School of Verticality
The Lungomare artist in residency 2018-2019 artist and researcher Sophie Krier, who lives in the Netherlands, starts with the question: Where on earth do we belong?
Where on earth do we belong? marks the baseline of an artistic research and a gradual approach to South Tyrol with its geological, historical and cultural characteristics. There, the relationships and connections of the people living here (however and whenever they have arrived here – through birth or other fates) with these circumstances in the foreground of the investigation.
Bozen/Bolzano – Südtirol/Alto Adige
May – August 2018
Located near the alpine Brenner pass, the border city of Bolzano has always been a North-South gateway and fruitful intersection point of cultures. Today it finds itself amidst acute European migration flows and ecological dilemmas. During preliminary fieldwork, multiple life trajectories related to the territory will be mapped through encounters with humans and non-humans, paying attention to their intrinsic possibilities and their abilities to act. The second phase of the research involves composing found biographies into a collective story, by weaving in and with the landscape, and thus enunciating alternative cosmographies of the Trentino-Alto Adige region.
Thus, countless meetings and discussions took place in the first half of the year 2018, in the winter school Ultental on traditional textile crafts, in the communal garden Semirurali about the co-existence of “new” and “old” South Tyroleans in the urban area as well as in different museums of the region to get to know scientific perspectives on the material culture and the historical dimensions of the territory. Sophie Krier spoke to farmers, fence farmers, weavers, bakers and other international craftsmen as well as archeologists, anthropologists and ethnologists, geologists, architects, politicians and many more.
As part of a lecture, Sophie Krier presented her project and her artistic practice to an interested public. As a trained textile designer (Design Academy Eindhoven), she interweaves the stories of humans, animals and places at the interface between art and ecology.
In the artist talk Sophie Krier presented her current research and reflected on issues of belonging, memory and livelihood. The way we build relationships with a place, our family, and ourselves are fundamental issues in her current research. Through dialogue with local craftspeople and the exploration of topography and landscape, the search seeks common ground for unheard voices of minorities who are not just physical persons, but also myths, places and animals.
She combined the lecture with a direct interaction with the audience, which immediately flowed into the research for “School of Verticality” – the joint and participative networking of “lifelines”.
VIDEO-LINK: Artist Talk Sophie Krier
A working meeting to think and debate with a group of invited thinkers from South Tyrol about the importance and shifting of borders in the region. The workshop is part of the research for chapter three of the “School of Verticality”.
Roland Dellagiacoma (expert in landscape planning)
Corrado Morelli (geologist, office of geology Kardaun)
Susanne Waiz (architect)
Lucio Giudiceandrea (journalist)
Margareth Kaserer (artist, farmer)
Angelika Burtscher (curator, Lungomare)
Roberto Gigliotti (curator, Lungomare)
Lisa Mazza (curator, Lungomare)
With an approach characterized by an “expanded” vision of migration, Sophie Krier is developing a project to stimulate the gathering and sharing of knowledge between the different cultures that come into contact with the territory of South Tyrol. In the center of artistic research, which has developed through discussions with experts in local history, anthropologists, geographers, landscape experts, artisans and social workers, Sophie Krier places a dense interweaving of elements that describe in a structured manner what our world and the transformation that it undergoes, makes up. Sophie Krier does not limit herself to dealing with society as a network of relationships between people, but extends her intervention to a structure in which society is part of a complex ecosystem of territory, landscape and all beings. Including the animals, without neglecting the symbolic meaning that they adopt in the local tradition and in the cultures that they continue to overlay.
From the research of the artist, which was carried out in the first part of 2018 under the research question “Where on earth do we belong”, the project SCHOOL OF VERTICALITY was born. It is an initiative in three chapters, of which the first chapter was presented in Bolzano on September 22, 2018 on the occasion of the harvest festival of the Orto Semirurali.
SCHOOL OF VERTICALITY is a public program for listening to and learning situational knowledge. Where on earth do we belong? What already forgotten forms of life and work can we visualize and reinvent together? Each chapter interweaves different biographies (human, animal, region) and times (geology, history, biology, dreams and memories).
With SCHOOL OF VERTICALITY Sophie Krier establishes a format in which knowledge meets in a process of mutual enrichment of all participants. The verticality of the title refers to an in-depth investigation that not only crosses the layers of society and the complexity of phenomena, but extends from the bottom of the valley to the top of the mountains of our territory, interweaving their history, culture, and geomorphology.
