Der Stein ist das Andere, Außermenschliche, […] mit seinem
Schweigen gibt er dem Sprechenden Richtung und Raum.
Paul Celan, »Mikrolithen sinds, Steinchen«
“In what measure does pain appear not to allow itself to be uttered in discourse (logos) if not as absence, lack and silence? Up to what point is it possible to attest authentically one’s own experience of pain? And up to what point is it possible to render testimony and recollection about the pain of others?”
This was the corpus of question that animated the reflection of the interdisciplinary workgroup during The Violated Body #1 project, which took place between Milan and Turin between November 2009 and June 2010, and which culminated with the realization and public presentation of the homonymous exhibition.
During the documentation phase of The Violated Body #1 laboratory, Steinatem has progressively acquired a prominent position with respect to the other laboratory’s contributions. In fact, the work hasn’t been considered only from a formal point of view, that is, merely as a “work of art”, a vestige of the laboratorial experience. On the contrary, it has been recognized as the trace of an on-going, open transdisciplinar process, which tries to better define an unsolved - and perhaps unsolvable - theoretical issue: Pain as non-representable, residual product of an act of violence. This has begun to represent the origin as well as the final horizon of the whole project, which has now moved to Vienna to pursue its activities. In its basic conceptual components, what appears is a negative modality (via negativa) of problematizing the issue of the relationship between violence and language. It is this negative, non-affirmative approach to this issue that the A-IKF intends to use as an instrument during its activity in Austria.
With the aim of conceiving Steinatem as conceptual-artistic instrument for the future research path of the institute, it has been decided to open a new project, realization and presentation phase of the work’s adaptation: Steinatem: Prêt-à-porter Edition. This phase has already begun in March 2011 in collaboration with the Italian artist Fabio Ranieri, who was also involved, together with Yuri Ferrero, in the realization of Steinatem. In this new work, a shift in the focus of the previous version takes place. The new version deals with the communication forms and channels through which we get to acknowledge individual and collective tragedies in a way that allows us to perceive those events as being part of a consumable representation of the world.
The adaptation of the work will include the development of a graphic project for the publication in a newspaper-like document, which will accompany the work in its public presentations, introducing the spectator to its laboratorial, transdisciplinar and collaborative genesis.