The exhibition in Berlin is coming…we are working on it

23 Aug

The exhibition is coming soon. We are working on it in these days. The video preview is already available, check it!

 

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save the date: on 25th august luggage swap at the enblanco kunstshop, berlin.

11 Aug

I’m glad to announce the presentation of My life is inside my luggage: a participatory publication and an interactive exhibition about Luggage swap. 

The opening of the exhibition will be on 25th August, 2011, from 6,30 p.m. at the enblanco kunstshop: Manteuffel strasse 73, 10999 Berlin.

Music by Pep Gaya.

For more information, check the website:

enblanco-kunstshop.de

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Projects swap in Sydney with Alana

5 Mar

Sydney has the most amazing harbour that I have ever seen. I felt lucky for spending my last day of the trip there.

I woke up very early in the morning; I wanted to see the ship getting to the port. Suddenly the opera house, the bridge and the museum of contemporary art surrounded us. We were still inside the ship, but at the same time inside the city: we could see people behind the windows of the buildings and the faces of those who were walking in the streets!

Going ashore was not so easy: I had to carry 40 kilos of luggage with me + the stuff for my swapper. After a couple of hours, I finally got to the MCA, where I found Alana, waiting for me.

 

A beautiful Australian pale blue eyes girl wearing Indian clothes. She explained me that India is her second home!

We started to swap, sitting in the grass, just in front of the museum, surrounded by gulls.

Alana gave me a wooden tiny box with a fabric inside. At a first glance, I thought it was one of Kashmir’s typical scarfs, but then, when I opened it, I saw that there was a hand printed. It’s her hand! The hand, as she explained me, represents the way people are connected and help each other. The hand is a sort of metaphor for human relationship. I think that It’s true: giving your hand to somebody means that you are open to help him and to support him.

Then it was my turn: first I showed her the super-suitcase that Azucena gave me in Buenos  Aires. I put many things inside: several maps and cards that I collected during the trip and mixed them with others that I brought from my place, that were especially meaningful for me; my trip diary (by inviting her to use it as her personal diary for her next trip) and, of course, the cute electric train that Azu left inside it. But the very surprise for Alana was finding also Nancy’s luggage inside the suitcase.  I opened the woollen blanket in the grass, reconstructing the story of Nancy’s family, by showing the family tree that she sewed inside it.

I remember that when I was in Puerto Montt, Nancy told me that she would love to make other artists implement her piece, with more pieces, objects or texts and then return it to her. This is why I thought that Alana could be the right person to do it. I didn’t know her before, of course, but I knew something about her works, especially the way she is interested in connecting traditions with relational practices. She told me that she would be glad to do it, and of course, we kept the promise to return it to Nancy later.

Then it came the second part of the swap: Alana invited me to take part in cups of nunchai. The project is about the way people can remember and reflect upon the tragedy happened in Kashmir, where 117 people lost their lives, most of them shot by police and paramilitary forces, since the 11th June 2010. Alana invites 117 people to have a cup of the typical Kashmir tea with her, as an act that acknowledges the lives that are being lost.

We sat in the grass, drinking this strong flavoured tea, I felt as I was sharing with her a ritual; there was a sort of holy atmosphere, even if we were totally absorbed by the noises of the city. Alana explained me the political situation in Kashmir and the way it affected to the inhabitants. It was really interesting, it was like discovering a world inside another one: just arrived at Sydney for the first time, I suddenly got in contact with another unfamiliar situation, that of Kashmir. I tried to imagine Alana there, her life and her discoveries in India.

She is a very enriching and joyful person. In just one hour, she could introduce me to her world, her experience and her thoughts and she made me also reflect about a very problematic conflict that is affecting nowadays society. I really thank her.

 

extra-ordinary swap in pago-pago!

2 Mar

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Kim is a 70 year old man who decided to leave the US 10 years ago and started sailing around the world. He was lawyer for 30 years, and sailor since he was a child.

I met him in the harbour of Pago Pago in the morning. Since the first glance, I thought he could have all of the characteristics to be the perfect subject for a brother Cohen’s movie. We just spoke few words. He already knew where he wanted to take me, so it was not so necessary to exchange the typical phrases like “Welcome”, “How are you?”, “What’s your first impression of the island?” etc… We went to a Chinese bar to have lemonade.

Once there, Kim openedhis laptop, and showed me lots of photos that he made during his trips, especially in Samoa. They are very good, he’s very talented in catching good colours and in finding the right time of pressing the button of the camera.

The conversation started to be more fluent: his story is so interesting, I mean, his life. I felt as I was just a spectator of the speech that he was giving about his life. He can catch you the attention and provoke surprise and astonishment. He explained that he wanted to continue to sail for the next 10 or 15 years and then go back to San Diego, the place that he left 10 years ago. This will be the final destination of his trip and of his life. I felt as I was completely outside my daily life, and that I met a really special person.

