Inventario nº 319200 NEUQUE’N ISLANDS ARGENTINA, Archivo general de la nacion / Buenos Aires, Argentina
Inventario nº 319200 NEUQUE’N ISLANDS ARGENTINA, Archivo general de la nacion / Buenos Aires, Argentina
»Migration and cultural identity is a constantly unfolding process. When we look at history and its archives, are we able to recontextualise these traces for the present?« Niccolò Masini
what shapes the identity of a nation and its culture?
Islands of Time initiated by the multidisciplinary artist Niccolò Masini explores the relationships between the intangible feeling of belonging and the construction of geographical identity.
The project analyzes collective memory as a representational construct trying to weave new textures in history and see otherwise. A central part of the research, will be the utilization and manipulation of found migratory archives and the use of living archives. The project unfolds from diaspora archives to arrive through research to multidisciplinary visual/cinematic experimentations. The study is centered as a means to observe tangible and intangible migratory processes, their mapping and traces, in relation to borders and colonization, and economic political processes that originated imposed fluxes of the labour force, with the aim to narrate other histories.
»Perhaps instead of thinking of identity as an already completed definition, which specific cultural practices represent, we should instead think of identity as an ongoing ›composition‹: never complete, always in the process of, always embodied within and not outside representation.« Abbasi, Hasti (2017)
Islands of Time, officially supported by the Miller-Zillmer Foundation, will be part of the 2020/22 Global Exhibition Program / Project Anywhere, an exhibition model for art at the outermost limits of location-specificity. Project Anywhere is a vehicle for illuminating artistic research and projects that take place outside traditional exhibition circuits. At the cessation of Project Anywhere’s annual global exhibition program, all hosted projects will be presented at the biennial conference Anywhere and Elsewhere at Parsons Fine Art in New York City. Project Anywhere is supported as part of a partnership between the Centre of Visual Art (University of Melbourne) and Parsons Fine Art (New York).
»I’ve been thinking and reading about the spatial inequalities and a lot about lines and dividing factors. And also about numbers. Because that’s what the division is about. Numbers of population, salaries, housing size, wealth, Gini coefficient. It all comes down to a single number. So it’s very clinical in a way. But also makes for beautiful geography if you look at it from above. The lines running through cities to divide them by wealth. Like the photo you sent of the crack in the Earth. The experience might speak about the idea of mapping and tracing. And divisions? Yes, whether they are cultural, economic or social. Composed of separating lines and gaps. Because many cities were built the way they are. Do you know what happened during the apartheid in RSA? So, these divisions are constructed and are not natural. And you can see it through maps and drone’s footages.« Marisha Flovers in conver-sation with Niccolò Masini for #IslandsOfTime, Genoa / Cape Town
You see, through certain kinds of spatial engagements there might be a transfer of empathy because of your ability to experience yourself in that way. Would you be able to acknowledge anything different than your own perception?
LOCATION 01 — »Nomadic Experience / Memory As A Form Of Resilience« El Boujdour Refugee camp / Western Sahara Territories — 2/16
Nomadism as a form of migratory process, memory as a form of resilience - Western Sahara has been disputed since 1975 when Morocco claimed the territory as part of the kingdom, and the Polisario (Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro) fought a guerrilla war for the Sahrawi people’s independence. Morocco argues that the notion of Western Sahara statehood is illegitimate and that the region’s resources are theirs. The Polisario’s self-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is recognized by the African Union and Algeria, which has given the group military support for decades and currently hosts more than a hundred and seventy thousand Sahrawi refugees in confined camps. As a result, Western Sahara has been the stage for a growing human-rights conflict as well as significant regional geopolitical tensions. A 1991 ceasefire split the region in two between what Morocco calls its southern provinces and an area controlled by Polisario.
LOCATION 02 — »Island as a bridge for memory« — Aeolian Islands (IT)
Is it possible to live with memory without falsifying it? As for all things tending towards infinity, a set of islands remember.
An island remembers its territory. In constant motion, always in the process of, far from the accuracy of precision or linearity.
An island knows its people, composed by all the multitudes stepping into its shores‘ mutable delimitations.
An island acknowledges its margins, facing the complex apparatus represented; it translates through the continuously changing historical context.
An island acknowledges, conscious about the fact that over time, its delimitations might be subjected to a substantial interpretation.
