Shape is the content as a solid precipitate, whenwe are pressed by taking care of our be-at-worldand the consequent actions, but always paying acloser attention to the demands to be true andto the limits of our action as individual but partsof a community as well.The strenght of dialogue, deep listening andcontraddiction give substance and nourishmentto the thought to grow into the shape of astrong and beating synthesis. That’s how itbecomes possible to resist against the worldwidebreakdown. Otherwise, if slack and sick of life,better be off than just survive.In order to preserve their freedom of thoughtand their personal artistic research, Macrì andPittatore, who still are two mammals with somebasic needs to be satisfied too, have decided toenter the so-called free market (if You call it free)by offering their precious ones... that is to say:ready to entertainment!If you need more info about their offer of goodsand services, please contact the keen eroticdoubles of Marché au Bétail as well as Mc Ries &Pittatoire, les Reporteuses Glamoureuses aussi trèsactuelles.
Something pressingIt is a common figure of speech that the artists of the new generation are absolutely cut off from politics as involvement and action. Nowadays, many artworks do not reflect indeed anypolitical or social feature of our time. This lack of criticism can be an answer to the unease caused by a general mistrust toward community as a dimension of the living, leadership as valuedguide, and opportunity as a promise of tomorrow. Within such a state of affairs, the youngest artists usually retreat in the narcissistic world of the self, as if they feel powerless and unableto realize any far-reaching change, but simply sure and confident in their own personal story, the microcosm they live in. On the contrary, some artists think of this state of confusion justas the time to go through and to confront with, which means they try to connect each other and combine their thoughts and strenghts. That is exactly the way of the duo composed byFrancesca Macrì and Irene Pittatore - same age (1979), same place (Turin) - and now as ever together in the British capital city, the two italian artists work always in duo.Through performances, collective actions or installations they act a critical quest after the viewer’s standing in front of the system (Limelight and Captivity, 2008), the reversal of the stere-otypes and the common sense about objects, and events (Act of bananas, 2008), and finally the individual dealing with the Other (Geographies of change, 2008). No doubts that Macrì andPittatore are deeply aware to be part of a community: their work as artists involves social responsabilities, not simply aesthetical ones. If aesthetics is the mother of ethics, said J. Brodskij, sureit can play a part in solving contrasts and division. “Beauty will save the world” claimed Dostoevskij too. That’s why the artist’s social responsability is an ethical question, shaping everybodyand each behaviour. And that’s why Macrì Pittatore play on different artistic means to meet those pressing needs within themselves, while stress their motives to encourage multidisciplinarycollaborations and even imagine forms of spontaneous associations from the individual to a new idea of the self.Urgently in two. Caudio Cravero, curator, PAV - Park of Living Art, Turin (Italy)
Writing on “Flash Art” (february-march 2009), Pierluigi Sacco has been lately wondering why the young italian artists lack almost completely of any political commitment.“For whatever reasons, the italian artists steer clear of these specific latitudes,” openly in offbeat against a worldwide trend that elsewhere is more and more centred upon the research bothas for the artists practise and for the curators’ work. which could explains “at least partly... the significant eclipse of the latest generations of italian artists from the international art circles”.Although it’s a country - Sacco here underlines a clear matter of fact - “that’s plenty of food for thought” and then, as we like to say, for some art deeply aware, of the times, able, above all,to take the floor, “yet it’s short of the necessary conditions to open a talk on the political commitment of the art”. In alternative the artists can do nothing but to make up by themselves“those spaces where this research and appeal can happen within, through ways and patterns news as for the past ”. One of these spaces, a little and “obstinate” space of intellectual resistanceagainst the inattentiveness has been made up by Francesca