Paul Auster’s novel In the Country of Last Things is set in an indefinite time and place, as was the collective study recreated during the fourth workshop of the Art Residency L’armonia.
Giulia Cenci, the fourth visiting artist in the final cycle of Manifattura Tabacchi’s residency programme (conceived by Sergio Risaliti, Director of Firenze’s Museo Novecento), took the six residency participants to a new collective space in which artistic practices meld with memories resulting in shared experiences.
The archive material and new objects brought by the artists took on indistinct forms within the space.
«indistinct adj. [from the latin indistinctus]. – 1. [not clearly distinguishable, differentiable or separable from]».
Together, in the creation of a new studio/shared space, the work of the individual intersected with that of the group.
Resin, clay, tree branches, fabric, projected images, ashes, plaster moulds, and silicone: a complex environment came to life under the hands of seven artists, who for the first time during the residency programme rendered the abstract tangible.
‘In the book “In the Country of Last Things”, “object hunters” are symbolic figures constantly in search of objects to salvage and use, even with variable perspectives depending on each hunter’s needs. This implies a reflective journey that travels backwards in time, delving into the history of the “found” objects, and consequently into a previous and different socio-historic era in which the items were [originally] used’.
As the object hunters in this project, the residency participants grew artistically and fused their personal views within an anonymous space.
During the three-day workshop, the artists explored using a multitude of materials, sharing artistic techniques and the very experience of working collectively in a new way which shaped forms and suspended time: the artists created an atmosphere that only existed in the moment they experienced it.
This suspended reality was photographically documented and catalogued by the artists so as to preserve it and enable it to be reproduced at any moment in time.
The corridor, which will be able to be walked through by viewers, will be set up in a designated area as part of the final exhibit of L’armonia. Although time and space will not coincide, the creative force behind this project will remain unaltered.