Naples, Italy (1966), lives and works in Naples

Alessandra Cianelli, Sulla pratica della meraviglia e la necessità di un archivio | On the practice of wonder and the neccessity of an archive  2020

video, 20’38’’

Quest’opera ha ricevuto il sostegno del Goethe-Institut di Napoli | This work received the support from the Goethe-Institut Naples

Courtesy dell’artista | Courtesy of the artist

When we work with archives, the question of positionality – which means who works, on which archive, when, how and for what purpose – is a really crucial one. Why is so much energy spent on opening closed archives? Do we pursue the possibility of repairing today the damage done in the past? Does shame move us? And what about the archives that cannot be opened? Archives are only made of objects. What place do immaterial archives occupy? How do we display that which has been found in an archive? Whose archives are we talking about? Are they those of hegemonic power? Or are they the unauthorised archives of the ‘others’? And is the act of ‘bringing to light’ an ethical act in itself, or can we also consider opacity as an ethical quality? In the age of the categorical imperative to remember everything, what can we assign to the ability to forget? And, above all, who is this ‘we’?

– Alessandra Cianelli, Beatrice Ferrara, Discorso sulla pratica della meraviglia e la Necessita di un Archivio, 2016