06 04 19
h. 19 57 – till late night
Piazza Tirana, Milano
Il Colorificio invited Gaetano Cunsolo to work in Piazza Tirana, the heart of the Giambellino district, during the night of 6 April 2019. The performance Buildless consists of a table conceived for both research and practical work: the drawing board is overturned, through the deconstructed architectural design, the artist re-articulates the surrounding macro- and micro-phenomena. The table functions as an invitation, a sort of improvised shelter to which one can spontaneously join, the construction of a space for sharing.
The six chapters function as a framework for the actions of Cunsolo’s performance. Clues and references converge to illustrate the lense through which the artist views his world, the marginal gestures that build it. The audience circling the dramaturgy sharpen the focus on the shy whirling of a single window frame or the rambling movements of a marionette. The people reshape the demagogic monumentality to which the square – a place of gatherings and the massive expression of grandeur, is obliged. Thus, the scrutinising gaze of the audience could be likened to that of observing a game of checkers played between two elders. The reduction of the scale brings attention to everyday life and its variety. It is, however, almost impossible to avoid the instinct to project, to elude that defense mechanism – also psychoanalytic, of the dissociation of one’s own experience onto objects or people. An operation of camouflaging reality to render something in our own image or likeness.
It is no coincidence that the projection is also the ultimate cartographic and geometric tool: utilised for the drawing of master plans, projection flatten and fade the multi-dimensional, presenting instead a hierarchical and privileged reading. The macro-scale in which they operate, institutes a regulatory space that eludes the micro-stories deemed insignificant. And yet they move. In bureaucracy, clandestine and nomadic tactics find interstices, margins and, with force, expand them. Like homini ludens (a book by Johan Huizinga from 1938, from which is conceived the New Babylon by Constant Nieuwenhuys), it is the citizens who trans-form these environments, recreating them to fit their needs. “Exploration and creation of an environment will then coincide.” Exploring the homo ludens will create its own space.
Sometimes women and men are seen taking care of the streets. These are hidden gestures of the morning when the city wakes up once more, or of the evening when they return home. These are marginal actions – because they come from the margins of society and deal with physical ones, disclosing the fragility of architectural spaces and their human precariousness. Again, they lose their designed proportions, they become discontinuous, they confuse the interior with the exterior, the private with the public: they reclaim what was taken from them.
They are part of what Cunsolo calls landscaping: in these experiences form has no seductive power – its value is incidental, neither is it utopian in the Modernist sense, of future. Instead, in the recursive instability that characterizes it, form hints at ethical priorities, it is aware of the urgencies because it responds to them. It is fed with the character of the time in which it operates, combining its syntax with semantics, and producing a verbal trace that is a prop for further discussion.
The word “GIAMBELLINO RESISTI” is none other than this, it is an expression of a desire to resist the design of spaces and the management of time. A trace, a real attitude of architectural disobedience that manifests itself in interdicted spaces.