Macrì and Irene Pittatore. throught their artistical projects.We invited Macrì-Pittatore to join the workshop run by Massimo Bartolini within Proposte, an annual survey on art promoted by the Piedmont Region and curated by our group for the2008 edition. Their artistic proposal struck us first for the determination to exercise their right to speak starting from a sophisticated and articulated reflection about some crucial mattersof identity and responsability, born as open critics to the present art system and developed widely as questions on the responsability of the artists, both toward themeselves and the public,then on the artistic work within an historical frame composed by ever more obvious and deep changes and conflicts.We picked up the key of their research as a recurring question – “Whatis to do?” – through which the mind moves to consciousness, lit up by a definite stance, that in this specific occasion was a stance in regards of the ever more sheletered and autistic – upto burlesque – territory of the art system.How can the historical events we live in become items of artistical thought and research? What’s the role of culture and art (of the intellectuals and the artists in fact) nowadays? As thesewere the questions we all were involved in along the workshop and while arranging the show, Macrì and Pittatore answered showing their unease and a feeling of constraint which theydeveloped in a work meant as a reaction to the impotence caused by inaction (powerlessness as for the right to act, to speak, to tell something, to “face up to the responsability as wholepersons”). “Ribalta” (“Limelight”) is an unexpected mise-en-scène of a part of the theatral space, so arranged that catch the common spectator off guards: here the stalls become the stageand such a stage is made up by tampered stalls, completely unserviceable. It’s what remains after a distructive action. Passing through the red velvet curtain into the limelight, the spectatorlistens to a background music that is the live record of the action of boycotting, the noise produced by screwdrivers, sews and hammers. Confronting themselves with consolidated cer-tainties and views, as well as choosing on principle an to place themselves uneasy, Macrì and Pittatore metaphorically unhinge the “spectatorial dimension of the living” which is typical ofthe contemporary times, and altogether show how urgent is to stand up and move away from an art that avoids any relation with the real, with the times and the current events, optingtoo often for the silence and the removal. Lisa Parola and Luisa Perlo, curators, a.titolo
IN GENEREResearch project, 2010-2011By means of a careful observation and a direct questioningabout the role and the identity of the woman artist, aswell as about the influence of gender on the admission toartistic career and on the creative process itself, we willrealize, step by step, an action rooted on the new data andsuggestions gathered along the research.Our work of study and research will be continuouslyup-dated by a journal made of words, images, voices andvideo-interviews, capable to put us (and our interlocutors)under discussion about the women’s issues, starting fromthe theme of the female body, over-represented, hyper-represented, commercialized under every and each aspect,and then identified with the woman as a whole.We will turn our attention also to the women’s formsof representation, materials, traditional and artistictechniques and skills.Starting from the suggestions, both received and given, wewill try to give back a critical image and a new visibilityto the less or more striking forms of social and culturalsubordination, as well as to the forms of reaction to thisever-lasting phenomenon.Through the residency at Capacete (Rio de Janeiro, SanPaolo), the open dialogue on women’s issue and itsstereotype – which is ongoing with the University ofLiverpool (CAVA, Centre for Architecture and Visual Artsand Department of Philosophy), the FACT (Foundationfor Art and Creative Technology of Liverpool), TheApartment Art and Design Gallery in London and the OTTODIMARZO (MARCH8TH)Italian Institute of Culture in London, the Centre of Study iron, 79 x 201,1 cm, 2011and Documentation on Women’s Thought of Turin andthe Department Cirsde of the University of Turin – can The number eight as it is here - “fallen” and near to the mathematical symbol for the Infinity - comes to be the sign ofhave a new, precious chance for development. the painful iterance of discrimination and social exclusion against women.
