• Silvia Calderoni, Ilenia Caveo: KISS. Photo: Claudia Borgia.

  • Jana Jan and Myriam Rzm during the action before Material Voices 5, 8M 2022. Photo: Oihane Mcguinness Armendariz.

Session 5, Material Voices: Feminist genealogies of the work of making exhibitions. With Silvia Calderoni, Ilenia Caleo, Paola Granato, Jana Jan and Myriam Rzm.

Our guests in this session of Material Voices are Silvia Calderoni and Ilenia Caleo, who will be conversing with us and presenting SO IT IS.

SO IT IS is a nomad proposal whose passage through Bilbao will include Jana Jan and Myriam Rzm’s GorputZarata Incorporarumori.

Material Voices: Feminist genealogies of the work of making exhibitions aims to investigate curatorial practices by women from the sixties until today. We use dialogue as a method of investigation and explore the potential of the materiality of voices, exhibitions and artworks and the intersections between them.

We would like to describe a mass of entanglements, from performative practices to nomadic research: we are the driving force behind some of it, an active part in other aspects, and spectators of others. We’d like to start with our work during the pandemic, which became the nomadic project SO IT IS; and with the transfeminist movement in Italy and the questions and activisms that arose in our own art context. We will go on to look at cultural occupations in Italy in 2010-2020 (Teatro Valle, Macao and others) in the fragmented map of the struggles of artists and performing artists from the nineties to the occupation of the Globe Theatre, Rome in the midst of the pandemic.

We hope to share our own outlook on how performance can create and rewrite public space; on affective and loving investigation into the ephemeral in queer lives and archives; on research which is also an invocation to spectres; and maybe, to party together.

We want to do this by gathering images, frequencies and bites of sound: to take the word, to give voice to, to take shape. We’d like this to be a nighttime meeting, while the flowers are slowly opening.

SO IT IS_# is an infestation of public spaces. During the long period when bodies physically disappeared from space, this movement happened through the body, albeit from a distance.

The action-matrix which inspired SO IT IS came to life in Bologna in 2020 as part of the public art project La lotta è fica, designed and curated by CHEAP Street Poster Art Festival. Now, it thrives and transforms through other bodies and places.

During those months, we asked other artists/performers to answer a question, embrace a practice and build an unpredictable imaginary of what bodies can be and do.

An action-matrix that proliferates, changing body, city, sign, imagination: a fantasy embedded on each body in different ways and contexts, imagining a life-sized poster of one’s own naked body. Taking up space.

Silvia Calderoni is an actress and performer who began her artistic training at a very young age with choreographer Monica Francia and the Teatro della Valdoca company. Since 2006 she has been an active member of the Motus company and an actress in Rumore Rosa, A place, ICS – racconti crudeli della giovinezza, Crac, Let the sunshine in, Too-late, Iovadovia, Tre atti pubblici, Alexis. Una tragedia greca, nella tempesta, Caliban Cannibal, King Arthur, and Tutto brucia in numerous national and international festivals. She played a leading role in The Plot is the Revolution alongside legendary Living Theatre founder Judith Malina. She has been touring since 2015 with her solo performance MDLSX, for which she also wrote the script together with Daniela Nicolò. In 2022 she was on stage once again with Valdoca with Enigma. Requiem per Pinocchio.  Ubu Prizewinner for 2009 as best actress under 30. She has played Kaspar in La leggenda di Kaspar Hauser (2012), a cult film directed by Davide Manuli, and featured in Last Words (2020) by Jonathan Nossiter, in the Sky TV series Romolus directed by Matteo Rovere, and in Non mi uccidere (2021) by Andrea De Sica.

Ilenia Caleo is a performer, activist and researcher. Since 2000 she has been working as an actress, performer and playwright for the contemporary stage, working with a variety of different companies and directors. Having trained as a philosopher, she is concerned with corporeality, feminist epistemologies, experimentation in the performing arts, new institutions and forms of cultural work. She is a research fellow with the IUAV in Venice and the coordinator of the Arts Module in the Master’s Degree in Gender Studies and Policies at Roma Tre University, and collaborates with the research group “INCOMMON. In praise of community. Shared creativity in arts and politics in Italy (1959-1979)”, ERC Starting Grant. She has published Performance, materia, affetti. Una cartografia femminista, Bulzoni, 2021 and co-curated In fiamme. La performance nello spazio delle lotte 1967/1979, b-r-u-n-o 2021. An activist with the Teatro Valle Occupato and in the commons and queer-feminist movements, she grew up politically and artistically in the underground and social centre counterculture scene.

Calderoni-Caleo met in Motus’s Animale politico project at the Teatro Valle Occupato in 2012. They worked together in Motus’s show nella tempesta, and for some years now have been developing an open, travelling research workshop, and art residencies. Starting with a workshop at the Biennale College Teatro in 2018, they have developed KISS. Since 2018 they have been lecturers in the Visual Arts Workshop at the IUAV,Venice. They co-curate a travelling project for Queering Platform, Hong Kong titled SO IT IS. In 2021 they were part of Flu水o, a collective and cross-disciplinary project which was the winner of the Italian Council (9th Edition 2020). In 2022 they presented their last work: The present is not enough.

In actual fact, in addition to artistic projects, they share more or less everything.

Paola Granato is a specialist in performing arts, an independent researcher and playwright. She currently works as a playwright for Mattatoio di Roma–Azienda Speciale Palaexpo on their Prender-si cura art production and research residencies as well as different artistic projects in which she combines writing, organisation and curating. She has worked with different art festivals and institutions such as the Festival de Santarcangelo.

Itziar Markiegi a.k.a. Jana Jan. Artist working in different disciplines, draughtswoman, noisemaker and performer, she experiments and does graphic and audio collaborations with different artists. Cofounder of Baba-Llaga, AM, Magmadam, Zørra, FFFist and Grutal, she is also a member of Leun Dura and Emankore. She has participated in festivals/spaces such as Ertz (Bera), Zarata Fest (Madrid-Bilbao), MEM, Proklama, Muestra Internacional In-Sonora (Madrid), BET (Bergara), Women in experimental, FemTek, Larraskitu (Bilbao), STWST 48×2 (Linz), Matadeixe (Azkoitia), Bruital Furore (MS Stubnitz- Hamburg), Multiversal (Berlin) and MEFSST, making interactive installations and sound performances. She explores the making and manipulation of sound, accumulation and feedback through improvisation and the creative potential of mistake-making, Sintes DIY and the body as an active creative agent.

Myriam Rzm (Dima/Bilbao). Artist, performer and experimental soundmaker. My work with experimentation and sound performance has developed as a member of the Gora Japón duo (2005-2013), the open experimental duo Magmadan (2014-2017) and through cross-disciplinary collaborations in the broader context of musical experimentalism and performance. Since 2018, I’ve been working live with self-made DIY-DIT sound tools adapted to my own concerns in performance, coupled with the body, fx and feedback in action/interaction with the body in movement. Ruido Proto_ritual.

Abyme Nabar

Material Voices: Feminist Genealogies of the Work of Making Exhibitions is supported by the Foundation for Arts Initiatives (FFAI), New York.