitor the behavior of the robots, bringing them back within the fixed perimeter when they manage to get out, and restoring the wall failures: a clumsy and labored dance in which is consumed the grotesque nature of control.
If one would want to see sense in the mechanical behavior of these unconscious devices, you could say that the Wall is a prison, before being an obstacle, and that paradoxically it’s going to affect those inside primarily. Because no mechanical or biological system, simple or complex, programmed to expand, can be held within a closed and circumscribed area. On the one hand, we have the Wall, on the other an unstoppable and imponderable entropy.
At the end of the performance, the wall was demolished entirely by the robots, and a big drawing (600cmX560cm) was produced, consisting of 48 single white cardboard panels(100cmX70cm).
Macro Museum, Rome - January 2019
T * Danse Festival, Aosta - October 2019
Share Prize, Turin - September 2020
Concept and art direction - Francesca Fini
Interview (Italian) on RAI Italian TV - open link
Video-recap by Macro Museum - open link
About The Paperwall, video notes - open link
Website of the project