LIMELIGHTInstallation. Curtains, theatre chairs, audio, spotlights, 2008 “What happened in the world, after the war and the post-war? It came the time of normality. Sure, normality. When normality establishes its reign, nobody looks around and everything everywhere seems such an usual thing. (…) A man tends to fall asleep into his own normality, he forgets to ponder, gets out of the habit of judging himself, does not even know how to ask himself who is he”. These words were written by Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1962, during the shooting of the movie La Rabbia. Criticising the art and culture current system, Francesca Macrì and Irene Pittatore have just chosen to cut off this such a common state of normality by firmly putting in question certitudes and clichés, shaping a form of resistance to that way of life they define as “merely spectator’s”. Lisa Parola, art reviewer, a.titolo, Turin (Italy) Photo by Roberto Goffi
Photo by Roberto GoffiThe strict confrontation generated by the workshop Proposals XXIII, conducted by Massimo Bartolini and curated by a.titolo, leaded to an investigation on the following topics: the visceralcommixture of art and market, the urgency of a constant practise of responsibility and consciousness as for the ethical limits in speaking and acting publicly, the effort of analysis andintervention on our present.The emergency at the focus of the project is the widespread bulling of the critical abilities in the spectator’s way of life, which has become the most common way of life as nobody feels asan active part of the community neither of the decision-making processes, but just an observer, who limits himself to look at the surface, to complain and then comply with the events.This isthe spectator who scans the social dynamics and the trends and then meets with cap in hand the orders, some clear and some subliminal, through which the establishment perpetuates itself.Subject of the ‘show’, marked by a blanket of red tents/curtains, are some lines of seats in the stall, unhinged at the arms and toppled at the ground. After the attack against them is consumedbehind the scenes, the seats shows their uselessness to the spectators who can still hear the sound of the fallings, of lacerations, thuds, as an echo that attempts to persist.These damaged armchairs stand on a stage equivalent of an audience: this is the time when the critics do not criticize, the artists do not dare to expose and the public visits the exhibitionsjust to follow a trend, and finally art is just an event. Even considering the place of the exposition - an Academy of Fine Arts - it seems urgent to denounce the overbearing turning of culturein a show, in a phenomenon of mass entertainment, which is ever more the most usual trend.The driving force of the project is the wish to offer an impossible support, that would precede (artist’s optimism of the will?) the sudden awareness of the urgency of standing up and theconsequent act, indeed.
ACT OF BANANASPerformance, 2008Circus at Levant Fair.During the 13th edition of the Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean, IP and FM, defying their death and gathering waste inside wide dresses, exhibitedthemselves in the Act of Bananas facing a crowd of swimmers eager of some VIP to meet, and a baffled MTV troupe too.The act shows the over-exposition of two bodies exhausted by their own bearing, compromising themselves in the time of emergency, perpetuating unresolved, accusative and auto-punitive gestures; finally, the fall on the asphalt and the ending of the blow.A mute request and admonition, directed to the unstoppable traffic flow, to the spectators rushing as streams to consume whatever, to a system that rejects non-conformity.
GEOGRAPHY OF CHANGEInteractive website, 2008www.geographyofchange.euProject of interaction design, selected for the 13th edition of the Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean, dedicated to kairos. The project attempts to stimulate artistsand visitors to interact with a map of Bari - venue of the event - and leave on it messages recalling the most important and prolific creative change in everybody’s lives.A flow of moveable and multilingual messages ideally and visibly slides along the streets of the city, gradually animating squares and avenues, so as to draw a kairos of millions of voices - eachone talking of creative tensions that had found a way to outcome and then yielded fruits.The amount of contributions to the map, which can still be monitored on line, has been observed in its continuous evolution during the premises of the Levant Fair, screening the video ofthe website.
GEOGRAPHY OF CHANGE IN SAN SALVARIOInteractive installation. Ink on recycled cloth, threads, 2008 On the occasion of the presentation of the project in Turin, IP and FM had interacted by direct means - without any mediation of the network - with the neighbourhood of San Salvario and its community of inhabitants, workers and passers-by. To measure the sense of the kairos inside the community, people has been requested to offer messages and stories about their lives and swings, stimulating an effort of consciousness and its manifestation through writing. The Artintown Exhibition area became a base for gathering, contact and irradiation of signs left by passing-by subjects, who rightfully became actors in the construction process of a map of possible change.
GEOGRAPHY OF CHANGE, LAYOUTCarpet. 400 x 400 cm, ink on recycled cloth, 2008The Layout is a material assemblage of the contributions, gathered during the exhibition weeks at Artintown, in the form of a carpet/curtain composed of coloured strings made of recycledcloth and carrying the marks of proposals and answers given by San Salvario inhabitants and the exhibition’s visitors to the question “What can you do that is innovative or different in orderto contribute to the transformation of your neighbourhood?”.
