Ingombri by Giorgina Bertolino

Hundreds of cardboard boxes, scotch tape, paper overalls to be worn. With a series of images,narrated or fixed to the walls of the room that will host the workshop, the artist will invite participants to build points of support from the cardboard boxes, and attach them to their own bodies. The point of support thus becomes a base and, at the same time, a clutter. It creates new points of balance, but it is also an obstacle to normal mobility: walking, standing, standing up, approaching each other. The single buildings will be allowed to remain isolated, or can be added one to the other, thus generating a complex, temporary architecture. The theme of Ingombri perfectly mirrors some of the interests, peculiarities and expressive modes of Paola Anziché’s research.
Spaziando and Tapis-à-porter, her works on exhibit at Greater Torino, testify to the continuity between the finished work, offered to the public’s interpretation, and the workshop activity. An object (a carpet, net, box, or t-shirt) is used by the artist as a ‘tool’, an ‘interaction device’ given to the spectator to activate a shared experience in the realm of perception of space and body.

Coming as it is from everyday life, and made of ‘simple’ materials such as fabric or paper, this object is a referent for more or less explicit symbolic meanings: the carpet, as a metaphor of nomad life, covers a portion of floor and ground, and, if taken figuratively, becomes a territory. Through warp and weft, the net weaves and exposes a set of nodes, ties and webs. The box welcomes, encloses, and moves things, preserves and removes, functions as a storeroom and a house, as both a full and empty space. Beyond individual results, it is with this object type that Paola Anziché opens what she refers to as a ‘sculptural process’ that constantly throws into question elements such as building, fixing and undoing. The artist’s choice of the terms of an oxymoron (the process / the sculpture) as her operating limits, is her way of questioning the notions of balance, stability, immobility and, at the same time, their opposites.

She does this within the context of a collaboration with other people, in a condition we could describe as Physical Thinking. 4 Asked to place themselves next to a large carpet hanging in the middle of her study, involved in a choreography of steps and movements amid a net of rubber bands, 5 or encouraged to encumber their bodies with a temporary cardboard prosthesis, the people invited to Paola Anziché’s actions test, gauge, and share with her a series of habits written on the body as a surface of exchange between themselves and the world. “The body is the home, it is a shared experience”, says the artist quoting Lygia Clark, an artist who, along with Helio Oiticica, is one of her key reference figures. Anziché makes this reference explicit when she pays a ‘homage’ to them, doing reconstructions and researching.

The habits of the body, which the artist otherwise calls ‘familiarities’, are pushed beyond their limits: put to the test of time and resistance, they finally release their tension. In Ingombri the sculptural process, seen both individually and collectively, is all about identifying an eccentric point of balance that transforms the box into a support,crutch, shell or carapace. The documentation work she will do during the workshop is part of her usual working method. Photography and video, as Francesca Pasini rightly pointed out, “(...) on the one hand make us understand the perceptual movement of reality, on the other hand stage the decision process that is necessary to endow the image with a certain specific figure and not another”.

6. This text, and the projects it describes and analyzes, are part of a research I am carrying out thanks to the study grant I received from the Fondazione Giovanni Goria “Progetto Master dei Talenti ” Fondazione CRT for the year 2009-2010

5.The actions described respectively refer to: the operation documented by a series of photographs taken in the artist’s study in 2008 during the Progetto Passaporto; Paesaggi Istantanei, Cavallerizza Reale/Manica Corta, Torino 2009, curated by Lisa Parola; Aggrovigliamenti. Un omaggio a Lygia Clark, Meteorite in giardino, Fondazione Merz, Torino 2009, curated by Maria Centonze

4. I am quoting the beautiful title of a workshop held in 2009 at London’s Tate Modern. The British institution and, in particular, its rich offer for the adult public, is a reference model for
the research the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo has focused upon in recent years, aimed at developing proposals for new activities intended for a non-school public

6. Francesca Pasini, introductory text to the artist’s personal exhibition Tapisà-porter, curated by Francesca Pasini, Careof, Milan, 2009.