In the end of June 2011 I have been nominated by Simon Sheikh for the 1st edition of the Visible Award – Fondazione Zegna-Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto. Judith Wielander and Matteo Lucchetti, the curators of the prize, asked me to submit a proposal for it. In their words, “The Visible Award is an international production award devoted to art work in the social sphere. The award is set up in response to the desire and need, which already underlie the cultural activities of Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto and Fondazione Zegna, to communicate and make known a possible rethinking of the role of art which can be brought about by heightened awareness of the part played by those contemporary artists who work on engaging creative processes that consider art and society as intertwined and indivisible fields of action”. I didn’t win the prize but it was very stimulating to think of this new project, entitled Relação [Relationship]. Here I’m only publishing the initial text that I have sent to the curators. I must thank Simon for his trust in my work and Usina’s collective (presented in the text), for the inspiring meetings.
You ask me to establish a relationship between the concept of this new work and my experience as an artist. If there is one thing I have learned about myself in the recent past is that every time I meet a demand – be it from a curator, from an institution, or from a prize like this – I end up seeking new ways of “not fitting” into the demand, sometimes even frustrating expectations. Not in disrespect, on the contrary. I take things so seriously that I cannot avoid making an issue of it, understanding the very proposition as an active part of my research, of my intellectual and artistic practice.
In the descriptive enunciation of this prize, a few words caught my attention, in this order: “intertwined”, “indivisible”, “responsible relationship”, “involvement”, “interaction”, “commitment” and “cooperation”. As an artist who has been collaborating for years with certain Brazilian social movements, I know that this type of suggested and sought after relationship, enunciated in the prize’s description, is not always easy to carry out. Because, even in ideal circumstances, even in a situation of totally shared practices, sometimes there are differences that render relationships not very frank and/or totally unequal. (more…)