Rita Canarezza and Pier Paolo Coro “Spaceship Command” at Listen to the Sirens, Gibraltar
“Spaceship Command” is Rita Canarezza and Pier Paolo Coro’s project for Listen to The Sirens | Space for Contemporary Art, the first contemporary art institution of the small territory of Gibraltar. Canarezza e Coro, hailing from the micro state of San Marino, are artists and cultural researcher interested in a specific hybridization between anthropology, documentary languages, performance, and visual arts.
This exhibition, curated by Alessandro Castiglioni, presents a single coherent body of new productions between artistic, anthropological and geographic practice. The exhibition is a series of references and reflections, which for over a decade have characterized their specific research into the relations and the nature of the “Small State”, in the inexhaustible identity issues related to it.
Hence the idea of constructing a new, unexpected synthesis of this reflection through a mysterious and immediate image: that of “unidentified flying objects” (UFOs).
Suspended in this way between sight and vision, imagination, scientific and para-scientific documentation, the artists in the exhibition space construct a series of installations that evoke (retro)future imagery, a clearly alien mysterious and undefined elsewhere.
The starting point for the project is the artist’s book Salon Devolution. Short Stories of non-Independence (2013), which saw Rita Canarezza & Pier Paolo Coro start a dedicated research into the visions, inexplicable and mysterious, which often occur above the towers of San Marino and the creation of a series of performances in which they made signals with their bodies inspired by the movements landing signal officers make in directing planes to land on aircraft carriers. These signals seem intended to summon an indefinite otherness. Perhaps by looking for UFOs, perhaps extra-terrestrials, at any rate by expressing the need to indicate an elsewhere: a way out of the small confines of their country, by querying images and visions related to cultural stereotypes and clichés, or the expectation of a diversity to be related to their own context.
This context in particular for part of the new video installation that gives the exhibition its title: Spaceship Command. The production is set in the garden of the small Villa LaCaliffa, designed in 1957 by the architect Luigi Moretti, in which the functionalist architectural roots and the relational-circular dimensions of the intimate environment blend with a magical, utopian space.
This elsewhere corresponds in more general terms to Western civilization’s urge to identify a mysterious place in which to position and cram all the unknown and inexplicable that their culture is unable to absorb. In the Middle Ages this was the forest, a place populated by nymphs and dragons; in the nineteenth century the myth of the sea deep, from Moby Dick to Verne’s Nautilus; in the modern world it is the turn of outer space.
As early as 1989 Jacques Brosse wrote: “Now the earth, too well known, is not enough. The strangers come from outside, from other planets, even other galaxies. The aliens of science fiction novels and comic books […] are our ogres and fairies. The unknown today is no longer the forest, it is space.” (J. Brosse, Mythologie des arbres, 1989).
until 15 February 2015
Rita Canarezza and Pier Paolo Coro “Spaceship Command” installation views at Listen to the Sirens, Gibraltar, 2014
Courtesy: the artists and Listen to the Sirens, Gibraltar.