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Territori instabili/Unstable Territory

Confini e identità nell'arte contemporanea/Borders and Identity in Contemporary Art

Walter Guadagnini, Franziska Nori


edited by Walter Guadagnini and Franziska Nori

exhibition catalogue: Florence, Palazzo Strozzi, CCCS-Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina
11 October 2013-19 January 2014

25 x 25 cm, 152 pp.
colour illustrations

isbn 978-88-7461-214-7 Italian/English

The ‘Unstable Territory’ exhibition proposes the works of international artists who rethink the idea of territory in the contemporary world, increasingly characterized by the obsolescence of concepts like nation and border. The works of the artists presented in the catalogue offer different attitudes, ways of life and thoughts on the unstable relationship between identity, territory and boundary in an era of great expectations (and illusions) regarding a shared global territory. Photographs, videos and installations offer food for thought on the idea of frontier as discovery or barrier, on the hybridization between cosmopolitanism and territorial demands, and on the figure of the artist in his or her condition as a traveller, nomad or experimenter, poised between physical and symbolic territories. Artist such as Sigalit Landau (Israel, 1969) and Paulo Nazareth (Brazil, 1977) place their own bodies at the centre of their research through performances; Kader Attia (France, 1970) is the author of an installation made of mirror fragments; Tadashi Kawamata (Japan, 1953) created a site-specific installation with several ephemeral wooden sculptures resembling bird’s nests; with the video The Right of Passage, Oliver Ressler and Zanny Begg (Austria, 1970; Australia, 1972) examine the subject of the rights of citizenship and national identity; Paolo Cirio (Italy, 1979) presents the Loophole for All project that combines digital hacking with artistic action; Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin (South Africa, 1970; United Kingdom, 1971) are the authors of a video and photographic installation of the fake Arab city Chicago, built in the Negev in Palestine by the Israeli army for war simulations and exercises; the works of Jo Ractliffe (South Africa, 1961) and The Cool Couple (Niccolò Benetton and Simone Santilli, Italy, 1986 and 1987) reflect on photography as a document of contradictory territories; other reflections on the role of image in the relationship with a territory scarred by war come from Richard Mosse (Ireland, 1980), who proposes the video installation created following his lengthy work in Eastern Congo. The bilingual catalogue (Italian/English) that accompanies the exhibition contains essays by the curators Walter Guadagnini (independent curator) and Franziska Nori (director of CCC Strozzina), as well as contributions by Ulrich Beck (University of Munich and the London School of Economics) and Francesco Careri (University of Rome).