SoV Chapter I
from September 22nd 2018
The first episode of the SCHOOL OF VERTICALITY is titled “Weaving one’s garden biographies” and was defined in close collaboration with the Donne Nissà association and the gardeners of the Semirural Garden of Bolzano.In a joint action with the Akrat association, Sophie Krier installed a vertical loom in the garden designed to create fragments of a fabric that depict stories and memories of the garden. The result of the weaving process, together with the framework designed as a covered meeting point, will remain on site and intertwine over the next few seasons with the vegetation cultivated in the vegetable garden.
On 22 September 2018, 2 – 6 pm, a permanent intervention was presented and inaugurated in the community garden Semirurali (Baristraße / corner Alessandriastraße, Bolzano). Visitors were invited to weave their personal stories and ideas of a garden on an outdoor loom using the inclusive technique of plain weave. The intentionally simplified loom is incorporated into a permanent structure that can also be used for other purposes (music podium, storage).
From 5 pm
«On setting up a project in dialogue with a territory»
Introduction by Lungomare curators
«On the gendered history of weaving in South Tyrol»
Sophie Krier interviews Meran-based weaver Cornelia Larcher
«On art as a form of sociability, and artists interweaving the social»
Social anthropologist Francesca Cozzolino interviews Sophie Krier
«On weaving as ancestral, embodied practice»
Pedagogue Cecilia Muñoz takes us on a collective dance journey
Cornelia Larcher (text.il.fabric Meran)
Cecilia Muñoz (Mafalda+)
Francesca Cozzolino (anthropology of art, Ensadlab – PSL Research University Paris)
Hilary Solly (Donne Nissà)
AKRAT – Christian Mittendorfer
The loom was used for joint weaving actions in the weeks and months after the initiation by several women’s groups from the Donne Nissà network. Thus, the fabric was further developed and more and more stories of gardens from all over the world could be incorporated into the fabric.
Download your Seeding Stories form here:
SoV A4 Seeding Stories
SoV Chapter II Part I
February 23rd, 2019
Seed swap market SamenFest
11 am – 12 pm: Screening “Wisdom of the Mountains” (Van Osch Films / Frederik van Oudenhoven, 2017, 40’’, Italian subtitles)
1 – 2 pm: Soup lunch
2 – 3 pm: Round table on seed saving and seed swapping as good practices of diversity and self-organized resistance. With:
Frederik van Oudenhoven, ethnobotanist;
Armin Bernhard, pedagogue, co-founder of the Bürgergenossenschaft Obervinschgau;
Anna Folie, seed swap host, farmer and seed saver;
Susanne Waiz, architect and Semirurali garden coordinator for Donne Nissà.
School of Verticality: radio broadcast
Sophie Krier and Roberto Gigliotti as guests at Paolo Mazzucatos radio show “Il Sabato di Rai Alto Adige”.
Based on the saying “If you lose bread, you lose culture”, Chapter 2 will focus on landscape, landscape management, and farming in two collective narrative and reflection workshops focussing on diversity and tradition.
The first will take place at the first edition of the SamenFest in Mals (February 23). The second workshop will take place within the context of the “Hier und Da – Gut leben im ländlichen Raum / Il buon vivere nelle zone periferiche” festival (April 12-14) also in the Obervinschgau. This 1000 to 1500 meter high valley was once known as the grain attic of South Tyrol. Eco-activists have joined forces to revitalise and diversify its grain legacy. But which forms of ancient knowledge are still accessible to us? How can we intertwine existing knowledge, activate issues of sustainability and healthy lifestyles and thus think positively about a constant development? How can know-how originating in other geographic areas of our world be networked and meaningfully supplemented with regional knowledge and cultural assets?
The biography of a bread begins with the seed. By interacting with the landscape and fellow humans, the seed becomes grain, flour, dough, cultural product and intangible heritage. Together with local experts in sustainable and organic agriculture with a focus on cereal cultivation and processing, in particular the diverse bread-making traditions, an intersubjective interweaving of knowledge and traditions will be stimulated. In addition to an insight into the historical development of the valley and its variety of crops, practical knowledge will be shared amongst the participants.
SoV Chapter II, Part I
April 14th, 2019
10 am – 12 pm: Field trip with researcher Georg Niedrist, Institute for Alpine Environment, Eurac research. We will hike to the LTSER (Long Term Socio- Ecological Research) Station at Muntetschinig where Eurac investigates the impact of climate change on grasslands between 980m and 2700m.