CAPTIVITYInstallation.Video 60’, photographic prints, 2008The project investigates into the borderline between a simply surrender to spectator’s will and a practice of self-limitation in order todevelop a critical targeted action. From within their own personal fence/window, the actors play a continuous self-observation while performing the inaccessibility of their achievements.All along the performance a camera go on shooting everything on the stage. Housed inside a small bird-cage, the camera means the self-mutilation of the sight, hampered while focusing step by step and forced to catch the phenomenon in its brutish, anguished form.The imageof every figure moving on the play comes through the thin bars of the stage and then draw intermittent trajectories, vanishing phantoms,almost bi-dimensional shapes, thus depriving the actors and the observers alike of any kind of customary and comfortable support for theself. On the thin edges of the picture, or even outside it, the “slender figures” often come to interact with one another playing a painful disarticulation of gestures – mixing up the observer with the observed one, what’s in and what’s out, the subject and the object.The prolonged, symmetrical and simultaneous, double effort of composition, the one as for the cage and the other as for their will-powerto set off that stifling fence, results in the instability of a static image, corrupted or freed from the assertive style of the pencilled outline,that pursues the tortuosity and the curves of a body contracted and abandoned and till contracted again, hampered in the movements bya heavy burden of cloth, occluding and manifesting abrasions. A sheet/placenta, turned orange with the passing of time, twines around theknotting legs, engulfs the mouths, constricts the body and cause drowsiness.The pencil plays like a forefinger, a sharp edged stiletto, moving in leaps and bounds to extenuate the effort of the onlookers and the vortex where the figure nestles itself, to the extreme.
POSTCARDSInstallation and performance. Prints on wooden panels equipped with sound headset and loud-speaker, goldfish, medical drip on a metal support, bath, clothing, nylon sheet, flour and petals.2005Postcards represents obstinate eyes eagering to see into a deep dark, where nothing comes to sight but some frantic figures rising up from daily routine, disguised images of intimate life.Thissuch a perceptive distortion marks the sound panels, where the sons of Fancy and Mind clot, shaping surgical and outdated chips.Here the fiction is properly opposite to what is false (as well as to what is supposed to be true), because every sign has been subtracted from the daily time-line to be devoted to thatuseless dimension which is the time of art - according to Mr Wilde.Throughout the performance, two bodies come up facing all sort of internal hurdles and restrictions, whereas developing those cautious ploys that keep them alive. Finally their efforts strikean alter/n/ate credulity, a fragile bridge that links an enamelled, amniotic red to the exhausted white of dehydrated figures. Colours and forms have to be worn as testimonies of an identityof excess, more solid than the features themselves.
PLAY 5.0Video HD, 2’, 2008The fierce, visionary representation of the extreme act of the spectator, reduced - in a vertigo of degradation and loss of senses - to hold a zapper, the symbol of his own subjugation, againsthimself: an extemporaneous and terminal exercise of a critical sense exhausted by the unwitting resignation to its own marginality.Here the television is an instrument that dulls the faculty of evaluation and analysis, it is an arm of power and of its subtle and standardizing coercion, an element that subtracts time fromthe active exercise of exerting one’s own will.
BETTER TO DIE THAN TO BETRAYAct of protest against ParatIIIssima 2007 ParatIIIssima, sketches from the eventThis event should have been the OFF section of the art fair Artissima. Instead of being something different, it was just a spin-off moved by the same commercial scheme. The venue of theshow was the former prison of Turin called Carceri Nuove - now a memorial to the italian resistance movement - where many italian partisans where reclused and condemned to death bythe nazifascists. Their last letters to the family are one of the most precious and celebrated legacy to the future democratic Italy.At the heart of the criticism there is a question about the dismissal of the Resistance and its meaning, a firm protest against the blind and utilitarian occupation of a place of torture anddeath to put on a supermarket selling art as nuts under the cover of something different...During the three days of the event, on the entrance of the exposition, FM and IP express a firm disagreement by words and acts, using their body and their tongue to face the stream ofvisitators, for the most acritical ones, but with some few exceptions, indeed.
