Adelita Husni-Bey. Frangente/Breaker
The Libyan-Italian artist stages a three-act performance that unfolds both inside and outside the Museo del Novecento's galleries
The third event of Furla Series #01 features the artist Adelita Husni-Bey whose work investigates power dynamics, human relationships, and education through different media and often drawing on cross-disciplinary collaboration. Taking a participatory approach to performance, the artist organizes complex workshop situations that explore the relationship between the individual and collective spheres.
Frangente/Breaker is a a three-act performance that unfolds inside and outside the museum, as a single reflection on the dynamics of perception, and the concepts of authorship, nationalism, and borders. Starting with a site-specific project in the museum galleries that involves viewers participation, it continues in the Sala Fontana with a performance featuring a group of migrants, and concludes with an action outdoors, moving into the public sphere.
The first act is a performance that brings visitors into interaction with the museum’s permanent collection. Inspired by the Theater of the Oppressed, Cementoarmato (2018) invites visitors to observe a selection of the works on view, engaging them in a pedagogical exercise in vision, perception, and imagination.
The second act, Sull’Esilio (2018), is an investigation of the ideas of homeland, rootedness, and labor. Based on a sound installation that Husni-Bey made in 2013, the performance involves several residents of a center for asylum seekers at the former barracks Montello in Milan: three pairs of people, each made up of an Italian teacher and a newly-arrived migrant, will read a series of texts written by exiles. This reading will call attention to the relationship between the teacher, who represents the “host” country, and the “exiled” person who needs assistance with the task. The authors of these texts include historical figures like Ovid, Palestinian poet Samih al-Qasim, and anarchist activist Emma Goldman, spanning different places and eras.
The third and last act, Action for a Sandbag Brigade (2011), is inspired by the image of constructing dikes; two groups of performers struggle to create a protective barrier, but in the attempt to build their own wall by borrowing from the other one, they set a potentially infinite cycle in motion that dooms both to failure.
Frangente/Breaker is informed in part by the essay Reflections on Exile (2002) in which Edward W. Said says that that “between the nationalism and the ‘other’ is banishment—the outside, where those unwelcome were banished to be forgotten. It is the perilous territory of non-belonging.” Bearing a title with multiple meanings—a wave, and its length; a barrier, and a difficult juncture or risky circumstance—the performance is an exploration of the social and political dynamics governing our relationship with the “other,” an invitation to reflect on the concepts of nation, community, and displacement within the complex landscape of contemporary life.
Special thanks to Zona 8 Solidale and the Macao immigrant theater group for taking part in the performance. Zona 8 Solidale is a network of associations, political parties, labor unions and individuals interested in constructing an open model of hospitality that encourages exchange inside and outside the refugee shelter at the former Montello barracks in Milan, which housed some 270 asylum seekers until it was recently shut down. Zona 8 Solidale has fought against the decision to uproot Montello residents from their adoptive home, their jobs, and their social and cultural context.
Performers Cementarmato: Furio Bringhenti, Erika Cozzi, Eleonora Crippa, Gaia Panceri, Mariaelisabetta Realini, Claudia Rifaldi
Performers Sull’Esilio: Alessandro Azzoni, Raymonda Gentile, Bully Jaiteh, Ousman Janneh, Muhammed Manneh, Ilaria Moro
Performers Action for a Sandbag Brigade: Carla Almirante, Anselmo Azzoni, Nello Bellanuca, Camilla De Siati, Salvatore Dragotto, Ivan Ferrarese, Nikita Ferrarese, Anna Fumagalli, Diego Giannettoni, Maria Latella, Thanuja Madapatha, Carolina Mancini, Mattia Montedoro, Veronica Piccoli, Marco Resta, Samuele Sarsilli, Angela Scaringella
Cover photo by: Adelita Husni-Bey, Action for a Sandbag Brigade, performance, part of TRACK - A Contemporary City Conversation, presented by S.M.A.K., Ghent, 2012. Photo © Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker
17-18 January 2018
Admission free, but capacity is limited and reservations are required.
Booking opens on Wednesday January 10:
Sala Fontana, Museo del Novecento
via Marconi, 1
Adelita Husni-Bey, Cementarmato, act I of Frangente/Breaker, performance, Museo del Novecento, Milan, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Laveronica arte contemporanea. Photo © Masiar Pasquali
Adelita Husni-Bey, Sull’Esilio, act II of Frangente/Breaker, performance, Museo del Novecento, Sala Fontana, Milan, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Laveronica arte contemporanea. Photo © Masiar Pasquali
Adelita Husni-Bey Azione per una Catena Umana, act III of Frangente/Breaker, performance, piazza Duomo, Milan, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Laveronica arte contemporanea. Photo © Masiar Pasquali