WORK 36 / CONTEXT / EXHIBITS

EXHIBITS 01/12 After years of doing several large museum shows I no longer found it compelling. I was often asked to show the same type of work and on the the museum space got anyway too small to accommodate my growing project. At first then I started to set up show-rooms in private environments with the intention of demonstrating how the various works of my project could be exhibited together. Later I also attempted to do so in purposely designed virtual environments and lastly I focused to build my own exhibition space. Given however that this exhibition space was placed in the middle of nature with no surrounding elements around it and totally disconnected from the grid, I began to conceive a space that could work more as an archaeological site which visitors with their phone could explore (Fig. Picture of the project museum under construction. The final exhibition space I created is a highly structural piece where nothing is arbitrary and everything is designed according to intense mathematical calculations. Also the isolated position of the museum is a statement of my will to keep independent from any social environment but also from any form of social subsidies I am not fond of. In general the museum is kept away from social turmoils. It is in fact a Noah Ark's of its time facing the catastrophic changes that humanity has experienced in the 36 years range of the project).

EXHIBITS 02/12 Since the beginning of the project I have been asked to exhibit it at OK Centrum, DDM Warehouse, Uppsala Art Museum, Science Gallery, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Hasselblad Foundation, Aarhus Kunsthall and Serendipity Art Foundation. While not actively seeking for venues, my most exhibited work is the photographs of the objects my right hand uses. Awarded at Prix Ars Electronica and Japan Media Arts Festival, I have later also curated an exhibition on similar self-tracking works at Fort Mason, San Francisco in 2016 before fully dedicating myself to the setting up of the project museum in my native mountains. I also thought of a foundation to also accommodate the works of other individuals keen to rescue reality from all the human generated crisis. On a second thought I simply focused on my own museum keeping it free from any framework of any establishment (Fig. Picture of my last exhibition of my right hand project at the Aarhus art museum. At this point it was clear that museum spaces were simply too small to present my project. Also the exhibits became quite a waste of resources with a time up to three of my shows opened at the same time. The shows were produced and then tossed after only a few shows as it happened after touring southern India. At last not even half way into my project I opted to develop my own exhibition site).

EXHIBITS 03/12 Prior setting up my own museum, I also attempted to set up a way to show-case all of my works. At first I attempted to do so in various galleries and later began to construct various prototypes to present the various works in my own bedroom. My last show-case was built in my barn in the mountains. Such a mixed media approach was never appreciated by curators who only sought in me or generally in other artists the representative of only one type of art. In this respect, the working with a large palette of aspects of reality depicted with a palette of media representing the digital age, make of myself the curator, turning the figure of the curator trying to deal with my work as slightly more incompetent. Likewise an art critic venturing to write an essay about my work cannot but be disarmed; he or she will have to spend years before being able to go through it thoroughly. In an age in which artists themselves are just used as a way to demonstrate what curators want to push forward, I become the example of a fully independent and fully developed creative entity without the need of any of the artistic apparatuses created by contemporary culture (Fig. Picture of an early show at Project Mirai in Stockholm. Here I presented some works attempting to experiment with some, like a Swedish wooden horse reproducing my record of songs and a helmet/telephone reproducing my thoughts ).

EXHIBITS 04/12 I have been most inspired by the work of outsider artists and more specifically those dedicating their lives to the construction of an architecture such as Ferdinand Cheval, Chalermchai Kositpipat, Jim Bishop, Robert Tatin, Simon Rodia and Justo Gallego Martínez. What I have valued is not how bizarre their creations come across but rather how elements that usually belongs to different realms are mixed together, setting up a form of syncretism that is much needed in the increasingly radicalized world societies. Keeping this in mind I also became aware that the various structures I was trying to pursue in the showing of my project were also deriving from many rather dogmatic word religions. So if my palace resembled a Christian cathedral, the cube in the mountain may in fact resemble the Muslim Kaaba and the time capsule I first tried to conceive much resembled the layout of a Jewish David star. As I also realized this syncretic aspect in my work I began conceiving the idea of indeed pushing forward these three different ways to exhibit the work although later settled for one (Fig. Rendering of what I came to call the flower of life. In this never realized installation I proposed a show-casing of three of my work in each of the 12 resulting triangular spaces, with the outer triangles showing more of the works talking about the project).

