Lorenzo Balbi is Assistant Curator at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin. After his graduation in Cultural Heritage at Ca' Foscari in Venice, he specializes in Contemporary Art at the University of Turin. He collaborates with Il Giornale dell'Arte and Il Giornale dell'Architettura and he was the Artistic Director of Verso Artecontemporanea Gallery, Turin. Since 2007 at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo he has been dealing with the organisation and development of exhibition projects. He is one of the coordinator of CAMPO, the young Italian curators program. (more)
"A Monument to Failure" by Pleurad Xhafa, 2015
The artist Pleurad Xhafa in his first collaboration with MAPS - Museum of art in public space, donates Tirana a monument dedicated to one of the most controversial events in Albanian modern history. The “Gerdec” suit.
The Albanian government in cooperation with the United States of America and some private companies, were responsible for the dismantling of Russian-Chinese ammunition from the communist era inside the expressly dedicated factory in Gerdec a village in the municipality of Vora, Albania. In breach of contract and through false documents by the parties, at the factory, the ammunition were removed in miserable conditions by the inhabitants of Gerdec, unqualified people, women and children who lived near the factory.
As a consequence of all this at noon local time on Saturday, March 15, 2008, 14 kilometers from the city center, a large explosion caused the death of 26 people and injuring over 300 people. Nearly five years later, the Supreme Court of Albania classified the case of the explosion in the factory in Gerdec as a “technological accident”.
It was indeed a technological accident considering the conditions in which it was carried out the dismantling of ammunition? Or maybe the problem exceeds the authority of a fragile justice?!
Following in the footsteps of this accident the work “Monument to failure”, embodied on the basis of a cut tree, in itself a dead object with long roots hidden under the asphalt of the Deshmoret e Kombit Boulevard, 15 km from the crater of Gerdec. Pleurad Xhafa brings attention back on the avenue where the most important institutions of the Country are located and where are consumed some of the most emblematic events of the Albanian history. Only raised a few centimeters from the sidewalk in front of the Presidency Building, the trunk, once witness of the past, with the addition of the bronze plaque turns into a monument, a symbol of the failure. In front of this monument the viewer is unprepared as unprepared were the families of Gerdec victims, facing the final blow of the hammer of justice.
Artur Zmijewski (video still), 2009
Presented on a row of monitors, this cacophonic video installation could also be understood as a series of individual, documentary videos. Zmijewski is exploring the free, public expression of opinion in the form of gatherings and crowds in different places in Europe. With this project, Zmijewski moves his work out of his typical sphere of staged social experiments into a more public realm of events.
For the “Democracies” (2009) project at the daadgalerie, Zmijewski departs from his work using recruited volunteers. In a series of short documentary films, he looks into the different symbols of nationalist and other movements visible in a variety of public spaces. All the clips depict public (and political) fervour in different places around Europe, Israel and the Westbank, like demonstrations, parades or re-enactments of historical battles. They include for example material from the European Football Championships in Berlin and Jörg Haider’s funeral in Klagenfurt. As in all of his work, also in these images of ordered and disordered crowds, Zmijewski places the human body at the focal point of his observations.
"Young Dictator's Village" by Paolo Chiasera, 2004
Nine guys decided to change their behavoir, their way of dressing and their houses, to undo the distance that keep them and their ideology apart. They decided to spit into groups - according to thir political creed - and found a village in disused countryside, where their need of emulation is perpetrated by looting, fighting and destroying. YDV is about fanaticism, loss of control, irrationality, destruction. Fanaticism relegated them to the fringe of society and of system, putting them into a condition based on violence and anarchy.
"Shadow for a while" by Mircea Cantor, 2007
The 16mm film Shadow For A While (2007), which shows the shadow of a slowly burning flag, could be read as a farewell to political symbols. The black rectangle on a white ground is gradually broken down by invisible flames, creating a mood that is more elegiac than revolutionary. As a shadow, it is impossible to identify the symbols or colours of any particular state on the flag; it could equally be a white flag of peace.
An installation based on a sick Plane Tree in wich the artist create a place with a post box in order to provoke the mail system and its rules. The artist sent mails to this address from all over the world without receiving any of his letters. Before the tree was cut by the municipality he received a letter from a passer by address to the "inhabitant of the Plane tree".