Better to die than to betray10.000 leaftlets distributed ParatIIIssima, OFF event at Artissima. 9-11 November 2007 What a parade of dodgers has started! Dances, banquets and shows are open in Turin’s former prison Carceri Nuove, where Ignazio Vian, before being hanged, used his own blood to write it is better to die than to betray. Upon payment of a scrap for display, all and sundry, once cleared a cell out of the museum furniture, proudly appropriate the right of being ‘parartisti’ (OFF-artists), cramming the male and female wings of the prison with their creative inspiration shaped as clothes, tv, accessories, ornaments, and all the more following one’s whim, sure to be well served by an appropriate background of live music, OFF-sponsors, charity carnival, dj set and plenty of savories. The OFF-organizers, as tutelary deities of the spirit of the place, make it their business to keep watch that no disrespectful works-of-art (f.i.: an indecent furnishing, an improperly set body painter) will injure the prison. Let’s drink a toast to the success of the parade! To 20,000 visitors of this supermarket passing art off as an anomaly! Let’s pride ourselves on walking over the words and the blood of those partisans that gave their lives being sure about they were leaving a legacy of justice, holding firm to the urgency of their sacrifice on behalf of a free Italy. On behalf of a nation that should have been proud, conscious and firm in its Resistance; a nation that should have been able to give body to a Constitution. After a first survey of the visitors’ crowd, we turned back to the prison, walking in silence, and consulted the volunteers of No Man is an Island, the association that provides to the survival of the Museum and to the guided tours. Aiming to display the result and the feelings of this survey, we attempted to create a photographic layout of the museum route, but the camera seemed to be unease in the hand and our gaze was not focused, too low or too far from the center, as it was misted behind a mossy liquidity and always hidden behind the lens. Then we sat on the floor of the ‘hole’ - the prison wing hosting the sentenced to death: inside it was much colder than outside, sunny enough even in winter, and inside - the guide said - only breath could help when no covers were left over. On this ice-cold floor we began to writing again, one by one, the letters of those condemned to die, using small pieces of paper and starting from those of the internees of the Italian Social Republic. We were like little girls facing their first spelling book and writing with a tiring obstinacy, with a pedantic obsession about the forms, applying meticulous reproduction, with an industrious faith in a wider design to disveil, still unreachable, that will have the shape of the alphabet. This diligence and this study are claiming an assimilation that cannot be completed. The words are written one over another, creating layers or making holes in the ones below, incomprehensibly piling up, in a material accretion of ink and agony. Coming out, we felt like soaked dogs, like tired animals, longing for to shake. But we need to stand firm in this generation that is vague and weak, totally inadequate but relevant to us, plastically and ontologically far from those people who made choices and struggled. Many other things have still to be written and many to be shouted, yet enjoying a warm room, a quiet evening. We have the duty of no surrender, asking for a confirmation and taking up the violated memory. Irene Pittatore and Francesca Macrì
Better to die than to betrayLeaftlets trampled
A stand/tent where you will spectate the weary exhibition of contemporary art while showing its monumentaland spectacular market mechanisms, as the perpetual, circular motion of a sweet lollipop whose attractive spiresdrive out and drive in money and fame, but always under the reassuring shape of entertainment. Once obtained theconsecration, the artists / jokers are called to act out the number of their exploit, disseminating the fence display withthe appropriate artistic product and producing a fitting media eco of their own phenomenon.
Sprechen VerbotenA year of talks, walks, silences with Ferruccio Maruffi, a deportee to Mauthausen and now President of the ANED - National Associationof Nazi camps deportees. The end project results in a short video: near a level crossing - inescapable detonator of Ferruccio Maruffi’smemory - a firm, naked and sweet gaze consults us and silently understands us without asking to be understood. Here is the strengthof a solid and clear interlocution, which goes beyond the role of a historical testimony to become a dialogue on the present and withthe present, full of absolute resistance.
«On dit tout.Tout ce qu’on peut. Et pas un mot de vrai nulle part.» Samuel Beckett, Oh les beaux joursRelationships? This is a research on the mechanisms of construction of love and its object in times of alienation; on the difference between the virtual projection of an ideal figure and thereal profile of the living interlocutor; on the intimacy with the Impossible and the Distance; on the deferred, unbalanced, unresolved and monotonous relation with someone who escapesconfrontation and listening, but stands in a complete lack of vitality refusing dialogue, reality and learning.
