Presentation of the project and the book
Talk with the artist Stefano Boccalini and the curator Alessandra Pioselli
By drawing a connection between a local context such as that of the Valle Camonica – a mountain valley in the heart of the Italian Alps – with its artisan knowledges and some untranslatable words belonging to languages from across the globe, artist Stefano Boccalini brings out territoriality and biodiversity as new-found precious awareness against homologation.
With the project La ragione nelle mani (The Reason in the Hands), winner of the Italian Council 2020 program supported by Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity by the Italian Ministry of Culture, the language reveals itself as a ‘place’ where diversities play a fundamental role, becoming the medium to contrast economic value with that of ‘commons’.
The project comes from the research led by the artist over time in Valle Camonica, where his attention fell on some artisanal practices that are no longer able to create significant economies and which risk disappearing. Nine untranslatable words were created in the form of seven works-sculptures through four artisanal techniques, in the context of a series of workshops led in the valley by four artisans with young apprentices, selected by public call. The workshops aimed to reflect on the value of “social sculpture” and to reactivate a sustainable relationship with local economy, allowing young people to discover the value of manual work and to become active custodians of precious techniques to be reinterpreted.
The project La ragione nelle mani is promoted by the Mountain Community of Camonica Valley and ART for The World Europa, in collaboration with the partner Maison Tavel-Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Geneva), Art House (Scutari), Sandefjord Kunstforening (Sandefjord), Fondazione Pistoletto, Accademia di Belle Arti of Bologna, MA*GA Gallarate e GAMeC Bergamo. The book is published by Archive Books (Berlin, 2021).