Monthly Archives: September 2010

hangar bicocca…

Hanger Bicocca used to be factory that made coils for electric trains. Its a bit of a shlep to get out there…on the end of a tube line, on the outskirts of Milan (and its bloomin’ freezing in winter!). It is vast in scale and is now used as a contemporary art venue, that due to its vastness tends to house monolithic works of great physical magnitude…

exterior, a permanent work by Fausto Melotti

art butterfly

…so it does do what it says on the tin…it is a hangar and it is HUGE…just beyond you can just see the permanent installation by Anselm Kiefer (more on that further down)

Temporary installation by Christian Boltanski this “corridor” has speakers which (literally) pound out the heartbeats that he has collected in their tens of thousands stores in an archive in Japan (Les Archives du coeur) If you like, you can record your heartbeat for €5 and add it to the archive…wily old goat that Boltanski getting you to fork out to create an artwork for him!!! Actually the soundtrack was huge (like everything else in the hangar) and boomed around the vast interior space…it worked…

Personnes by Christian Boltanski

the Seven Celestial Palaces – a permanent installation by Anselm Kiefer…i found them apocalyptic, kind of futuristic and ancient and like the remnants of some middle eastern battle – here the curator refers to them as a symbolic path for spiritual initiation …

in on the joke…

…another nice moment during the UNIDEE residency…Michelangelo Pistoletto, totally in on the joke as Kosta Tonev, a UNIDEE artist in residence interviews him about a particularly ugly pair of shoes he (Kosta) bought in Biella because they were decorated with a symbol that looked suspiciously like Michelangelo Pistoletto’s own symbol for the Third Paradise.  Pistoletto (un prompted), an old pro in the art of performance and irony, answered all questions deadly seriously but with a glint in his eye, managing to juggle the absurd with high art…it was a very nice moment…

below is an excerpt from Kosta’s film:

“I am interested in the discrepancy between the intentions of the author and the meanings that are expressed unintentionally. I want to challenge the concept of authorship often seen as uniqueness and originality.” Kosta Tonev
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food as a diffusion…

Here in UNIDEE we talk about food a lot – remember that most of the time, we share a table 3 times a day…for 4 months! It can be a little much some times…once you have left home you simply don’t share so much time – all the time – with the same people…

(escalibada – roasted aubergine, peppers and onions in a garlicky dressing)

Especially at the beginning of the residency food is something we all have in common, something we all can talk about…we talk about the differences, our eating habits…our national culinary peculiarities…the Philippine love for bannana ketchup…

(preparing the sangria – the vodka gives it that extra “kick”)

I have to say though, that preparing food together and then sitting down to eat it has to be one of the most satisfying group activities available. During times of stress it can diffuse (at least temporarily) tense situations. Right now, three quarters of the way through this 4 month residency, things can get pretty tense, people get pissed off, impatient…normal stuff… However for one night at least, all this can be forgotten. On this particular occasion it was the turn of the Spanish contingent…who went off to the cafeteria to prepare a dinner of iberian delicacies. Four of us cooked gazpacho, tortilla, croquetas de pollo, escalibada, pulpo a la gallega, calamares and pan tumaca all washed down with a delicious but deadly sangria. Two hours of frenetic kitchen activity followed by a long evening shared around the dinner table…Life for those few hours at least was pretty good though i say so myself…

(pulpo – octopus, is first boiled till tender to prepare pulpo a la gallega – full recipe here)

(thanks to Aleksandrija Ajdukovic or the photos on this post – ‘cos i was too busy cooking!)

other foody posts on this blog:

empanada

further adventures in foraging

revelations in a milanese restaurant

cooking the haul

foraging2

foraging

more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano

spaces and art…

…one of the many beautiful spaces at the Fondazione Pistoletto where i currently live and work…

…on the left window you can see an image of a work by Pistoletto, i happened to be around while it was being made a few years back, i was asked to document the process for another project. Thought i would post that wee film here…

the making of Woollen – La mela reintegrata (Woollen – The Reinstated Apple)

my way…

…one thing that i can say about life at the moment is that every day is different when you are working on a residency with 14 artists and their various projects…

Recently, we found out from resident Jobelle, that Karaoke is HUGE in the Philippines where she is from and that one of the most favourite most sacred songs is “My Way”. They take the art pretty seriously over there and people have been killed over bad renditions of the song…the police even refer to them as the “my way killings“. Anna, another resident decided to hot foot it down to the local Karaoke club here in Biella and record Jobelle’s version of the famous song…I went along to document the occasion…Jobelle, i am happy to report remains in good and robust health…!

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The “Karaoke Pinocchi Music Pub” in beautiful down town Biella…