Recipes for Survival / Maria Thereza Alves with Iain Chambers, Lidia Curti, Lorenzo Gigotti and Andrea Viliani
Residency 80121 is pleased to announce the opening of Sibilla Cabinet, a research library and bookstore with a primary focus on contemporary art and theory. The space will be introduced to the public on February 13th at 18:00 with its first event of 2019; the launch of Recipes for Survival by Maria Thereza Alves.
Recipes for Survival, published by University of Texas Press with an introduction by anthropologist Michael Taussig, will be presented for the first time in Europe on this occasion.
The book will be launched with an introductory speech by Lidia Curti who is an honorary Professor in English and Feminist studies at the Oriental University, but notably known for her focus on Italophone diasporic literature and contemporary feminist theory; alongside Iain Chambers who is currently Professor of Cultural and Postcolonial Studies at the Oriental University in Naples where he has been Director of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies. The two introductory speeches are: Poetry, politic, perspectives in the art of Maria Thereza Alves by Lidia Curti and Living, surviving and beyond: the postcolonial challenge by Iain Chambers.
Recipes for Survival by Brazilian artist, Maria Theresa Alves will be presented in conversation with Andrea Viliani, the director of Madre Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina (Naples) and Lorenzo Michele Gigotti, co-editor and founder of Nero (Rome).
A documentary and poetic memorial, Brazilian artist Maria Thereza Alves composed at the age of 21, Recipes for Survival , is an intimate reflection on the lives of those who became willingly or not, active critical representatives of history. The book stems from the artists’ willingness to document the ones who aren’t there, who aren’t visible in history. ‘ This implies an X-ray of the species and a caressing of the wound that is history’ cites Michael Taussig. It is in fact, a photographic depiction of the backlands of her native Brazil, which Alvez returned to whilst as a student at Cooper Union in the United States. The artist worked collaboratively with the indigenous community, the portraits are thus an activation of its people, made of workers, women with wild hair; submissive and rebellious, depicting conditions of slavery. The text is a summary of notes for the imagery. Indebted peasants, mechanics and repairers with their dogs, portraits of eyes which never managed to escape their “own” lands, atrocious stories of forbidden contraceptives, animals mistreated by fear and scarce habitual circumstances are illustrated with a rigorous search and reconstruction of truth. The texts in the book are accompanied by grocery stores earnings reports, poems, recipes for sweets, lists of birds, trees and local animals, as well as many other intimate traces, of the life of small villagers in a variety of areas in Brazil. Unfortunately, the documented stories are often detailing survival strategies. The correlation of different subjects makes art and documentary coincide; one being the direction and the other the activates, executers, the real bodies of the narrative. They are humble names carved on the faces of a new story, made by survival and humanity. Portraits of the past and future images gain an alternate presence. The collection of photos reflects an intimacy of the imagery: the appropriation of the mirror in the representation of the other. It is indicative of a person who knows to survive; the collection of images are a cavity of a compromise to come. The texts become narrative of dry epitaphs, where we see humiliation is still very much present in Brazil. Recipes of Survival is an attempt to write oneself into an already existent but disregarding history.
Residency 80121 is pleased to invite you to its first event of 2019, the opening of its bookshop housed within the Residency 80121 project space on Via Martucci 48. Sibilla Cabinet will be a bookshop and research archive which will function as an extension of the exhibition space itself, enabling and promoting critical thought. A melting pot for diverse, cultural and social exchange, it aims to help create a community of various generations with a willingness between local and international dialogue. The idea of the cabinet (from the English word ‘cabinet’), it being a transient, intimate space and one of regeneration is also echoed through the design process and decision making within the bookshop by the architect Iacopo Taddeo . The domestic space is presented by consolidating ideas around handcrafted, re-edited furniture as well as technical and aesthetic finesse.
The bookshop was created with a focus on contemporary art and theory; collections of art magazines, a selection of texts on humanistic theory, artists’ books, a series of monographic, scholarly and scientific publications, volumes on social economy, visionary text and literature. The selection of books will be edited periodically by selected individuals, in order to construct diverse fields of knowledge, contrasting ideas of a static archive. The mythological and allegorical figure of the Sybil, is chosen symbolically as well as metaphorically, for her ability to foresee futures and to refine her reflections within books. In knowledge, the feminine and the future meet. Thus knowledge seems to inform us of an imagined future, which is in agreement with humanity and ecology, prophesied by the feminine. Sibilla is a tribute to the prophetess of Cuma and the architectural vision of genius loci; the spirit of a place becomes the guide to ethical building. Cabinet refers to of special dedication to education and intimate place for study; in this case, it being directly set by the entrance. Hospitality, the ability to create intimacy are priorities of the residency as well as the bookstore.
