WORK 21 / CONTEXT / ESSAYS

ESSAYS 01/12 Whenever events in my life urges me to, I spontaneously write a short essay. An essay tends to discuss current issues and reflects the alienation I experience as an immigrant without belonging. Having given up any hope to be integrated within the social environment all that I can bring forward is the love for my children and my project. From harsh and offensive tones, the essays slowly through the years took a more mellow tone advocating a more stoic and spiritual humanity. Later essays make the reader aware of the new rise not only of a decadent imperialism but also of a Christian-like religion promoted by new social movements and the professors and politicians echoing them. As I try to address this rise in my essays, I am aware that if not put under inquisition, my work will be forcefully ignored and put to oblivion by the new intelligentsia of an ideologically blinded pseudo-religious class, the class who brands itselves so progressive but have in fact turned into the new Brahmin cast (Fig. Screenshot of a page of an essay. Usually the first page reveals my nervous reaction to certain topics I face in life or read on the news. The later pages however at times manage to have a more soothing effect where a Deux ex machina is brought about to melt an otherwise impossible crisis. This Deux is a non religious spirituality I have often found in per-Christian philosophers).

ESSAYS 02/12 Essays are written on 21.59 by 27.94 centimeters pages with a 3.18 centimeters left and right margins and a 2.54 top and bottom margins. The font used is Calibri 12 with a proportional line spacing of 115%. Usually an essay is made of at least two pages but it can stretch to three and even four pages. Early essay are even much longer. To begin with the essay is written in a text file. At this point I pour my thoughts as the flow of a river taking no breaks to spread itself on a dry riverbed. Later I copy the text I have written into a freeware word editor where it is revised and expanded. The editor also provide a simple grammar check which I use to correct minor mistakes (Fig. Screenshot of the interface I use to edit my essays and later export them as .pdf files. While being completely censured or blocked in my project by both the institutional left and the far right, I am often able to transform this bitter intellectual lock-down imposed on me into something more spiritual and elevated. At times however I simply do not manage to do so and my essays may seem a bit too accusatory, a sensation that I have learned to subdue with time putting my focus into what I define as a life in accordance to nature. I put this emphasis not so much in moralist writings but as part of my own life as it is perhaps best depicted by my journal entries and my adherence to the ancient pre-Christian virtues).

ESSAYS 03/12 Since my early youth I have always been a terrible writer. I cannot rember but getting bad grades in the highly oppressive Italian schools I have attended. Only later on writing became a form of exploring my own nature whether for tracking my own imagination or reflect about it. Having quite developed myself in this direction, I never managed to go anywhere with my academic essays; no matter how exciting the abstracts sounded, the content was rejected. Probably I got too used to the type of writing styles I have developed for the different instances of my project. The Swedish Finnish philosopher philologist Hans Ruin was highly angered about my writings. Similarly many other professors who were asked to review my academic work turned red with anger. Only a few professors appreciated them, particularly Sara Danius, the now deceased secretary of the Swedish Academy. In this respect while my first papers were meant for publications, after the stark criticisms I gave up publishing all together and focused exclusively to pursue my writing styles for the various instances of my project (Fig. Screenshot of my first essay. Up until my doctorate studies I curated and researched my writings and open-minded professors like Johan Fornas were delighted. Later I was forced to castrate my cultural eclecticism and only focus on positioning myself in relation to theoretical notions).

ESSAYS 04/12 Feeling completely traumatized by the imposition of a certain set of canons and ideologies during my doctorate studies, I soon became rather critical about them and about the idea of having to marry a theory or a theorist in order to become a researcher as my supervisor Stefan Ericsson pretty much forced me to do. Not only I conceived in my essays that these ready-made theories are just the liquor for humanists without inspiration but also I conceived that all the theory packages proposed to me where just simply obsessed with a power struggle I generally conceive worthless fighting for. In my essays then I point out that there is a vantage point to be discriminated, excluded and precarious and it is right in these situations that a real intellect that matters can flourish. In this respect all the rush to bring a gender, race and class perspective in the allocation of power especially within the humanities is for me absurd especially in the acknowledgment that all the comfort provided by academic positions turn the intellect most dull (Fig. Screenshot of a workshop I attended in Berlin as part of my academic training. I was very active during these years but way too provocative. I was bringing in the fresh insight of a most unusual perspective; a life long undertaking and the quite original intellectual developments that inevitably comes with it).

