Location

Bolzano

Curated by

Lungomare and ar/ge kunst

Participant
Artist's Talk

Radical Hospitality
3/10/2014, Lungomare, Bolzano

The artist’s talk on 3 October 2014 is the beginning of a long-term project in which Can Altay will be engaging with the region of South Tyrol.

The theme of the residency is ‘Radical Hospitality’ and the guest is invited to scrutinise, interrogate and engage with issues surrounding hospitality. In this context, hospitality denotes the temporary condition of relational and social space, while also implying the negotiation of power relations.

Generally speaking, the theme can be thought as:
– Hospitality as welcoming others and ‘foreigners’
– Hospitality as embracing differences
– Hospitality as tourism
– Hospitality as the relationship between the urban and the rural
– Hospitability as shared property
– Domestic hospitality

First Fragment

Such Claims on Territory, (Studio Virgolo First Fragments)
Exhibition: 30/01/2015 – 15/02/2015, Lungomare

In early 2015 Altay organised a two-week exhibition at the Lungomare project space. He took on the Virgolo, a mountain in the immediate proximity of Bolzano which, though central to the city, was neglected and eventually deserted in the ‘eighties. More recently, real-estate speculation on the part of the municipal administration and a number of private owners has again turned it into an area of public interest.

With an incomplete statement for a title, the exhibition ‘Such claims on territory’ consisted of a disparate collection of finds, some taken from the Virgolo itself. For visitors to the exhibition these finds laid down a cornerstone for the line adopted in Altay’s ‘Studio Virgolo’ project. The show presented the artist’s first impressions of the Virgolo, gathering clues rather than evidence.

Second Fragment
First Part

Poster Campaign
Such Claims on Territory Transform Spatial Imagination into (Studio Virgolo Second Fragments)
26/5/2015 – 14/6/2015, Bolzano

The continuation of Altay’s investigation into ‘territorial claims’ took the form of a poster campaign for the centre of Bolzano. During the intervention some three-hundred and thirty posters were emblazoned on public advertising hoardings for three weeks, confronting passersby with abstract graphic signs, unfinished statements and open questions. This intervention into public space is described by the artist as an abstract touristic campaign that proliferated across Bolzano, a visual way of talking about unfulfilled promises relating to the mountain and its immediate surroundings.

The motifs on the posters, which were designed in collaboration with Asli Altay / Future Anecdotes Istanbul, are translations of the artist’s investigation of the Virgolo. Altay used his collection of narratives as a source of inspiration for questions regarding the inhabitation of infrastructural space, conflicts over spatial imagination, neoliberal urban politics and their counter-hegemonies as well as times past, present and future, indivisible from each other and from space.

The moments and stories on the posters are specific to the city of Bolzano, but they remain relevant elsewhere because they make common claims and pose common questions: ‘who is allowed to claim public space, who is forced to inhabit infrastructure space?’

CLAIM #1 TUNNEL DWELLERS OF THE 1940S
CLAIM #2 FUNICULAR STOPS RUNNING
CLAIM #3 PARTIES AT THE FORMER SOCIAL CLUB
CLAIM #4 SHOPPING MALLS AND THEME PARKS
CLAIM #5 ESCAPE ROUTES AND REFUGE SITES

Once again, Altay underlined the fragmentary nature of his overall project as a series that would allow unpredictable occurrences to develop. For the poster campaign he extended the title of the February exhibition to ‘Such claims on territory transform spatial imagination into (Studio Virgolo Second Fragments)’, a sentence that remains open to virtually any ending.

Second Part

Panel Discussion
Conflict over Spatial Imagination?
12/6/2015, 7 p.m., Lungomare
With:
Stefano Novello (president of Italia Nostra; Bolzano)
Michael Obrist (architect Feld 72, Wien)
Huib Haye van der Werf (head of artistic programmes at the Van Eyck, Maastricht)

This panel discussion at Lungomare sought to address the spatial imagination of the Virgolo by scrutinising currently existing models in urban policy (both neoliberal development policies and a more conservation-oriented counter-hegemony) and by making these discourses accessible to residents of the city.

