Preglov trg 10
ARTEINGUENA 2008, International Competition, Italy
"IMPACT - ART" /place + relationships
Now in Arteinguena collection in Brescia
We live under the same roof and we became complete strangers: there are almost no relations between the neighbors. We have cameras in the public hall, locks on the public entrance and even on the single floors. The benches were removed so that the people wouldn’t gather in front of the block and disturb the others. The playgrounds are empty. Now we have marble walls in the public hall and mirrors in the elevators, something impossible before because of the vandalism caused by adolescent boys.
So, I decided to create a connection with my neighbors, and try to see how they live at home. I send them a letter in which I announced my visit in a week or two. I started to work the 8th February 2008, during a national cultural holiday.
I rang on their doors and I asked them if they would let me in for few minutes to take photos of them. In this way I had the opportunity to reconnect the relations between us. We have 14 floors, 139 apartments in which are living 357. I achieve my goal in 30 apartments for a total of 55 people. In my visits I made new friendships and recover some old ones with friends of my childhood. Almost with everyone we had feelings of nostalgia for the old times. On the other hand, a lot of people didn’t even want to open the door: they just shammed as they weren’t at home.
To conclude, the new style of life reduced the relations. Now we are much more addicted to television, shopping and computers. Among my visits just one lady said that she loves to read books. The music was usually played from the radio or not even played. The television is watched in almost every apartment, even during lunch time. A lot of young people were in front of their computers playing games or surfing on the Internet. Some spoke with me, but they didn’t want to be photographed. I noticed only one flat with art works and I managed to take a picture of a new arrival – a painting of France Slana - that came in the collection of the owner just when I was there.
After I have finished the invasion of privacy, I prepared an exhibition of the photographs in a public hall. The purpose was to motivate the neighbors to confront each other and to see if they could connect, if the relations between them could change because they all were part of a project. And to find out what kind of reaction could I get as a photographer. The reactions were positive. Someone said that I gave them a theme to talk about.
Now when I meet them in the elevator or in a hall we have a chat and they are interested in my work. Part of my purpose was to bring an experience of contemporary art to their home, show them that they can be a part of it and encourage the interest for art events in general.
The result of the final work is a collage, where I poetically connected the materials that I developed during my project. The final composition is a symbolic platform. In the background there is a picture of a block, while in front there is a mosaic of shots of my neighbors at home. The composition emphasizes the inner life of a standing still building. It represents the opposition between the fragile lives that are constantly changing and the power of the history and infinity.