12 – 4 pm: Collective baking session to reactivate the idea of a shared community oven by interweaving bread shapes and customs. Participants can do different exercises guided by artist Sophie Krier and facilitated by baker Mike Kofler. (20 pers.)
25th May 2019
For the concluding episode in South Tyrol, School of Verticality explored the potential of weaving borders to challenge the understanding, in Western modernity, of our belonging to certain spaces or identities: land, nation-states, nature, culture, species, gender. In an age when walls are erected and separation overshadows coexistence, frontiers have become more than cognitive or political symbols. Some are displacing life, but sometimes life is displacing them.
In this context, Sophie Krier proposes to reinvent Allan Kaprow’s happening OVERTIME, realized only once in Spring 1968 at University of California, San Diego. In this work, the American artist gives instructions to move a 60 m snow fence over a distance of 1,6 km in the course of one night. Like many other happenings, it develops Kaprow’s guiding principle of blurring boundaries between art and life. The piece was never re-activated.
The OVERTIME reinvention took place on Alpe di Villandro/Villanderer Alm, in Alto Adige/Südtirol, a fitting location to address the meaning of shifting boundaries. These shifts refer to different dimensions of space and time, from geological forces to human and non-human migrations, from historical frontiers to contemporary mutations in terrestrial relations.
Moving a boundary throughout the night of May 25 will be a collective gesture, open to anyone interested in joining the experience. For this happening, the “School of Verticality” brings together a core group of participants from diverse backgrounds: academics, local experts, cultural producers, land owners and land users. This temporary companionship will constitute a moving platform to exchange forms of knowing related to land. Together with Sophie Krier, guest researcher and activist Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro will activate this ‘mobile assembly’: a group that gathers for a given moment in a joint effort to fulfill a task.
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The happening will be preceded by OVERTIME PAPERS, a critical reader in four parts, that puts Kaprow’s work in dialogue with the local context. Gathering photographs, interviews and text excerpts, OVERTIME PAPERS will address notions of deep time (geological boundaries), shared time (common boundaries), political time (national boundaries) and ancestral time (transcending boundaries).
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Lungomare, a cultural association founded in Bolzano in 2003, was created from the desire and necessity to open a space in which to share differences, experiences, opinions and desires, a space in which to make the link between cultural production and the political and social dimension. Lungomare undertakes projects that investigate and test possible relationships between design, architecture, urban planning, art and theory, the results of which are presented in different formats: public discussions, conferences, publications, exhibitions and interventions in public spaces. All these formats are characterised by the intention to interact with cultural and socio-political processes relating to the region in which Lungomare is located.
Currently Lungomare’s activities focus on long-term residency projects, a format whereby Lungomare invites guests to engage and interact within the context of South Tyrol. Lungomare’s activities are based on three principles: specific attention to the context in which the association’s projects are undertaken, the transdisciplinary approach that distinguishes these projects, and reflection on the role of Lungomare as a cultural institution in connection with the region in which it operates.
2003 Angelika Burtscher and Daniele Lupo establish Lungomare
2003 – 2005 curators: Patrizia Bertolini, Angelika Burtscher, Roberto Gigliotti, Manuela Demattio, Paul Peter Hofer, Brita Köhler, Daniele Lupo
2005 – 2013 curators: Angelika Burtscher e Daniele Lupo
2011 – 2013 scientific committee established: Angelika Burtscher, Roberto Gigliotti, Daniele Lupo, Vincenzo Mancuso, Lisa Mazza, Paolo Plotegher, Heimo Prünster
2014 − 2020 curators: Angelika Burtscher, Roberto Gigliotti, Daniele Lupo, Lisa Mazza, Paolo Plotegher
2021 artistic directors: Angelika Burtscher, Daniele Lupo
Production and organisation: Ada Keller
Lungomare is located at the edge of Bolzano, the capital of South Tyrol, and relates to the context in which it operates, attempting to highlight the dynamics of change. Large urbanized areas alternate with broad areas of intensive cultivation and yet others of picturesque landscape, all of which penetrate the centre of the city. The city is surrounded by mountains and this is one of the reasons why the tourism industry has become a driving force in this locality. The demographic structure of the city has been characterized for a long time by the coexistence of two populations, those speaking German and those speaking Italian. However, the social and demographic composition of Alto Adige Südtirol is changing. Migrants, including those from non-European countries are making their way to the area to settle, whilst others, including political refugees, are flowing through the region.