Francesca Macrì (28/10/1979) Irene Pittatore (01/05/1979)holds a degree in Industrial Design and a specialization in Eco-Design, holds a first-class honours degree in History and Theory of both issued by Politecnico di Torino (Faculty of Architecture) Cinema issued by Dams di Torino (Faculty of Sciences of the and a MA in Graphic Design issued by IAAD, Turin, Italy. Formation), Italy. She realized graphical, editorial and advertisement projects for From 2006, she assumed her logo Ninika to work in video several agencies and joined in the editing and in the graphics project and photo projects for numerous national and international of the magazines Aroundinside and Altrementi. organisations. At the same time, she has been conducting a From 2006 she has been carrying out an intense designing work personal artistic research on the performance language and she for both real and virtual products and a research in innovation, exhibits her installations in Milan, Genoa, Cuneo and Turin.developing her projects jointly with Politecnico di Torino, Italian firms In 2007 she participated in the photo laboratory Female Glances and studios. Behind the Lenses held by Bruna Biamino from Turin Civic GallerySome of her winning projects in calls for participants were published of Modern and Contemporary Arts. Between 2000 and 2002 she in books and magazines relevant in this field, and presented at participated in theatrical workshops run by Krystian Lupa within Super Design London, 100% Design London, Eataly Tokyo, ADI, the Venice Biennial programmes and by Massimo Munaro for the London Metropolitan University, Gwangju Design Biennial, Theatre of Lemming. Torino Design week, Roma Design week, Macef, Milan, She has been selected by ARCI - a national association for social La Sapienza University, Rome and cultural promotion - in order to devise a communication and various european galleries and show-rooms. campaign on Equal Opportunities. Main Exhibitions and Competitions - Capacete, San Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, ‘11. Macrì Pittatore have been invited by the international residency programme RESò to join a workshop residence - Villa Arson, Nice, France, ‘10. Macrì Pittatore have been selected by the Visual Arts Commission of Piedmont Region to join a workshop residence - I love my city, PalaOlimpico Isozaki, Turin, May ’10. Group exhibition - Proposte XXIII, Turin Albertina Academy of Fine Arts, December ‘08. Closing exhibition of the workshop organized by a.titolo and Massimo Bartolini - Short Films Dams Festival, Montà d’Alba (CN), July ‘08. Screening of the video Play - ManifestaZOOne, Cuneo Fresia Gardens, July ‘08. Exhibition of social communication posters Play and I recommend it to you, selected with special mention -13th Edition of the Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean, Bari Levante Fair, May ‘08. Presentation of Geography of Change, interaction design project, selected within the Applied Arts section - Artintown, Turin, April – June ‘08. Geography of Change in San Salvario. Turin preview of the Young Artists’ Biennial winning project - Former Turin Prison Le Nuove, November ‘07. Better to Die than to Betray, action of protest against ParatIIIssima 2007, the OFF event at Artissima Workshops and Education Courses - Documentary in Europe, Turin, July ‘10. Seminary Writing and producing creative documentaries - PAV-Living Art Park, Turin, March ‘09. Workshop GROUND_level on transformation of matter, organized by Andrea Caretto and Raffaella Spagna - PAV-Living Art Park, Turin, February ‘09. Workshop From Genesis To Revelation on the topic of living, led by Dario Neira - Proposte XXIII, Turin, September ‘08. Workshop From Metaphysics to a Hammer, ran by Massimo Bartolini, organized by a.titolo - Short Films Dams Festival, Montà d’Alba, July ‘08. Workshop on video and documentary films ran by Luca Pastore Catalogues and web - Catalogues Proposte XXIII, Puglia 2008 Biennial, ParatIIIssima 2007, Short Films Dams Festival, ManifestaZOOne - www.artintown.it, www.biennalepuglia2008.org, www.bjcem.org, www.cortodamsfestival.it, www.exibart.com, www.teknemedia.net, www.undo.net, www.zooart.it