An island possesses multiple identities. Knowing that »yesterday« was never simply there, and tomorrows cannot be taken for granted. Before and after are deeply interconnected, depicted asseparate entities belonging to a separate temporality.
Amanei - Salina 2021
LOCATION 03 — »Land As A Construct Of Memories« — Buenos Aires / Argentina
Islands of Time / Location 03 - Buenos Aires (AR) / Argentina - October/December 2021. In collaboration with Curator Renata Zas, Pablo Caligaris / La Ira De Dios, AOS Residency, Marcelo Huernos and MUNTREF - Museo de la Inmigración Buenos Aires.
As part of the Islands of Time research project, the work »To be made of dust and errant trajectories« plays within the relationship between the farming industry and the migratory processes that originated within the re-formulation of the Argentinian territory; their strategies, convergences, and layering firmly gaze upon the capitalization and civilization of the land and its habitants. The cartographic and territorial division of the world fostered to accomplish extractivist activities in the so-called “new” world. Therefore, the violence of the civilizing project results in its relation to its territorial errancy, problematizing the dichotomy between its systematic exploitation and divisionism. Focusing on the European migration within the country, the territorialization fostered by the “la Campana del Desierto” occupation expanded within limits constituted by its political aim. The re-distribution of land from the migratory policies between 1830 and 1950 opened a path in exploring how mobility influenced memory formation and belonging.
Composing the understanding of the elements describing the phenomena that occurred within different processes of territorialization includes a multiplicity of factors. Within this subdivision, what’s left should not exist merely to benefit privileged minorities or exploitative measures, calcifying within the constitutive elements composing history. In dialogue with local institutions, collaborators, and partners and due to several field-research phases throughout the country, the trilingual text plays at the interplay of the representation of memory and the archive. The video essay aims to re-considering how mobility affected the boundaries of those who migrated, those who remained in Europe, and those who have been excluded from this re-allocation process. All the particles of life’s stories intertwine within a past and possible future to divert from a clear consequentiality of the so-called Modernity’s constitutive elements.
LOCATION 04 — Genoa/Ventimiglia (IT)
FROM A DIALOGUE WITH MARISHA FLOWERS_Genoa / Cape Town
[09:33, 12/20/2020] Marisha Flovers SA: I’ve been thinking and reading about the spatial inequalities and a lot about lines and dividing factors.
[09:34, 12/20/2020] Marisha Flovers SA: And also about numbers. Because that’s what the division is about. Numbers of population, salaries, housing size, wealth, Gini coefficient. It all comes down to a single number.
[09:34, 12/20/2020] Marisha Flovers SA: So it’s very clinical in a way. But also makes for beautiful geography if you look at it from above. The lines running through cities to divide them.
[09:34, 12/20/2020] Marisha Flovers SA: By wealth.
[09:35, 12/20/2020] Marisha Flovers SA: Like the photo you sent of the crack in the Earth.
The experience might speak about the idea of mapping and tracing.
And divisions? Yes, whether they are cultural, economic or social. Composed of separating lines and gaps.
Because many cities were built they way they are. Do you know what happened during the apartheid in RSA? So, these divisions are constructed and are not natural. And you can see it through maps and drone’s footages.
Which is why I like the ladders theme of yours. I think we could do something which merges these imagery together in a playful but thoughtful way. Nothing too specific or cliche or instantly recognizable.
Born in ‘89, Niccolò holds BFAs in Animation and Illustration as well as Audiovisual Arts. He is currently following an MFA in art practice. His artworks fall into the realms of narrative and craft, but also poetry and anthropology, which guide the audience through an engaging narrative of methods, voices, views, and perspectives.
Questioning the fundamentals and the hidden rules of culture, Niccolò raws his inspiration from literature, history, folklore, psychoanalysis, religion, anthropology, or even simply daily life experiences. His work encompasses video, installation, research, and painting; but the process of image-making remains central to his way of working. He is absorbed in the idea of creating something out of time, space, and movement, bringing the otherwise immaterial into a composition of physical being, often with a mixture of techniques regarding the specificities of every project he’s working with.
Practicing on three continents, Niccolò’s work has been exhibited internationally in countries such as The Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Korea, England, South Africa, Italy, and Japan. Winner of numerous international prizes, competitions, and residencies, in 2018 he was awarded as the Best Young Artist Of The Year (Painting & Sculpture) by the GAMMA competition and GM conference of Tokyo. Niccolò currently lives and works between Genoa and Amsterdam.
