Winning project of the Announcement:

“Assemblaggi Provvisori” | Tenuta dello Scompiglio


installation view

As always interested in the phase shifts of meaning generated by the translation of the same sign in a different language, the “Lacuna” project represents a new actual fabric on which to apply an interpretive device conceived by us through a slavish repetition of the writing, through a private performance, a moving of the understanding to a time and place which are different from the here and now, to a final installation made of overlapping and intersecting planes, of refractions and obstacles. “Lacuna” arises from the interpretation of a practical and symbolic motive of dichotomous declaration of belonging to a genre, as it is with the attribution of the proper name to a person. The study on building gender identity resulting from the attribution of the name, seen as the a priori foundation of the individual, is rooted, in the “Lacuna” project, in the analysis of a historical, social and cultural product, as it is the Baby Hatch of Basilica of SS. Annunziata Maggiore in Naples, where the newborns were abandoned. Our research starts from the zeroing of the total concordance to a genre, in the expressed will to rethink an absolute cancellation of the individuality, offering possible new definitions and new stories to write. “Lacuna”, understood as intentional omission, wants to establish the existence of a larger totality.

We thank the Historical Archives Service and the Municipal Library. The municipality of Naples. In particular Dr. Tommaso Lomonaco and Ms. Giuliana Buonaurio, Naples City Council, the Municipal Historical Archive (ASMuN) – Archives of the Real Casa Santa Annunziata, Naples.

Lacuna” is structured in two different phases that have different designated times and places.

Phase I: Performance

Lacuna” has included, in its first phase, an action conducted by us and taken up in a private space without public, located in the theatrical space of the Tenuta dello Scompiglio.

The performative operation consists in reiterating the gesture of the transcription of the pages of some registers kept in the Basilica of Annunziata Archives (Santissima Annunziata Maggiore ), with the two scribers facing one another while sitting at the ends of a long rectangular table placed at the centre of the scene. This transcription was made through the use of a large-sized carbon paper (100×60 cm), coordinating the gesture of the writing with that of the simultaneous reading of what we had wrote in that precise moment. The whole performance, closed to the public, has been documented by a CCTV video recording and an audio recording, which was separated from the video memory. By retracing the words, we have entered the cadence of the author’s private calligraphy and we physically took its meaning through the space they occupy and the trace they leave on paper. We experience the language as a space. As we write, we simultaneously read different texts, in an utterance that transcends the narrative comprehension of the text, the modification, due to a concern for two simultaneous actions, which affect and slow down each other.

Phase II: Installation

The second phase of our project has developed in the exhibition and the return of the performance through the realization of an installation in the greater exhibition space of the Tenuta dello Scompiglio.

The installation has involved the presentation of the carbon paper matrices on which our transcription occurred, laid out on the floor, considering the two pillars which divide and define the space. The installation has involved the backlight of the carbon paper sheets at the points where there is the attribution of gender given by the name. As for the phase of the performance, even for the installation the “effort” to illuminate what characterizes the genre, continues to be an end in itself, unable to precisely read data which have already been translated through various media filters.

If the central area of the exhibition space has been characterized in this way, on the two short walls of the space, we have inserted the audio diffusion, at a low volume, of our voices recorded during the reading of the Baby Hatch’s registers on one side, and the private video projection of the audio on the other.