ESSAYS 05/12 All the eclecticism that I have summed up systematically observing reality and systematically exploring different cultural forms soon ceased to emerge in my essays. It gave way to a more political direction, writing the essays I discovered to be some kind of an anarchist. I certainly embraced the anarchic idea brought forward by Mikhail Bakunin that no matter if a different class, or gender, or race is given more power the burden of the social yoke is not eliminated but just given to someone else. Beyond this notion I generally come closer to the more Christian anarchist fringe represented by Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy and Jacques Ellul. After my quite anarchic Italian art professor Ernesto Luciano Francalanci introduced me to the ethics off Seneca, within a few years I fell fully in love with ancient Roman thinking. It was so much closer to life and so defiant of the sophisticated kind of intellectuals produced today by academia. In the stoicism of Seneca I found somewhat the ground to keep up my Socratic mission of conducting my practice without partaking into the more Epicurean kind of cultural feast generated by Western institutions (Fig. Screenshot of a blog I wrote about Stoicism. Unwilling to try to publish scientific articles anymore I tested to publish my essays in a few blogs before also eliminating that sort of output).

ESSAYS 06/12 As the 16th century essayist Michel de Montaigne, by the age of 38 I at last gave up all my social career plans and opted to only publish my work and essays within my very project. This choice gave me a much stronger focus and sat me to fully concentrate exclusively on the project alone without dissipating my intellectual energies outside it, wasting no time to make efforts to be fully politically correct and pleasing. While I understand that there is absolutely no hope to emerge today without strong institutional affiliations, I decided to stay true to not so much my own project but the ideal behind it: live according to my nature alone. In this respect I am most terrified by the continuous rise of fanatic ideologies affecting cultural institutions. Additionally I am most cynically in observing how these institutions hurry to adapt to whatever new ideological trend. While integration between European countries is far from reached, institutions across the old continent hurry to implement whatever the fashion dictates such as the Black Lives Matter movement policies. Once implemented these policies will compensate new forms of algorithmic schemes that lead to dreadful conflicts (Fig. Screenshot of my new alter ego. Having given up all my reputation, ironically the vacuum I created was filled by another Alberto Frigo, an academic teaching philosophy and an expert of Montaigne) .

ESSAYS 07/12 My essays are characterized by an underlying phobia for any form of ideology. While other theorists like Isaiah Berlin also point out at the danger of ideologies as experienced by humanity in the 20th century, I possibly foresees this danger in the actual traumas my ancestors experienced with the rise of nationalism and the complete devastation of their Alpine cultural heritage. In this respect I have not only given up ideology contaminated environments but early in my life I have made a move to draw back to my native alps. Having managed to do so however a second big trauma in my life was to confront the far right Italian politicians. Among the Cimbrian minority group I belong to and in my own property these politicians have starkly attempted to sabotage the construction of the project museum. In this respect an underlaying motif in my essay is that of an Ulysses coming back to his Ithaca; he finds it governed by people who have nothing to do with it and who just seek to rise in power (Fig. Screenshot of one of many newspaper articles promoted by the Italian far right to attempt to block the construction of my alpine museum in my ancestors land. The local Italian far right lead by Luigi Santi has been using all sorts of means to so, ultimately inspiring some unknown people to steal part of the structure to complete the work).

ESSAYS 08/12 If on one hand I have left the north of Europe traumatized by the institutional left attempting to brainwash my intellect, I have left the south of Europe traumatized by right wing politics hindering me in any possible way to pursue the physical realization of my project. In this respect I have developed a total dislike for any form of political conformism hindering my artistic as well as spiritual intervention both in writings and in the shape of a physical installation. While in both cases I anyway managed to push through my content, these situations have brought me to understand how fragile any poetic act can be, even if its intentions are most genuine, pure and devoted. Through the writing of my essays I have begun comprehending the evil-doing of priests like figures setting up dogmas and in turn hindering transformation and in so doing killing life all together. In this respect I have ceased to see any distinction between right and left; there are only two parties, the party of death and that of life. The later party is therefore what I conceive to manifest itself in the periphery of power, outside the social palaces and excluded from them (Fig. Picture of my youngest son near my home where the Italian right wing tried to provoke me writing “NO EUROPA”. While I do not believe in Europe as a political institution, I believe in its unity and peace especially for my kids that are all mixed Europeans).

