Alessandra Ferrini 

Starting on the veranda of Casa Testori, and continuing into the fireplace room, Alessandra Ferrini’s long-term research project entitled A Bomb to be Reloaded is set up in a number of different nuclei. As is often the case of projects that grow and are developed over years, the work is divided into a number of chapters exploring stories and vicissitudes linked with Centro Documentazione Frantz Fanon (CDFF), founded by Giovanni Pirelli in 1963 and dedicated to the famous psychiatrist and philosopher born in Martinique, a naturalised French citizen, whose work was essential for the development of the decolonialisation movements in Asia, Latin America and North Africa. As the artist writes, “The project is divided into a number of chapters exploring different characters and elements investigated during my study of Centro Documentazione Frantz Fanon. The work is based on the structure of a constellation of voices, characters and places that are in one way or another linked with study of the CDFF”. The work as a whole addresses the potential for revitalisation of a resistant archive, that is, an archive which, despite having been moved and dismembered, continues to have the ability to address and interrogate the present, like a bomb about to go off. The political implications of the entire project are therefore not only in terms of content, but also methodology, because they cast light on possibilities and tools for giving voice to events and stories that are only apparently silent. 

And so A Bomb to be Reloaded winds through the rooms of the exhibition:

CHAPTER 0 – Fireplace hall

This chapter acts as an introduction to the project and to the process of researching the CDFF, and in particular the materials in its library and periodicals collection, revealing the international network developed from the Centro, especially with the anti-colonial and anti imperialist movements in Africa, Central and South America and Southeast Asia. Focusing on the spaces containing the materials and the history of their dispersal, the research was conducted in a 2018 workshop with students from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. It includes documents that belonged to CDFF and documentary material on historic sites of activism in Milan, such as Archivio Primo Moroni, the squatted bakery Panetteria Occupata, and Istituto Nazionale della Storia del Movimento di Liberazione in Italia, the National Institute for the History of the Liberation Movement in Italy.

CHAPTER 1 – Fireplace hall

The first chapter, in chronological order, explores Fanon’s direct influence on Giovanni Pirelli and on the director Valentino Orsini. The installation includes historic documents, publications and quotes printed on large banners, and focuses on the film directed by Orsini, I Dannati della Terra (1969), with an interview Ferrini conducted with Kadigia Bove, an actress who appears in the historic film named after Fanon’s famous book. This presence also attempts to make up for women’s lack of visibility in narration of the historic context of what is referred to as “Third-Worldism”. The installation specifically reveals the importance of self-analysis and self-criticism in the authors’ writing and in the exhibition.

CHAPTER 2 – Veranda

This chapter focuses on composer Luigi Nono’s A floresta è jovem e cheja de vida, written in 1965 and 1966 in collaboration with Giovanni Pirelli and first performed in 1966 at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice during the 19th Experimental Music Biennale. Through historic documents and videos, Ferrini’s installation reconstructs the historic performance but “does so partially, focusing on a number of documents that underline the influence of Fanon’s thought on the work and on one of its performers, Kadigia Bove, who links this chapter with the previous one”. Kadigia’s stories enrich the narration with a series of anecdotes and autobiographical stories, opening a window onto the experience of the actress and singer of Italian-Somali origins in post-war Italy.

A Bomb to be reloaded(chapte)_AlessandraFerrini2018-2019
A Bomb to be reloaded(chapter2)_AlessandraFerrini2018-2019
A Bomb to be reloaded(chapter0)_AlessandraFerrini2018-2019
A Bomb to be reloaded(chapter0)1_AlessandraFerrini2018-2019
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Posted on: 15 November 2021, by : Alessandro Ulleri