I remember that when I was at the high school, Lety, one of my best friends, wrote in her diary “Life is a journey, not a destination”. I always thought that it could have only been a metaphor to express the way you can experiment and enjoy your life. But I have never thought that it could have taken seriously as a statement for planning your life.

Living your life as an endless trip, or in other words, travelling as a way of living: this is the typical story that you can usually read in books and watch in films. In your daily life, when you’re busy with your routine, you don’t think that it ‘s possible to know somebody that really does it.

So, I feel as I am the most ordinary girl who meets an extraordinary man. Haha. This is the first time that I have this feeling.  I have never considered me like that, but now I am starting to think that I still have to face with extraordinary things, in order to be extraordinary! I’m joking, I’m quite satisfied with my unstable routine life, anyway, I think this is a very interesting story and I am proud to have found Kim as one of my swappers!

After the lemonade, Kim organized a personal tour of the island for us. We sailed around the island with him: he showed us old boats, a tuna factory, an abandoned hotel, a church … everything that we saw, was related to a story. He’s so good in telling stories; It’s very interesting the way he can connect one object to the place where it is and also with other places that he has visited. I think that this is the way that a very professional traveller uses his memory and trains his mind.

At the end of the tour, I said goodbye to Kim: “ Bye, I hope to see you again”. He answered me: “Yes, maybe in our next life”.

News from Valpo

19 Feb

In Valparaíso I met Camila and Gonzalo.

Camila is a very sweet blue-haired girl from Santiago. In the morning, I saw her from the taxi, she was walking around the plaza Sotomayor, looking for me. It was easy to recognise her: she had a suitcase.

After a while, Gonzalo arrived, He already knew where he wanted to take me first. Gonzalo is very funny, he knows so many stories about the city, and he’s so good in telling stories: he’s able to transform them into legends. So, he was the perfect guide for my one-day visit in Valpo.

We walked through the “Cerros”, the old steps that connect the lower part of the city to the hills.

It’s unbelievable: a concentration of so many multi-coloured houses, growing in every corner, connected by narrow slices of earth. A lot of beautiful graffiti on the walls, dogs and cats walking about the streets. It is so similar to the Mediterranean that I am used to.

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We had breakfast together, surrounded by the hills of the city, a very nice contrast. We decided to swap there.

Gonzalos’s suitcase is the perfect kit for knowing Valparaiso, from a Chilean poet’s perspective: a traditional music instrument, poetry books, an inedited cd by a peculiar local singer, a personal booklet and a pen. He explained that these would be the stuff he wouldn’t renounce for a trip. He also brought me one copy of his poetry magazine, “antitesis”, but he specified that he didn’t put in the suitcase, as only books are the best reading material for a trip.

I was so happy to receive them. I will read them, exchanging ideas, impressions and points of view with him.

In my suitcase I put images that I found in my bedroom, which I decorated when I was 18, in order to invite him to write possible stories, or just thoughts, that could emerge in his mind from these pics. I also left him a postcard of the town where my mum was born. I used to go there in Summer when I was a child to visit my grandparents. In the same postcard, I pasted Nancy’s grandpa’s story, as a way to share, exchange and connect memories.

Camila’s luggage is the perfect travel kit for a collector! In the black plastic suitcase that she gave me, there were so many objects that she collected in her life that she’s fond of (like plastic robots!); things found in her past trips, like old coins and transports’ tickets; stuff of different airlines, like safety instructions and spoons. So nice.  Camila is a great collector, she always wants to keep everything she finds interesting and give a meaning to it. I am like her, I would like to keep everything and carrying it with me. In the suitcase for Camila, in one of the most meaningful image that I took from my bedroom’s wall (the Kirchner’s portrait of 5 artists) I rewrote the John Cage’s story, that Azu gave me in Buenos Aires. It’s about how absurd a trip can be, and how it can also change somebody’s life.  I decided to give the story to somebody else, because I was reading during the last days, just thinking about how this trip was changing my life.  I still don’t know exactly how, I think that there are too many inputs, too many people, too many images that I am facing everyday with. Anyway, there are so many things that I am receiving and exchanging, that I feel so many connections with my personal itinerary in my life. I feel that all of these inputs that I receive from people are a gift for me, that I can carry with me and share with those that I still have find in my way.

Connecting memories

12 Feb

When I arrived at Puerto Montt, the city was still asleep. It was 10 o’clock, It was so weird. I didn’t know anything about the place. I met Nancy and Christian, they received me with a big smile. We walked around the old market, near the harbour, and I saw that the place started to change and my impression, too: more people in the street, more sounds, more colours. I saw a seal for the first time in my life! In the sea, just in front of the market. We went to “Muelle de las Papas”, one of the most important places of the town: from the “Muelle” people leave to go fishing. It’s amazing: fishers and sailors just looking at the island in front of them, small coloured boats, tiny houses all around.