ESSAYS 09/12 Generally speaking throughout my essays I maintain the idea that any new social movement is always followed by an equally stark counter-movement. While the idea is today highly criticized by philosophy professors, I have absorbed it from Leo Tolstoy particularly reading his War and Peace where the invasion of Napoleon to the east was followed by an invasion of Tsar Alexander going west. Similarly I believe this happens in all forms of ideologies, even the most philanthropic ones which seems to be very much in vogue today. Under the inevitable misery that any form of ideology brings, I believe that the only way around is to immerse oneself in composing “War and Peace” like novels; they enable humans to create a deeper empathy with their reality, forgetting oppositions that are ultimately the cause of war. My proposal is thus to abstain from any duality promoting mass media and adopt what I call a bricolage, or a technique of tinkering and assembling more emphatic and magical forms of communication creating a syncretic view of these polarities (Fig. Picture of Ferdinand Cheval, the French postman dedicating his life to the construction of an ideal palace. Not only his Diogenes like contemplative self-contentment is admirable but also the naive mixture of different forms and styles. My project is in this sense my own experimenting in bricolaging during the digital era).

ESSAYS 10/12 While the essays can be at times vague and at times contradictory perhaps it is in my lectures that I most likely bring forward some more meaningful philosophy. Generally I am incapable to have a philosophical debate. I am keen to express my thoughts in a conservative manner. This also transpires in the very essays or at least the more worthy ones. Nonetheless I am not in the least proud of these essays; they are just depicting an evolving thought which might stagnate for some time and might come to other conclusions after some deal of redundancy. I might find some of them pleasant to read when correcting them but generally speaking I am most ashamed by the idea that other folk would read them. They are not polished nor made to be liked. There is no pretentious ideas in them nor they were conceived with a reader in mind. They are simply frank presentation of the way I react to certain topics and in this respect they reveal who they are, or simply they reveal one of the many characters I personify. Indeed a feminist reader would immediately spot the sort of patriarch white middle age man. Sadly she would miss out the more sincere and spiritual underlaying invitation that I am indeed making to a future humanity (Fig. Picture of Lamin Jawara the GambianI helped during my time in Sweden, a story that inspired many initial essays in relation to the politics of migration).

ESSAYS 11/12 Recurrently in my essays I draw a strong analogy between the phase in which the Roman republic turned into an empire and today democracy. In my essays I insist that the same corruption and Epicurean life style giving way to the Roman empire is occurring in our very western society. Moreover I see the danger of a new imperialistic religion setting forth, a religion made up of all the new ideologies so much preached in academic environments. With my might then I advocate for a pre-Christian type of ethic and a strong resistance for any form of religious like values that western academia is so much pushing forward. I understand that my point of view is a most difficult one, criticizing both the right and the left; I am a rather Socratic annoyance set to derail the tension of these dangerous oppositions (Fig. Screenshot of a quote by my former Estonian Swedish colleague Matilda Tudor. She is one of the most open-minded scholars I met in the Swedish humanities. While advocating for a more powerful gender ideology in her public life she is privately a devoted Christian and as married to a female priest. She is only one of many cases I have detected of what I have defined as the PPP, a new condensed figure of Professor, Priest, Politician. Against the rise of a neo-conformism I advocate for a more Socratic philosophy).

ESSAYS 12/12 In an ideal exhibition setting the essays are presented in one of the side rooms of the main exhibition hall. The presentation of the essays could be a spatial one with all of them being attached vertically on the wall as some kind of wall paper. About 36 essays could then fit horizontally in the 7.2 by 7.2 meters wall. This would allow a total of 12 rows of essays to be distributed vertically. A self standing library like ladder could enable the readers to go through all the verticality of the essays. Needless to say however I believe that there is very little future for my essays and generally for my project. The ideas they render are way too brutal especially for the new generations. The latter learn to be politically correct already from the cartoons they watch and it simply would take them quite an effort to overcome the kind of language I use. Perhaps only after a trauma affecting the whole of the social bubble in which digital natives are bred, these essays could make sense (Fig. Rendering of the ideal exhibition site where the location of the wall in which the essays are presented is highlighted in red. Originally the essays where accompanied by the photos that I take in roaming around society with my zoom camera. At last the two works have been separated. Still visitors can retain the visual and or written information and relate it across the works making him or herself the merge between them).