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“So you are saying that human agreement decides what is false and what is true?” – It is what human beings say that is false and true; and they agree in the language they use. That is not agreement in opinions but in form of life. (Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, paragraph 241)
Gazing at the worldwide scenario of today what is the forecast you would like to influence for good? As really we all can and should. What is your main system of belief, your preferred language, arrangement and agreement with respect to the outside world? If language is a public tool for the understanding of our private life, how subjective are your publicly shared opinions? Do you believe in what you say? How much of what you feel you can’t do is influenced instead by external circumstances to which you oblige? How much do you pretend that you are doing? What do you really care about? Would you be ready to act and embrace rebellion, an apostasy to give birth to a new Lebensform (form of life) or to adhere to a different one? This salotto is meant to host an exercise in disagreement and intentions, with the end of individuating and transmuting that which seems to hold us back from radically embracing the urgency of a social or environmental cause, of working together towards tuning into a collective and proactive consciousness that flows from of our individual worldview.
Matilde Cerruti Quara (b.1991, Friuli, IT. Lives and works in between London, UK and Milan, IT) is a multimedia artist, poet and creative director. Through immersive set-up environments that often see the artist as a host and include painting, sculptural and audio installations as well as performance, her work investigates and appropriates the aesthetics, architectures, rituals and languages belonging to diverse systems of belief, questioning the socio-economic politics originating from their intersubjectivity. Cerruti Quara looks at fashion magazines as her ideal public mood boards, as temporary and timeless platforms of research and experimentation: from 2016 to 2017 she was a contributor to L’Uomo Vogue, for which she authored the series In the studio with, intertwining the role of writer, creative director and fashion editor. Since 2016, she contributes to iD Italy, producing interviews and think pieces.
Within the frame of CASTRO, Cerruti Quara will host the third chapter of her ongoing series SALOTTO which she started in 2018 in Athens, EL on occasion of her solo show At the Foyer of Purgatory at Hot Wheels Projects. There she invited scientist Phoebe Tickell (Biological and human networks scientist, Associate lecturer at Schumacher College, Co-owner and member at Enspiral), musician and artist Delia Gonzalez as well as the public to reason with her on the contemporary urge for catharsis and healing, nowadays spirituality and how it might be influenced by the current political and financial scenarios rather than the inescapability of being human, amidst meta-monasteries, extreme nightlife, occult shops, hippie capitalism and the magic of nature.
Originating from the German-Longboard word sala, meaning a spacious, covered environment— already suggesting a certain intimacy—I look at the salotto as a medium. A set-up gathering, a choreographed excuse for conviviality and mundanity, an occasion for hosting an intellectual exchange, where discussions unfold and decisions are taken, liaisons and alliances are thread, costumes exhibited, our minds further working their magic by symbols and intuitive associations. In 1944, World War II still on, Jean Paul Sartre produced a beautiful existentialist play titled Huis Clos (or No Exit), envisioning hell as a sumptuous living room as well as a perfectly efficient economy of man-power (or devil-power, as you prefer), where the three main characters become each other’s executors, being forced in conversation to mirror their own inner reflections. “The same idea as in the cafeteria, where customers serve themselves.” Amidst the living, I perceive such salotto as a rather heavenly possibility…
For Salotto III — WELTANSCHAUUNG (a philosophical term of multiple applications meaning worldview) the artist will orchestrate a temporary domestic environment, an organic cradle where Solarpunk aesthetics, plants, sounds and projections are intertwined with a core selection of elements she chose amidst the props and furniture pieces coming from the archives of the theatre company Elledieffe — the heir company to that of the Italian theatre master Eduardo de Filippo. Author and actor who often played with the subtle border in between reality and invention, truth and illusion, paradoxes and smoke and mirrors, De Filippo playfully emphasised the absurdities of the bourgeoise divertissement and abstract engagement against the inescapability of people’s everyday macro and micro politics and problematics. Winking at some key plays by Eduardo, to the likes of La Grande Magia and Sik-Sik l’artefice magico, Cerruti Quara will begin by hosting a 90 minutes holistic session—the same length of a full-on Jivamukti yoga class, where she will propose an exercise in disagreement over tea, inviting each participant to individuate a social or environmental cause they deem being the most urgent to them and to set an intention on how they could align their form of life, language and actions to that, and what type of apostasy, or detachment from previous practical and ideologic adherence, that would imply. The conversation will be followed by a tasseography (tea leaves divination) workshop, where the loose leaves of the tea drank will be interpreted by each participant in light of each person’s previous statement. The session will conclude with a brief guided meditation prepared by the artist. After a loose break during which everyone is invited to inhabit the set, the salotto will end with a public reading by the artist (open to all) revolving around shape-shifting, activism and survival, states of stasis and language games, her text intertwined with extracts by a curated selection of books by other authors and thinkers.