In February 2013 I had the pleasure of being part of Takt Kunstprojektraum artist-in-residence (AIR) program in Berlin. The winter residency group consisted of 10 international artists including myself. The AIR participants engaged in a wide range of media and research, which included sculpture, bricolage, photography, painting, video and anthropological studio visits. We lived and worked in studios in the Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg East side neighborhoods. Our group exhibition, Colligere, was held at Kunstraum Tapir and was curated by Paola Bonino. Bonino incorporated many of the diverse styles of the resident’s work into a collective exhibition that both united and also honored individual forms of expression. A few of the artists also held additional exhibitions and readings in other Berlin spaces during their residency. The residents also received weekly critiques from Isabel Manalo, who is represented by Addison/Ripley and is also the director and founder of The Studio Visit. The program directors, Antje Görner and Bernhard Haas, were very resourceful and kind. They provided opportunities for residents to meet with others in the Berlin contemporary art community and organized social and educational events for us to attend. Antje and Bernhard were also very helpful with mundane requests (like needing a hammer for my grommets or finding Oblaten for my 90 year neighbor back home).
This silver lining needs refining (in collaboration with Hugh Rennison) * Berlin * 2013 * Handwritten quotation, gouache, wire, card * 59,4 cm x 42 cm
quote: “The only joy in the world is to begin. It is beautiful to live because living is to begin again in every moment.” – Cesare Pavese
Bewusstsein * White River Junction, Vermont, USA * 2013 * Vinyl, paper, ink, wood and metal * 147,32 cm x 59,69 cm
exhibition copy by Paola Bonino:
Bewusstsein consists of discarded handwritten notes collected by the artist for about three years. They are primarily to-do lists from places she has been to recently. As a calligrapher, Di Piazza is concerned about the practice of penmanship, which is fading in our modern digitized world. However, these thrown-out notes indicate that people are still writing, even for seemly unimportant things. After collecting them, Di Piazza bound these lost pieces together with thread. In the resulting work, the artist combines two different elements – the concept of Bewusstsein (awareness) and discarded to-do lists – in order to highlight their contrast in terms of our mental-state of time. It is hard, in fact, to be in a state of awareness during our daily lives, when we are preoccupied with thoughts of the before and worries of the thereafter. The to-do lists, often created for remembering the most mundane chores, are focused on accomplishing tasks in the near future. Perhaps they are chores we want to forget but become a nuisance when we do. Do we create these to-do lists because we hope we will later be in such a state of Bewusstsein (awareness in the present) that will we likely forget the things we must do? The piece was also created using a vinyl garment bag whose function is to be ‘suspended’, thereby serving its primary purpose of protecting a garment. The garment bag was chosen to emphasize that time is suspended too when we are in the present state of Bewusstsein.