Como Pride 2019
One hour before the start of the exhibition, the performance begins unannounced on a piazza in Como. The square is the central tourist hotspot for visitors from all over the world. The performer is initially among the crowd, walks to the center of the piazza and takes a bottle of Prosecco out of his backpack. He begins to sing and unfolds a flag-like silk banner on the ground.
Silk is the material of which the industry of the northern Italian town of Como, as well as the reputation of the Fondazione Ratti, depended on economically for centuries. In the wake of current political developments in Italy, as in much of Europe, the usage of a flag reminds of rhetorics and aesthetics of national identity. However, the flag here does not represent any formal references other than their material properties. Thus, it is merely silk scraps that are sewn together and then carried around the city.
The performer passes through central tourist sites, fascist architectural remnants, the harbor, the stadium, the lakeside promenade and sings Pride songs on his own. The approximately 60-minute procession, on the one hand, refers to the absence of a Pride March in the Italian periphery, but, on the other hand, marks a more far-reaching question, as the performer acts out his parade completely alone, only occasionally interacting with the passers and spectators, dancing with them, singing or sharing his prosecco. Historically, the Pride Marches refer to the Stonewall Riots as an important social event and liberation movement. This „Liberation March“, however, is an individual parade. No one is asked to participate, or come along.
Last but not least, the procession ends in the institutional premises of the Fondazione Ratti, where it is placed as an undefined banner on the roof of the villa, claiming it in a territorial takeover without an owner as the performer disappears into the crowd.
Italian silk (ca. 3.5 m x 1.6m), Prosecco, untrained singing
public space, solo, approx. 60 minutes
During the exhibition, 50 individually designed Liberation Guides are handed out to selected visitors. The choice of issue is not arbitrary, but the selection criteria are not communicated to the recipient openly. They are presented as a personal guide and at the same time provide the greatest possible scope for interpretation and reaction. The guides, which content varies from booklet to booklet, are made up of finds from the archives of the Fondazione Ratti and contain collage-like and photographic works using astrological, homoerotic, textile and design references.
Installation and performance, 2019
Italian silk (ca. 3.5m x 1.6m, white), thread, 50 varying guides (laser print, color, 21 x 29,7 cm, 12 pages)