Reworking a Work:

Cesare Pietroiusti and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

Wednesday 02 January, 2013
12 - 8pm, $0

Emily Harvey Foundation
537 Broadway

Add to Calendar
Share: Twitter | Facebook

During the month of April 1978, twenty-three year old Cesare Pietroiusti presented his first solo exhibition at Jartrakor, an experimental research center for the Psychology of Art. He had just co-founded this artist run space with Sergio Lombardo, an artist who had risen to prominence in Rome in the 1960s, and others.

Some years later, in March 1982, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev was invited to Jartrakor to give a talk—she lectured on René Magritte and began to take part in Jartrakor’s activities, moving away from an academic career in Literary studies.

The 1978 exhibition was titled Ipotesi d'identità (Hypothesis of Identity) and it included three works by Pietroiusti in three rooms: Materia Identica (Identical Matter), in which a typewritten note on the wall suggested, as if it were an event score, to list all the objects contained in the apparently empty room; Superamento dei confini dell'io (Exceeding the Limits of the Self ), a sound installation making tangible the running of a person against a wall, hinting at a dissociated gesture typical of the schizophrenic subject; and Autoconfutazione della parola (Self-rebuttal of Speech). Tis audio installation played back two recorded voices—a man and a woman—in the somehow intimate act of reading excerpts from publications regarding anti-psychiatry (Ronald Laing), psycho-pharmacology (Gordon Claridge) and the artist’s own notes from Clinical Psychiatry classes. Sharing the space of the room with a recording from a scientific text about Quantum Physics, ("Fundamental Particles with Charm" by Roy Schwitters,) the two- voiced speech generated a nebulously striated soundscape. Embodied by an articulated self, language was played with and against its own limits, whereby the crystalline message that it was supposed to deliver was given a plural body, and eventually blurred.

As if withdrawing from its own physical existence, ‘somewhen’ between 1978 and 2012, the original recordings of the speech rebutting itself went lost.

On Wednesday the 2nd of January 2013, 35 years after its first appearance as a tangible sound in the context of its first presentation, the work Autoconfutazione della parola (Self-rebuttal of Speech) will be reworked by Cesare Pietroiusti and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev in a day-long session taking place at the Emily Harvey Foundation in New York, and open to the public. From twelve midday until evening, texts will be read, passages will be selected and translated, excerpts will be recorded, the recording edited, the work discussed and framed in its historical as well as in its present context, the embodied sound sculpture installed—and eventually listened to.

On the 2nd of January, however, a slight modification in the work will shift one of its accents towards the craft-like quality of the gesture of reworking. The effective life of the work is extended beyond its experience as a final project, thus hinting at a practice of existence that stands beyond the possibilities of a concluded—or divided—self and instead gestures at—and practices—a cooperative self.

Cesare Pietroiusti is an artist living in Rome and concerned with paradoxical situations that are hidden in common relationships and in ordinary acts. Through performative actions, his practice explores the relations between the logics of economy, exchange and art’s perceived worth. Trained as a medical doctor, Pietroiusti studied psychiatry in the late 1970s. His artist’s book Pensieri non-funzionali (1997) (Non Functional oughts, 2000) documents his projects, both realized and un-realized ( Either singularly or as a member of collectives, Pietroiusti has participated in group and solo exhibitions since 1977. He has been a professor of studio practice at the University of Venice (IUAV) since 2004 and is MFA faculty professor at The Art Institute of Boston (2009-on-going), as well as curator at the Fondazione Ratti residency program in Como (2007-2011). Co-founder of many artist-run projects including the experimental space Jartrakor in Rome (1977-1985), Gruppo di Piombino (1986-1992), Giochi del Senso e/o Nonsenso (1996), Oreste (1997-2001), Nomads and Residents in New York (2000-2001), Lu Cafausu (2007-ongoing), Trastevere 259 (2009-ongoing), and Museo dell’Arte Italiana in Esilio (2010-ongoing), Pietroiusti is currently administrating a quasi-bankrupt medical clinic.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is based in Rome, Venice, and New York. She is interested in the relations between historical avant-gardes and contemporary art, as well as in thoughts, emotions and artistic actions through forms of embodiment and spatio-temporal politics of experience. She has curated numerous projects and exhibitions since 1987. In 1991, she curated a small group exhibition called “Storie” which included works by Pietroiusti. Christov- Bakargiev is the Artistic Director of dOCUMENTA (13), 9/6 - 16/9 - 2012. Previous positions include Senior Curator of exhibitions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, a MoMA affiliate (1999-2001); Chief Curator at the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art (2002-2008; interim director 2009); and Artistic Director of the 16th Biennale of Sydney, "Revolutions – Forms that Turn", in 2008. She has written on the Arte Povera movement and has published monographs on William Kentridge, Pierre Huyghe, and Janet Cardiff &George Bures Miller. Recent publications and editorial projects include 100 Notes-100oughts, The Book of Books and The Logbook for dOCUMENTA (13), and catalog essays on artists including Etel Adnan, and Susan Philipsz.

Reworking a Work is curated by Chiara Vecchiarelli
Advertise on Platform