While choosing to avoid these two conflicting positions, the panel of three invited speakers and Altay himself looked for ways in which the city of Bolzano could facilitate the inhabitation of the Virgolo. Special attention was paid to its peculiarities, its relationship to infrastructural developments and the range of spaces and activities that characterise it. In the face of current speculation over the future of the city, a lively discussion developed with vocal contributions from the public, who expressed the desire for an approach to city planning that satisfies the needs and wishes of its inhabitants, taking the present development of the Virgolo as an example.

Third Fragment
First Part

Limited Experience
14/11/2015, 3.30 p.m., fence of the ex-Tennis club, Virgolo

In 2008 the property, that hosted the former Virgolo Tennis Club, was bought by a network of entrepreneurs (BBG Srl) interested in future real estate investments. Since that moment a fence impedes the access to what has been one of the recreational areas of the city of Bolzano. With “Limited Experience” Can Altay invites twelve people to move along the boundary between private property and public space, to share and challenge the experience of limitation.

This exercise tests the limits of a boundary imposed by the current town planning regulations.

Second Part

Split Horizon
Dec. 2015 – May 2016, Bolzano

“Split Horizon (Virgolo Edition)” consists of a situated object along a trajectory and through a duration. Every place selected for the positioning has a stringent significance for the narration conducted by Altay, therefore the trajectories that are generated between the single spots are real but can be regarded also as purely mental.
With this project the artist focuses his attention again onto the Virgolo. Similarly to what he had done by spreading suggestive contents through his claims all over Bolzano by means of the poster campaign “Such Territorial Claims Transform Spatial Imagination into (Studio Virgolo Second Fragments)” he invites the public to follow this view.

“Split Horizon (Virgolo Edition)” happens in the time of space. It is a device for observation, subsequently positioned in fifteen places in Bolzano, which have a certain (not only visual) connection with the Virgolo. All spots have a significant meaning in terms of relationship to spatial dynamics and urban politics within Bolzano and its history.

After transcurring its forseen path, the device will remain at disposition for the public which is invited to take it to new locations.

Calendar:
02/12/2015, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Piazza Walther
16/12/2015, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Mediaworld
13/01/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Eurac
27/01/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Piazza Tribunale
10/02/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Tower of the Museo Civico
24/02/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Funicular to Renon
09/03/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Private Apartment (Via Cappuccini 14, 3. Floor)
16/03/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. unibz Roof terrace F6
23/03/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Bridge over Talvera
30/03/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Semirurali Park
06/04/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Bolzano Train Station
13/04/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Cappuccini Garden
20/04/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Walkway between via Aslago and via S. Vigilio
04/05/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Loreto Bridge
11/05/2016, 2.30-4.30 p.m. Private Terrace (via Andreas Hofer 19, 4. Floor)

Exhibition

VFI – Virgolo Future Institute
(Such Claims on Territory Transform Spatial Imagination Into Obscure Anticipations of Repartition)

14/05 – 30/07/2016, ar/ge kunst

VFI – Virgolo Future Institute (Such Territorial Claims Transform Spatial Imagination Into Obscure Anticipations of Repartition) is the latest and final iteration of Can Altay’s one-and-half year residency in Bolzano, a collaborative project by ar/ge kunst and Lungomare (October 2014 – July 2016).

For the duration of the project Altay has been conducting a study focussed on Bolzano’s complex relationship with the Virgolo, a nearby mountain that overlooks the city and has recently been the subject of a vigorous debate concerning its potential uses and developments.