EXHIBITS 05/12 The project museum in my native alps falls in the genre of a one-man built architecture. I acknowledge however that without the presence and support of other people coming to even spend a morning with me, working on my side, the museum would have never been realized. Along with my oldest son August flying from Sweden to give me a hand, people from all sorts of places came in my support in particular my friend Davide often flying in from Thailand or Canada to help me. Interestingly the few locals still inhabiting these almost abandoned mountains, often only using them as dormitories to work in the small factories congesting the Venetian plateau, have barely gave me any hand. While not interested to have flocks of visitors to my pavilion I understand that for many years to come the local far right representatives will be on the look out to spot any faults in my construction so as to try to sabotage me once more. I also understand that while none of the locals want to have to do with the stigma that has been created around me, these locals are anyway too old and new initiatives are popping up in the area mostly promoted by outsiders such as those building the nearby eco-village (Fig. Picture of Elisabetta, my gifted illustrator friend coming with a picnic to the site of the museum and some spare time to help in the leveling of the terrain).

EXHIBITS 06/12 The initial reception of the plan to build a pavilion-like museum in my own property was harsh. Many people were angered of the fact that it was very difficult for them to obtain any rights to build anything in their mountain properties while I was granted to build something “megalomaniac” and “self-celebrating”. People were also angry that the material used for the installation was metal and not wood. Generally they believed the project had nothing to do with the place, its traditions and inhabitants. Some people also came in the support of the plan, mostly those who were acquainted with other landart works. While not knowing most of the commentators, I understood that they knew nothing about me or my idea; only by realizing the project I could have proven them wrong. Enaraged social media posts were also followed by a petition of hundreds of local hunters wanting to stop me. They tried to protect a hunter who feared that a boost in local tourism might have compromised his more or less legal hunting of birds crossing right over the museum on their way to Africa (Fig. Screenshot of some of the hundreds of comments strongly against or in favour of the museum prior its construction. Understanding the hot topic also local newspapers kept writing about it yet always giving the far right representatives the last word).

EXHIBITS 07/12 In order to set up my alpine museum I had to also renovate a few abandoned buildings where to lodge my family but also my equipment. With time these infrastructures became a hub also for other artists and people traveling from all over the world to be in touch with my creation as it happened. In the longer run if the museum reveals itself successful, I wish to host the work of other artists but also use some of the many abandoned buildings in the near to host also retrospectives on people who have dedicated their lives to systematically document it using not only digital media but older media like journals, paintings, collages and so forth. This retrospective could include works from Jacopo Pontormo, Dziga Vertov, August Sander, Janina Turek, Vivian Maier, George Perec and Erkki Kurenniemi or more uknown individuals such as Ellie Harrison, Jacek Smolicki, Morris Villarroel, Iwan Willaga and Danielle Roberts (Fig. Picture showing a part of a barn I renovated not only to keep all the machinery and equipment I need to build and maintain the museum and the land around it but also to host people coming to visit me. In addition the last floor of the barn is used to stock my physical archive and the material of my more conventional exhibitions. From the barn one can view the actual museum located the small mouth following the mountain profile).

EXHIBITS 08/12 Initially I wished to live permanently in the near of my museum, bringing my family along. In 2017 I spent a whole year trying to find a job in the area to make this possible. Having failed to do so and with the far right representatives pressing hard to boycott the project museum, I gave up the idea of moving permanently to Italy. During the hunting season and when it snows I then keep in the Netherlands at my girlfriend's house looking after our children. This long distance situation was at first frustrating but in the long run it revealed to be most prolific; I was still able to have a foot in the civilized world and thus continue my digital project. Also I had unique opportunity to use my girlfriend's backyard to produce all the various components of the project museum. Not only then I was able to set up a small studio under the house roof but also I began setting up various sheds in the garden where to cast my mosaics, and fabricate the metal textures of the museum but also stock the resulting production prior transporting it across Germany to the alps. In this sense the museum can be called Europe; it was made in Europe and it depicts a period in which the old continent unified and later broke apart (Fig. Picture of my girlfriend's backyard with the temporary sheds I built to produce the various components of the project museum).

