relational art

2014, Sonagli – Gioiosa Invasione Musicale (under construction)

in Gingko – curated by Valentina Fiore –  Q44, Quadraro Vecchio, Rome

 

http://cargocollective.com/ginkgo/DANIELE-VILLA

ph. Germano Serafini
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2013, Gorna Lipnitsa is a flower / Ritual for abandoned houses

Old School Art Residency
Gorna Lipnitsa, Bulgaria, 24/08/2013

I came from my home town Rome, Italy, to Gorna Lipnitsa with the idea of working on the memories of the people through some objects they own, as my current research is focused on the way some objects can retain our past life and in some way embody it.

In my idea the people of Gorna Lipnitsa would have given me one object important to them to tell me something about their life and I would have collected them in order to create with all them a ‘personal collective’ memory, a sort of living museum in which they would all have been shared with the others. Step by step, meeting the generous people of the town, I realized that in this village and maybe in this country, the perception of memory is a little bit different than in mine. Ten days are surely not enough to understand a whole culture, but it seems to me that here things from the past are kept more in consideration, with a sort of nostalgy that I have rarely met.

(In a country like Bulgaria that many times was menaced to be deprived of its traditions, maybe keeping memories, songs, objects, photos and pictures of the past generations was also one of the fundamental way to keep alive the fire of the local culture. Maybe the past is still an anchor that helps in keeping the culture stable. Maybe.)

After these thoughts, I found that I had to open more the field of my research, and I decided to continue my work in two directions:

– on one side I worked as planned on the objects that the people I met found worthy to tell a story about their life, gathering fragments of the memories of some of the Gorna Lipnitsa  inhabitants. These memories for me belongs to their PRESENT lives as they contributed to shape them in the way they are now.

– on the other side I wanted to create a bridge between the PAST and the FUTURE of the village.

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In the first case I worked on a museum-like installation entitled ‘Gorna Lipnitsa is a flower’ from a small composition I wrote about the village and which became the title of a collage/assemblage I made while in the residency too.

This was included in the final installation in one room of the old abandoned school of the village as the objects gathered. The air was filled by the melodies of traditional Bulgarian songs that one of the elders of the village, Baba Yanka, singed to me. (She said that all her memories were not in objects but in songs, and those recordings are her personal contribution to my research).

In the second case I decided to work on the other side of my perception of the village.

The people in the village are gentle, with a great spirituality and a great richness in their heart. The houses of people in Gorna Lipnitsa seem to reflect a genuine gentleness and cure, always prideful. But next to a nice house, fruit of the love of its inhabitants, there’s one in ruin since young people are going away searching for a better fortune, and many locals go in other cities and other countries and come back only for holidays.

The old school is closed since there are not so many kids in town,  weeds are growing in the pavement of the streets, animals take the abandoned houses and all the efforts to keep the memory of the life of the town and its community seems to be in danger.

I decided to focus the attention of the village on this side and to pay homage to all the people which now are not in town and their houses, to the hidden wounds in the village soul. I did this trying to set, as I said, a little bridge between the past and the future of Gorna Lipnitsa.

Ritual for abandoned houses
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Ritual for abandoned houses
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Ritual for abandoned houses
Ritual for abandoned houses
Ritual for abandoned houses
Ritual for abandoned houses
Ritual for abandoned houses
Ritual for abandoned houses
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In Western USA the pioneers used to put a light in the abandoned houses to feel less alone.

I asked the children of the village – the future of Gorna Lipnitsa – to put candels in front of some of the houses that now are in ruin in a night parade through the main streets in town in which also the other partecipants could join bringing flowers as a sign of beauty, decay and hope for renovation. A little ritual to remember the past life of the town, but with the hope that soon the houses will be inhabited by new people and the village could become more and more lively.

 

As:
Gorna Lipnitsa is a flower
Escaped from its vase
Searching for new roots

Long life to Gorna Lipnitsa!

Daniele Villa

 

2013, Suveniri/Souvenirs  (under construction)

Festival Uličnih Svirača, Novi Sad, Serbia 

“Souvenirs” are a four day project, which culminates with a public performance at the Catholic Gate on the first day of the Street Artist Festival. The goal of this project is to form a new kind of group and develop its collective consciousness through exchange of personal memories. As an inspiration, in order for a memory to be retold, each of the participants will use a single emotionally significant personal item, which they’ll bring from home.
Let us define a souvenir. It is an object which possesses sentimental value which preserves memory of an event or place. Each item we possess has its story. This story can be good or bad, interesting or boring, but its value does not change. The project “Souvenirs” tries to direct this powerful energy in a direction of a single collective experience, which includes the art of storytelling. The value of our personal experience can be expressed only by sharing it with others.

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2012, Mixed identities (under construction)

Camp Sundown, Craryville, NY, USA

together with Rosella Robertazzi – Mus-e Roma and Mus-e Italia Onlus

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2010, A Night Parade (under construction)

Camp Sundown, Craryville, NY, USA

together with Aleksandar Caric Zar –  Mus-e Roma and Mus-e Italia Onlus

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