On 25 May 2019, 30 happeners gathered on a mountain pasture to carry out a re-enactment of Allan Kaprow’s Happening Overtime. The happening formed the final chapter of the year-long programme School of Verticality and took place on the Villanderer Alm–Alpe di Villandro with the participation of local and international experts, cultural producers, and land owners and users.
It was only undertaken once previously in the spring of 1968 at the University of California in San Diego, and has never been reactivated since. Its collective reinvention on May 25 2019 was a joint effort of Lungomare, artist-in-residence Sophie Krier and artist/curator and environmental engineer Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro.
Following the instructions of Kaprow, a 50-metre-long snow fence is moved over a distance of 1.5 km in the course of one night. Kaprow’s central idea of dissolving boundaries between life and art is central to the Happening Overtime, as it is to many of his other works. These shifts challenge the Western modernist understanding of belonging to particular spaces and identities, and question categories such as land, nation-state, nature, culture, species and gender.
Performative walk and film projection
In 2022, Lungomare and artists Sophie Krier & Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro present a film based on their reinvention of the 1968 happening in San Diego (US) on Villanderer Alm–Alpe di Villandro. Between documentation and poetic speculation, the film weaves footage from the happening, interviews with participants and local experts, and atmospheric audio materials composed by the artist-filmmaker Carlos Casas. Three years after the happening, the 13-minute video installation was brought back to the Villanderer Alm–Alpe di Villandro. It was shared with the local community in an ephemeral Bergwerk-Kino, a cinema-in-a-mine. The performative screening reflected on happening as community, entangled scales of space and time, and complex relations between labour, extraction and capitalism in South Tyrol.
Artist/researcher Sophie Krier conceives tools and situations for collective narration and reflection. With School of Verticality, developed during a residency in 2018-2019, she investigates verticality as a movement that can ground us, and give us access to interiority and deeper layers of meaning. Trained as a textile designer (Design Academy Eindhoven), she interweaves biographies of beings and places, at the intersection of art and ecology. From 2004 to 2009 she directed the bachelor program designLAB at the Rietveld Academie (NL) and between 2016 and 2020, Art & Design Practice, a program in the spirit of Liberal Arts & Sciences at University College Roosevelt (NL). In 2008, Sophie Krier initiated Field Essays – an ongoing editorial project that is published in the form of books, among others. Since 2018 Krier is member of the Plateforme “art, design et société” of EnsadLab, the research laboratory of École des Arts Décoratifs Paris.
Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro is an artist, ecologist, and curator. His practice approaches art as the experience of place, and develops collective situations of education and action rooted in spaces of eco-social mutation. His work takes the shape of gatherings, performances, public art, and multimedia installations. It blurs the lines between field investigations and social practices, evolving in continuous dialogue with activists, scientists and thinkers. In 2018, he co-initiated The School of Mutants in Dakar, a collaborative art and research platform. His work has been exhibited at: ZKM, Karlsruhe; Centre Pompidou Metz; 14th Dakar Biennale; RAW Material Company, Dakar; Het Nieue Instituut, Rotterdam; Moussem Festival, Brussels; 12th Taipei Biennial; 7th Oslo Triennale; Le Lieu Unique, Nantes; CIAP Vassiviere; Science Museum, London. He collaborates regularly with ZKM (Karlsruhe) and has had institutional collaborations with Inland, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, NA Project, Institut Kunst, London Science Museum and dOCUMENTA (13).
Initiated by the cultural association Lungomare. All chapters of the School of Verticality can be found on the Archive page.
The Lungomare artist-in-residency 2018-2019 invited artist and researcher Sophie Krier who, in response, imagined “School of Verticality” – a public program unfolding in three chapters (Weaving Gardens, Seeding Stories, Breaking Bread) for listening and learning situational knowledge. Each chapter weaves together different biographies (human, animal, spiritual) and times (geology, history, dreams and memories). Where on earth do we belong? Which already forgotten ways of living and working can we make visible and reinvent together?
With School of Verticality Sophie Krier establishes a format in which collective knowledge emerges in a process of mutual enrichment by all participants, human and more-than human. The verticality of the title refers to an in-depth investigation that not only crosses different 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.
2018 – ongoing