EXHIBITS 09/12 When scouting for a place where to deposit my project in the landscape, I was electrified by the view of the small dolomites, a view my ancestors have beheld for centuries and a view that has been the common link among the many Cimbrian populations spreads around them. Ironically however the museum does not share this view and it is facing rather the plateau below it. This plateau is completely put upside down and poisoned by decades of wild and badly plan industrialization destroying the beautiful landscape Goethe wrote about in his trip though Italy two centuries earlier. Along with this landscape, one of the most polluted in Europe, I also faced an increasingly bigot mentality of people who have lost their farmer genuinity. Unable to uplift themselves in any cultural form, they turned the plateau into the most conservative and back minded of Europe with the highest condensation of populist leaning individuals. While wanting to dedicate myself to a nature without issues I in fact ended up intervening within a most corrupted and decaying social environment (Fig. Picture of the view that convinced me instantaneously that this was the place where to settle with my project. Over the years having to constantly be at work on the museum I could not really pursue my love for hiking in the mountains but in a way became myself one).

EXHIBITS 10/12 Having moved with my mother and stepfather away from my native mountains and having lived my years as a teenager in city apartments, I developed a strong urge to learn manual skills first by moving to a farm in Sweden and then later setting forth to build the project museum back in my native mountains. While not a professional in any particular skill, I have become handy in a wide range of expertises beside also gathering all required machinery. In this respect, compared to the standard youth unable and unwilling to keep up with certain skills and expecting others like foreigners to do the work for them, with the building of the museum I am also projecting the idea of self-building and an autonomy that characterized the poor mountain regions of the Italian alps. What is left of the Cimbrian highland communities at the most lays its pride in products such as potatoes or rather obvious initiatives that makes them fully dependent to the lowland. In this respect I am a Cimbrian who has migrated back with a lot of knowledge and ideas. I demonstrate how one can generate work in the local community without depending on in this case the lowland (Fig. Screenshot showing me downloading all the equipment I have carefully obtained so as to be able to set up the museum in the middle of a totally abandoned environment without any power line and barely any phone connection).

EXHIBITS 11/12 Despite all the initial accusations and the aggressive attempts to stop it, already soon after the structure of the building was set up, the abandoned valley became in fact a place to go to, a place that it is not easy to reach; it requires effort, as much as it took effort to build it. While completely isolated from any other buildings and dialoguing with nature alone, the museum is a means to behold a perfect geometry which in Vitruvian terms uplifts the soul to a more spiritual level. Importantly it is also an excuse to do a walk and be in nature. In this respect it values the territory, a territory that is often and only used for exploitation of its flora and fauna. With the setting of the museum the exploitation comes less and the premise for a more primordial nature are set forth with trees growing ancient all around it and only the front valley kept open to allow visitors to ascend. After the end of the project I might spend my last days there fully devoting myself to the care of the landscape, possibly also with the help of grazing cattle and the natural improvements I can only for now behold (Fig. One of the many pictures I started receiving from people going to what became an actual place. Only the fact that it snowed or that it was autumn made people curious to see how the museum would look in these new conditions).

EXHIBITS 12/12 In an ideal exhibition a retrospective of my exhibitions should be presented in one of the side rooms to the main exhibition hall. The presentation of my past exhibitions should be rather spontaneous with picture of the exhibitions printed in different sizes and using different secondhand and rather vintage frames. In this respect the prints should be made in accordance with the actual secondhand frames that have been recovered also in the attempt to fill the entire 7.2 by 7.2 meters wall dedicated to this last work (Fig. Rendering of the ideal exhibition with the wall where a retrospective of my exhibition is presented highlighted in red. The framed photos not only show my single exhibits but also the very process of setting them up with or without other people assistance as also documented in the various month productions corresponding to this part of the project. Among these frames also some screens could be present to show the more performative aspects of my exhibitions when for example certain works of my project where in fact performed or the various ways visitors have interacted with the work. Interestingly as in a Divina Commedia setting I could act as a Virgil taking a visitor around for a tour of the whole exhibition and provide a storytelling component to the whole of my life work).