Tag Archives: performance

UNIDESCO public presentation…

Following on from the previous post

There was a public presentation of the results of our intervention in La Pigna on the evening of August 25, 2012:

The UNIDESCO declaration opened our presentation (as with the whole programme it was presented in Italian or bi-lingually):

Excerpts for the opening declaration translated into english (for the full version click here):

…We arrived in La Pigna asking ourselves if it could be the first UNIDESCO heritage site not because it is a perfect place but because it is a complex place: here you can find a heritage made not only by art and history but mostly by the people who live there.

Our search/project lasted one week and we found that La Pigna is, in the words of its inhabitants and those who only know a little about it: History, Art and Magic – a white canvas that can be filled with many colours – a place where people are all crazy, unique and particular, where people are more open-minded and there is more exchange between foreigners and Italians – a place where people care about other people – where houses are so close to each other that they manage to protect the inhabitants from the outside – a place where you go up and down, left and right but still in the end you always find yourself in the place you want to get to – and a place where so many stories have taken place that you could fill a whole book…La Pigna is the city hidden inside the city…

…Every day we went out on the streets, squares, shops and parks of La Pigna and Sanremo where we interacted with the inhabitants making interviews, group performances, distributing information material, inviting inhabitants to express their own opinion and to join us in this meeting.

…In La Pigna many things can and must get better, but the most important wager for the future is to be able to keep and develop its magic complexity. People of La Pigna have to choose if they want to become like other parts of the world and Sanremo or to become an example for other parts of the world and Sanremo. We believe that the only way to achieve this is for the citizens is to be united and to live and work together.”


La Pigna was publicly declared a “new heritage site”. Citizens received this nomination based on the 12 points or values presented as 12 dance steps/movements. The audience were invited to participate and perform these movements in the dance/instruction event UNIDISCO.

OK so this was a risky and i would say somewhat courageous decision on our part, because in the end we chose to synthesise a lot of serious research into a rather camp aerobics routine. And of course it polarised people somewhat, some did not get it, some loved it, some were just plain angry…but in the end if you invite a group of artists from an experimental residency to come and make work…then surely the point is to expect some kind of subversion on normal preconceptions…no?

The the dance movements/values featured were:

Enlarge the large family/Allarga la famiglia allargata

Step up step down, your heart will be sound/Cammina su e giù e sarai in forma anche tu

Collaborate together, forever, forever/Collaborate, insieme ce la fate

Collect your trash, but not your stash/Prenditi cura della tua spazzatura

Find your way in via Umana/Trova la tua strada, cammina per via Umana

Embrace your strange neighbour/Il tuo vicino è strano, ma digli ti amo

Fake the fake Gucci/Tarocca il Gucci tarocco

Travel with the time machine/Viaggia con la macchina del tempo

Demand cheap rent/Pretendi affitti bassi

Hide in the invisible city/Nasconditi nella città invisibile

Smile at all that pass by/Sorridi ai passanti, proprio a tutti quanti

Discover the new heritage/Scopri il nuovo patrimonio

These movements represent the thoughts and suggestions proposed by the citizens of La Pigna during our stay there, now they must take this “testimony” and elaborate their own shared system of values, thinking of new and future generations.


A plaque was awarded designating La Pigna the first UNIDESCO “New Heritage Site”.

We specifically chose not to give the plaque to a person or representative from a particular association, instead we chose to hang it ourselves in the public square of Santa Brigida. Knowing the reputation of La Pigna we wondered how long it would hang there…that night there was a tremendous thunder-storm and the next day, only slightly damaged it was still hanging in situ. The next day however it was gone…


It was decided to provide a platform for the citizens of La Pigna and Sanremo to express their views of the concept of La Pigna as a New Heritage site…or anything really!

photos of public debate by Karl Logge


A (work in progress) film made and edited during our stay in La Pigna was projected onto the walls of the buildings lining the Piazza Santa Brigida

daily rituals…

Carrying on from the previous post:

To engage with the public and to advertise our presence as well as to invite people to our public event at the end of our stay, a daily ritual was performed in La Pigna and Sanremo during the period of 21-25 august. There was also a strong performative element to this daily ritual. It was noted that we made more impact and provoked more interest when we moved as a group dressed in the uniform of UNIDESCO. Each day different members of the group took turns to plan our route and what we might do during our procession through the streets, sometimes it involved a declaration of our presence and an invite to join us in Piazza Santa Brigida for a public debate on 25 August (in Italian, Arabic, French, English…) using a portable loudspeaker, another time it involved unfurling the UNIDESCO banner at Piazza Cassini, the main gate of La Pigna…

studio scenarios…

Meant to post this a while ago but other stuff kept coming up! Anyway, the UNIDEE studio space is beautiful in itself; all industrial turn of the last century architecture – space – columns…But even more fun is what goes on inside it, you never know what you will come across when you walk through.

Artists in residence: Shah Zaman the photographing, Angela Henderson the figure, Ayman Alazraq providing resistance and Marta Romani filming…’twas a beautiful sight:


Guardare se stessi guardarsi (Watching yourself watching yourself) by Masbedo

Went to an art show at an old factory space on the road to Oropa, it’s only about a 3 km walk there from Cittadellarte, but up a very steep slope. Takes about 40 minutes to get there. I go with most of the UNIDEE residents and i think we surprise a lot of drivers who are not so used to seeing a dozen or so pedestrians making their way up this winding road with no pavement…but we all survive in tact. Anyway, it’s worth it for the space alone…all crumbling walls and pillars…perfect for video projections though in the end the art often takes second place to such imposing architecture…

The show is called Paraphernalia and is produced by IDEA (which in italian stands for “Industry Dedicated Essentially to Art) which was founded in 2009 by Luisella Zignone and Ferdinando Botto Poala

performance by Masbedo

Actually i really liked the drony discordant musical part of the performance, the musicians are from experimental Italian band Marlene Kuntz i filmed a little bit (badly)…see below:

openings and human drawing machines…

Some of the UNIDEE residents’ work is currently on show in some of the exhibition spaces here at Cittadellarte. We had an opening, to which not so many people came…unfortunately the show coincided with the precise day when EVERYONE in Italy decides to simultaneously go on holiday…it’s not easy!…Regardless of numbers some good work was produced. I particularly liked Eduardo Cachucho’s performance where he reads out coordinates that are drawn out on a grid by two other actors…here is his film of the performance:

Eduardo Cachucho

Artist Aided Drafting (AAD) video: E Cachucho

Özgür Demirci

Who likes it?

Özgür (not pictured above) made a work about our obsessive need to give the “thumbs up” of approval of everything that we view and consume on-line…

Özgür and Elmas drawing for Eduardo while Silvio (98 years old!!) looks on…