Altay is now using the premises of ar/ge kunst for a three-month exhibition that continues the development of a prior series of public interventions that have employed different temporalities, acting as both observations on and contributions to the current debate. The works so far have included a two-week exhibition and a public debate at Lungomare (Such Territorial Claims), a four-week poster campaign in the city (Transform Spatial Imagination into), a two-hour performative gathering on the Virgolo and an itinerant, ongoing eight-month intervention in public space (Obscure), with the titles and contents of these works all leading up to the current exhibition. These public moments have posed a set of questions about territorial claims, the urban imagination and the experience of boundaries, notions that re-surface in Bolzano and many places today.

The exhibition which opens friday evening takes ‘inhabiting infrastructures’ as a central narrative and uses ‘Ahali: a journal for setting a setting’, published since 2007 by Altay, to place the Virgolo within overarching themes and contexts.

1 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 2 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 3 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 4 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 5 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 6 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 7 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 8 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 9 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 10 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 11 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 12 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 13 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 14 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 15 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 16 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 17 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 18 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 19 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 20 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016 21 / 21 Can Altay: VFI – VIRGOLO FUTURE INSTITUTE - ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, Bolzano, Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo, 2016
Reading groups

First Encounter
27/4/2015, 6 p.m., Capuchin garden, Bolzano
Starting from some reflections we made together with Can Altay, the current artist in residence at ar/ge kunst and Lungomare, we would like to invite you to the first in a series of public readings and discussions that will happen in different places in the city, on topics like: “territorial claims”, “spatial imagination”, and “neoliberal urban politics”.

At the first meeting we’ll read “The Rhizome” by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, available here.

We’ll start with a challenging text: the aim is not so much to analyse its meaning but rather to use it as a tool to read the urban context.

With this scope, we invite you to bring to the meeting one or more objects that you will use to share something that you feel like an urgency regarding the life in the city of Bolzano.

The text is dense and long, we recommend you to read especially pages 12 to 14. This section will be useful for us to re-read the city, and especially the areas around the train station, making use of the objects gathered and through possible drifts.

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Rhizom (text in German)

Second Encounter
9/6/2015, 6 pm, park in front of the train station, Bolzano

In the third chapter of Rebel Cities the Marxist geographer David Harvey reads the urban commons as the product of social relations: people living in the city produce urban commons all the time. Gentrification is the process which capitalizes this vitality continuously produced by the city, a process that often is named with the euphemism of “regeneration”. Harvey reads gentrification as a privatization – for the profit of a few – of the vitality produced by a city and its inhabitants, a privatization often instigated by public institutions.

This text can help us exiting the rhetoric of the opposition between “regeneration” and “degradation”: the so-called social disadvantage (disagio sociale) is in fact provoked by the very process of regeneration. The reading of this text will allow us to read the current selling off of public goods and land in Bolzano not as a specifically local but as a global monstrosity.

How to describe the complexity of top-down urban transformations in Bolzano and what are the possibilities of reclaiming as commons those forms of life that as inhabitants of the city we continuously produce?

David Harvey: Rebel Cities

Third Encounter
22/6/2015, 8.30 pm, Talferpark in front of Museion, Bolzano

The coming together of the different ethnic groups in South Tyrol, the development of a social solidarity from below, the emancipation from the control of public and private institutions of the cultural production and, more broadly, of the life of the citizens, are some of the issues the social center of the ex Monopolio of Bolzano faced through the practice of its organization. Many years have passed since that 1979 but those questions seem today more urgent than even in this city. After the eviction and the demolition of the social centre part of that experience has been documented in a publication which today is difficult to find.

This is an invitation to participate to a meeting in which parts of this publication will be read and discussed together with people who organized the social centre. The aim is not to celebrate nostalgically the times in which an experiment like that was possible in Bolzano, but to understand what can we learn today from that experience and how could it communicate with the present, in a context which is surely mutated but where some of those dynamics, blocks, desires and maybe also possibilities are still open.

Occupato / Besetzt (Text in Italian and German)

Press reviews
With the support of

Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano-Alto Adige
Comune di Bolzano
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio
IFI Spa AG