Exhibition – Project Anywhere
Islands of Time is part of the global exhibition programme 2020/22 / Project Anywhere
Project Islands of Time, among other fascinating artworks, has now been published in the ongoing biennial publication Anywhere IV, by the Centre of Visual Art (The University of Melbourne) and Parsons Fine Art, Media and Technology (New York). At the cessation of Project Anywhere’s annual global exhibition program, all hosted projects will be presented at the biennial conference Anywhere and Elsewhere at Parsons Fine Art in New York City.
Exhibition – Amaneï Gallery
Islands of time. As for all things tending towards infinity
— curated by Eletrra Bottazzi
Amaneï Gallery | www.amanei.com
| Santa Marina Salina | Aeolian Islands 3 June - 5 July 2022
Niccolò Masini´s practice and research can be taken as a political act of seeing and feeling, in which he articulates central themes such as the politics of displacement, memory, language, temporality, identity, and territoriality. For years he has been collecting and documenting many of the processes that manifest themselves in history through an empirical method of observation and analytical study; in his latest works, he focused mainly on the phenomenon of diaspora.
As for all things tending towards infinity takes its title from Masini’s diaries, which he wrote in 2021 during his residency at amaneï, as a result of a long period of research spent in theAeolian Islands. Masini landed in the archipelago to investigate the specificity of the Aeoliandiaspora (second half of the Nineteenth century-first half of the Twentieth century) bycollecting interviews and consulting public and private archives.
Researching, writing, consulting, and collecting archival records are methodologies widelyadopted by contemporary art and post-colonial theorists, a practice that amaneï's residencyprogram has been promoting and facilitating by hosting artists and researchers since 2016.
The exhibition opening on 3rd June is the first artistic product of the research period spent in the Aeolian Islands. A body of works on paper, video, and site-specific installations, typical of Masini's multidisciplinary approach, is on display in the gallery spaces. A recurring symbol in this body of work is the ladder, which carries for the artist the peculiarity of the Aeoliane migration: it was not always a motion to escape poverty; in fact, the islands were fertile and full of profitable activities from winemaking to fishing, from pumice mining to trade. In this context, the Aeolian migrant initially emigrates by choice and views travel as an elevation of status and social mobility/advancement, but also as a spiritual and moral understanding. With its movement of ascent and descent, and especially of balance, the ladder is also an admirable expression of tension and conjunction between sky and earth, between finite and infinite, transcending the distance between past and future by "eternalizing" the space of memory. Indeed, its performative and dynamic character makes possible the process of re-framing its socio-cultural identity in other places. Memory's performative and dynamic characteristics make possible the process of construction/re-construction. The feeling of belonging to a place/territory within a set of spatial and historical references, is found through memory, the type we build when we are distant from imaginary or physical "places" we come from, and in some way, we might find ourselves belonging too.
amaneï |via risorgimento 71 | santa marina salina – isole eolie
»Displacement, Diaspora, and Geographies of Identity« Smadar Lavie, Ted Swedenburg / Duke University Press – 2013
»Collective Memory and Cultural Identity« Jan Assmann / New German Critique, No. 65, Cultural History / Cultural Studies – 1995
»Geographical Uncertainties« Alessandro Ricci/EXORMA editore – 2017
»The Ideology of Exile in an Imaginary Life.« Abbasi, Hasti / Antipodes, vol. 31, no. 1, Wayne State University Press / 2017
»The Globalization of Space: Foucault and Heterotopia« Michel Foucault / John Miller (2015)
»Non-Places: An Introduction to Supermodernity” Mark Augè / Paperback (2009)
»The Culture of Ethics« Franco La Cecla – Prickly Paradigm Press, LLC (2013)
»Perdersi« Franco La Cecla – Prickly Paradigm Press, LLC (2015)
»The Development of European Identity/Identities: Unfinished Business« Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (2012)
»Towards a Genealogy of Europe’s Migrant Spaces: A Map- Archive of Border Zones.« Martina Tazzioli (2018)
»European Borders and Identity from the materialist Approach« Basia Nikiforova – Lithuanian Culture Research Institute (2016)
»Politics/Poetics« Teresa Macrì – Postmediabook (2014)
»The Desert Rock That Feeds the World« Alex Kasprak – The Atlantic / November (2016)
»Anatomy of restlessness« Bruce Chitwin / Published by Jonathan Cape – 1996