 

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This is also the place where Nancy opened the luggage she prepared for me: a woollen suitcase, made by her grandmother, containing an exclusive archive about her family. A sort of family tree, made by the photos of every person of her family and a lot of found objects, representing their traditions and the natural characteristics of their place: old stamps, tiny games, special shells, seeds…

Nancy told me about the story of her family, starting from her grandfather, who was an important sailor in Puerto Montt, who fed all of his children and provided them a high education, by fishing and building boats. While she was talking to me, she was also “fishing” her family, connecting the people represented in the photos with fishhooks and lines. Her story and her work really surprised me, she explained me the idea came from her grandfather’s death that happened just one month ago.

The thing that really impressed me is that during the last days, when I got the bad news from my family about my aunt’s death, I started to think about the idea of archiving family memories and represent them in an artistic project. I was thinking about the way people can still be alive in your memory, especially those people that were a substantial presence in your life. From these thoughts I conceived a blurred concept about what I would like to reconstruct in my memory and, at the same time, inviting people to adopt a sort of process of revitalisation of memory through art. So, the idea about a family archive came, and after just a couple of days I found Nancy’s family tree in Puerto Montt.

I felt as I received the present that I needed, maybe it seems selfish, but I really felt better. The last days I was so sad about my aunt, I needed a way to express my feelings to somebody else, very far from home, only few minutes to talk with my family by phone or by chat…so, thanks to Nancy, I could share my story. It has been an extraordinary coincidence.

In the luggage that I prepared for Nancy, among various things, I made one of Martin Hugo’s “bimbulli” with the tissues and the fabric that I found in the ship. I was very happy to give it to Nancy. I remember that when Martin gave me the “bimbulli” that he sew for me in Montevideo, he told me that I should make more and give them as presents for special people. I think that Nancy is very special.

After the performance at “Muelle de las Papas” we said goodbye; Nancy told me she wanted me to enrich the family tree with new things and new stories that would emerge from my trip. I will be glad to do it.

 

My special movie in Buenos Aires

3 Feb

4 p.m.: I meet Joaquín, at Florida avenue. I already knew he wants to make me a surprise. He explains me: we are going to a very special place, an old decadent cinema, a very crappy-decadent and charming one. But before we have to prepare a special wish for Guada, a friend of mine, and Joaquin’s as well, that I met in Barcelona two years ago. Guada comes from Buenos Aires, and she just had a baby yesterday! So, let’s do like that: let’s prepare something, like a collage, then cinema, then hospital, and finally meeting Azucena at 6 – says Joaquín. So, we start with the collage in a very special bar: Joaquin explains me that It’s the place of meeting where he used to go before or after the cinema sessions.

We start drawing, colouring, cutting, taking photos, accompanied by coffee and vanilla and orange juice.  It’s 5,30. We still have to see the cinema, go to the hospital, meeting Azucena at 6. Joaquin is more confident than me. I think we can’t do so many things, It’s too late.

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So, we start running to the cinema, amazing: It’s like a 70’s style cinema, with so many undiscovered and dark corners. I just have time to take some photos, in order not to forget how it is. Joaquin looks for a taxi, where I finish to prepare the box and the little suitcase for Guada, Norberto and the brand new Violeta.

When I arrive at the hospital, Violeta is sleeping. I kiss Guada and Norberto, asking them stupid things, I don’t have enough time to explain them my last two years, and at the same time our eyes are only able to see Violeta, who’s so small and so beautiful. We just have time for a pair of photos. Guada gives me a very special present: a booklet made of all the papers she collected in Violeta’s bedroom. So sweet, I think It’s extraordinary.

So, another taxi, back to Florida. It’s 6,30, Azucena is still not there, I’m afraid we won’t be able to see each other, I have to take the bus to the harbour at 7.

I decide to start the swap with Joaquin: his work is so essential and rich at the same time. In a small box he organises different sections, each one corresponds to a different colour. For every colour Joaquin has collected objects which are meaningful for him and are represented by photos and texts. He explains that all of them build the light spectrum of his life. I can’t stop telling him how much I appreciate his work.

Azucena arrives: she comes with a multicoloured-objet trouvé style-suitcase. I open it, I find a tiny train which runs thanks to a handmade electronic circuit created by Azu. I feel as I was the most excited child, opening Santa’s present. I don’t know how to transmit her my gratitude, I don’t have time, I have to go.

So many thanks, so many hugs, this is the only thing that you can share with people for 5 minutes, I think, when you are in this kind of situation. You are still saying goodbye, while you are thinking that you would really like to spend more time with them.  Anyway, I felt as I was in a movie. I really thank you guys. I love to have this feeling, when It happens, It’s something magic.

Joaquin links: one two

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