The first literary and theoretical curation of Sibilla Cabinet will be unveiled by Sonia D’Alto, who joined the Residency 80121 team in late 2018. The selection consists of two parts; one of volumes and the other of magazines. In turn, the volume section is bipartite. The first distribution focuses on feminism and ecology. Feminist thought; for its intrinsic non linearity, for its politeia based on empathy and for its natural aptitude to cure, which offers us a model to abandon current forms of survival, and invites us to return to live. It is against a prose of calculation and algorithm and opposes a model of poetry, which is also the most “uninhabited” of all spaces. In fact, feminist thought, in its fundamental attestation of identity invites us also to reconcile with nature. Anthropocene, decolonization of nature, reconciliation of various species and multi-naturalism are treated and read from a language of their own, from another truth: the female voice. The attempt is to create (once again) a humanist culture, where nature is again an intrinsic part of culture.
The final objective is also akin with the second articulation of the first branch of the bookshop; where books are coordinated in regards to ideas around “working imaginary”. A collection of geo-political as well as social volumes taking turns in various artistic writing, based around ideas of desires of the community. The second part of the bookshop involves a selection of national and international magazines: Mousse, Cura, Flash Art, South As State of Mind, Third Text, Animal Shelter/Semiotext (e).
The presentation of the book is in collaboration with the Center for Colonial Studies and of Gender. Recipes for Survival was published by Texas Press University and distributed in Europe from Combined Academic Publishers. We are grateful to Alfonso Artiaco Gallery for the support at the launch event of Recipes for Survival .
A special thanks to Alma Zevi, whose support has contributed to the production of Sibilla Cabinet. Thanks to Cantine Torre Ferano, which will kindly offer a wine tasting during the opening.
Maria Thereza Alves is a Brazilian artist who lives and works between Berlin and Naples. Alves has worked and exhibited internationally since the 1980s, creating a body of work investigating the histories and circumstances of particular localities to give witness to silenced histories. Since the 1990s, she has faced both the devastating effects of Portuguese imperialism on the indigenous peoples of her native Brazil, and the impact of the Spanish conquest in the Americas. In particular, she investigates the effects of colonialism through the flora of the places she visits for research, exhibitions and residences. Among her main exhibitions her work has been exhibited at Manifesta 12, at the Triennale of Guangzhou, at Manifesta in Trento, at the Biennale in Prague, at the Venice Biennale, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. Other exhibitions: Tamayo Museum in Mexico City, Sandretto Foundation in Turin, Berlin Film Festival, Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, Kunsthalle in Basel, San Francisco Art Institute, Ursula Walbröl Gallery in Düsseldorf, PAC in Milan, Michel Rein Gallery in Paris, Kunstsammlung in Gera, NBK in Berlin, Musée Portuaire in Dunkirk, Nikolaj in Copenhagen, Biennial in Liverpool, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Culturegest in Lisbon, Zerynthia in Italy, Biennale in Werkleitz, Gallery 101 in Montreal, BueroFriedrich in Berlin, Villa Medici in Rome and many others.
Iain Chambers is an anthropologist and sociologist. He was one of the main exponents of the famous Center for Studies of Contemporary Culture at the University of Birmingham. He teaches at L’ Orientale in Naples where he founded the Center for Colonial Studies and of Gender. He is the author of numerous successful volumes written in English and Italian and translated into several languages, including The ruined Archive (2014), Migration, Culture and Identity in the postcolonial era (2018), and La questione Mediterranea (2019). His fields of study range from urbanization to popular culture, music, memory, modernity. He is a member of the editorial board of various magazines and academics newspapers, including: Ágalmo, Annali di Cà Foscari, Serie Occidentale, Archivio Antropologico Mediterraneo, Cultural Studies, Journal of Mediterranean Studies, Pólemos, Postcolonial Directions in Education, Postcolonial Studies, Sinestesieonline, Cultural Studies, Third Text, Translation. Lidia Curti is an honorary professor of literature at the University of Naples “L’Orientale”. Her recent research interests are female diasporic literature, migration in artistic practices, and counter-genealogies of contemporary feminist thought. She has published various essays: from Transcultural Itineraries (Feminist Review 2011), Dal fondo del tempo. Epiche di esilio e di migrazione (inside Epiche. Altre imprese, altre narrazioni, curated by Paola Bono and Bia Sarasini, Iacobellieditore 2014); The House of Difference: Bodies, Genders, Genres (de genere 2015) and Il soggetto imprevisto. Simone de Beauvoir tra femminismo e postcoloniale (Mimesis 2016). Among her main publications: Female Stories, Female Bodies (Macmillan 1998). La voce dell’altra, Scritture ibride tra femminismo e postcoloniale (Meltemi 2018), and she co- curated The Postcolonial question (Routledge, 1997; Liguori, 1998), La nuova Shahrazad (Liguori 2004), Schermi indiani, linguaggi planetari (Aracne 2008) and Shakespeare in India (Editoria e & Spettacolo 2010). Her recent research interests are migrations in Italy and the Mediterranean, in particular female and feminist literature and art.
Lorenzo Gigotti is Head of Content and Co-founder of NERO, an international publishing house devoted to art, criticism and contemporary culture. He is also co-founder and part of the editorial team of Not – Nero On Theory, an Italian book series and an online magazine. On behalf of NERO he also coordinated and curated cultural events and exhibitions for public and private institutions.
Andrea Viliani is an art critic and curator and, since 2013, director of MADRE, where he has organized exhibitions by Francis Alÿs, Thomas Bayrle, Daniel Buren, Mimmo Jodice, Mark Leckey, Fabio Mauri, Boris Mikhailov, Giulia Piscitelli, Vettor Pisani, Walid Raad, Ettore Spalletti, Sturtevant, Padraig Timoney, Mario García Torres / Alighiero Boetti. At MADRE he also produced seminars and publications by artists such as Gusmao and Paiva, Stephen Prina and Akram Zaatari and oversaw the ongoing projects Per_forming a collection and Progetto XXI. From 2009 to 2012 Viliani was Director of the Fondazione Civica- Center for Contemporary Research in Trento. In 2010 he was appointed one of the six co-curators of the Agent-Core Group of dOCUMENTA (13) and co-curated with Aman Mojadidi and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev the position of dOCUMENTA (13) in Kabul and Bamiyan (Afghanistan). From 2005 to 2009 he was curator of the MAMbo-Museum of Modern Art in Bologna, where he presented an exhibition program focused on the contemporary heritage of the institutional critique of the ’60s and’ 70s and on a possible new approach to it. From 2000 to 2005 he worked as Assistant Curator at the Castello di Rivoli-Museum of Contemporary Art in Turin.
Sibilla Cabinet is a library project, open to the public, inside the headquarter of Residency 80121, which was created by the community of Residency 80121 under the art direction of Raffaela Naldi Rossano.
Sonia D’Alto is curator, publisher and author, active between Italy and France. Coordinator and researcher of Residency 80121 in Naples, collaborator of CODE South Way in Marseille, part of the scientific board of the Adolfo Pini Foundation in Milan. Her methodology is based on an artistic research and on forms of imagination that connect myths to history, aesthetics to storytelling, document to future. She is interested in exhibition history, historical re-enactment, moving image, subaltern studies, female writing, multinaturalism, publishing. She collaborates with artistic residencies, institutions, independent spaces and publishing projects.
Iacopo Taddeo is an architect and designer, part of the team of Residency 80121. He graduated cum laude in architecture at the University of Naples Federico II, he worked at international studies in Paris and London. He has been a member of the Order of Architects of Naples since 2011, at the ARB Architect Registration Board since 2014 and at the RIBA, Royal Institute of British Architects since 2018. He works as creative director on architecture, design and art projects.
Residency 80121 is a non profit cultural association and a project space for artists, curators and researchers in the field of contemporary art between Naples and Sorrento, founded and directed by artist Raffaela Naldi Rossano. The residency program, which includes public talks, exhibitions, performative events, workshops and site-specific interventions aims to create a research and sharing platform to develop the discussion and experimentation of utopian communities around contemporary art within specific settings, calling into question the identity of the territory. 80121 stems from a postcode in Chiaia, Naples, which is the location of Naldi Rossano’s childhood house. The abandoned apartment is reactivated by the founder with a series of annual interventions called “Sulle Forme dell’Abitare”, with the intention of inviting others to join the dialogue on how to inhabit one’s home. The residency program has a particular interest in hospitality, as a moment of negotiating, understanding and exchanging notions of the Self and the Other, and in the idea of inhabit a place, as a performative moment, to question its own stratified identities and provide them with contemporary answers. Time at the residence becomes a time for self growth, for sharing and acceptance of diversity and for the diffusion of practical and intellectual knowledge.