collaboration, dance, social body

the good H:E:A:R:T: – dance project

The Good H:E:A:R:T: is a dance performance about the female form of resistance in collaboration with Carmen Moreira (director of SQx Dance Company)

I   The Good Heart

II  Resistance

A dance performance in three parts with video and sound installation

III Aufhebung – Tryptic

Resistance as a sociopolitical activity is in modern understatement a form of disobedience or opposition, refusing injustice or other ethical absence and advocating policies and principles in the natural and social realms. Resistance can have different forms and expressions from violent to non-harming activities. At the core of The Good Heart is the idea of resistance as a possibility of regeneration and transcendence. Awareness, recognition as well as empathy are conditions of knowledge and transformation, going beyond dichotomy and conflict. This attitude in resistance could be characterized as female and is inherent in all human beings. Its characteristics are often represented by the symbol of the heart, in its cultural/religious and physical meanings of connectivity, care, and cure, sharing, creation, transcendence. I structured the work in three units whereby the third unit has three parts itself. By the German word Aufhebung is given the complex definition of the “good heart” as the meaning of this word is threefold: 1 )preserve, conserve; 2) abolish, suspend 3) transcend, sublate.

rachela abbate Carmen-Moreira the good H:E:A:R:T: - dance project
Carmen Moreira

see SQx Dance Company

current project, Imperatives, social body, social contract

Blood Sugar @ NoPlace

On Saturday 21 April, I participated in the biannual event NoPlace, which in this year took place in Santo Stefano di Magra, a little village close to La Spezia on the Italian Riviera. NoPlace is an experimental exhibition venue and that it arrives at its 4th edition confirms that rhizome-organized, i.e. horizontal and not hierarchical exhibitions and art events are possible.  525 artists showed their works, from the art student to the established artist, curating each other and taking responsibility for their own works as well as for their fellows.  Basing on the rhizome concept by Guattari and Deleuze in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, the organization is structured on four levels: “the author of the origin of the rhizome invites max. four other authors. These constitute the second level of the rhizome and can invite up to three authors each, the third level. Those authors of the third level involve up to two each (the fourth level) closing the “generative” line. The activation of the rhizome is following a rigid rule which allows keeping the participation’s dynamic transparent and readable. Every author who causes attendances takes responsibility for the following level and doesn’t influence in no ways the choices of those authors invited by her/him.”  view This year’s edition took place in a former ceramic factory and in the shopping mall of Santo Stefano di Magra.

rachela abbate 1_Blood-Sugar@NoPlace_2018-300x225 Blood Sugar @ NoPlace         rachela abbate 10_Blood-Sugar@NoPlace_2018-e1524582526831-300x241 Blood Sugar @ NoPlace

I installed my work Blood Sugar in the ceramic factory in the entrance of one of the former workshop building: Two varieties of little paper packs were arranged in two round accumulation.  On both paper wraps of drawing paper, are printed texts about the social organization. The one text, Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes in English language is printed on white paper and the other text, Errico Malatesta’s L’anarchia and other political writings, in Italian on pink paper. The Leviathan-wraps contain sugar cubes, the Malatesta text wraps are empty. The caption card placed between the two accumulations with the title: Blood Sugar, subtitle: Freedom or Security, the texts’ titles and authors, and the invitation for the visitor to take one of the paper packs choosing between the red and the white ones.

The work is related to the Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné project reminding that we have still possibilities to choose for a social change. The idea of a social contract that offers us safety and protection from nature, especially human nature which conceptualized as dangerous, through a sovereignty for which everybody should give up her/his freedom, mandating to an authority power and political decisions.

The concept of Hobbes is fundamental for democracies. The imaginary of the permanent thread and danger lead people to give up not only political power. The question of safety is still not resolved, it seems more often the government is jeopardizing democratic values and endanger the health of integrity and of the physical body as well. Sugar has this ambiguous value, too. This industrial product is sweet and comforting in the first taste and yet is diabetes one of the prevalent diseases of modern societies and not only: it seems the blood sugar values are changed to its worse all over the world.

On the other side are the empty packs with Malatesta’s writings about the social evolution and the autonomy process. What freedom promises: at first nothing comfortable or even nothing at all, except for the responsibility for the first steps in the unknown process with its ups and downs. A process of democracy which seems to us uncertain and threatening.

social body

#social body: nerve-net and the communication technologies

An example how tools i.e. technologies are extensions of our body and body functions is the nerve-net. The nerve-net is a communication complex, in an ongoing process of connecting, informing and building cells as a response to the inner and outer world. Imaging this nerve-net without the limits of our body, which in orthodox thinking would be the skin, we could see a constantly growing and everything connecting web. And the imaginary and the real result from each other.

My work project The Truth of Virtuality which I will continue and is showcased right now in the group exhibition Labirintica in Gorizia in Italy (in the Galleria Belo 189). The group exhibition  (with Maria Rebecca Ballestra, Julien Friedler, Mauro Panichella, Berty Skuber, Robert Smithson, Aldo Spinelli) is part of the project Labrys is by Maria Rebecca Ballestra and curated by Giorgia Gastaldon.

Here the first complex of the first part which is showcased. The Truth of Virtuality is composed of single photographs of moments describing definitions and categories of thinking. If put together, these images create like a mosaic an expandable net. Rhizome-like, single images can be the starting point of another net or agglomeration.The model for this work is the communication of the brains and the nerve-net which have similarities with digital nets. This work will be continued whereby colors, definitions, and drawings  are change

The here presented network consists of photographs of crayon drawings on transparent paper, added writings, and printed on rickbond.

rachela abbate virtual-labyrinth-845x851 #social body: nerve-net and the communication technologies


current project, social body

starting with the social body

Is there a starting point for a project? A logical one? Thinking on nature by working on civil disobedience, or better, on the search for justice, is an odd objective as in nature aren’t rules we could argue to be unjust, but through history, this was and is an intent to cast a sense of justice in nature.

Does this mean everything in nature is just?

Again, to answer this question diverse hypotheses are seemingly determined by belief systems. Well, therefore, I think we will never know because we are partly in nature and are natural creatures and on the other side we are outside nature – since the paradise exile. Maybe it will be in our knowledge through a form of reconciliation. But now, we are in a suspense and miss tranquility and harmony, and fill the absence with different models and rules, which generate history and press us to believe and live those models as a higher natural order. What remains is the dichotomy between nature and culture.

Though some of those models help us to transform on a different harmony level, similar to idealized nature, remains the struggle as we are caught in the trap of power illusion, an imagined power. Can our brain, our consciousness distinguish between reality and imaginary?

Nature as a social imperative, as for example Rousseau claimed it, is the starting point of our modern disobedience story. Cultural approaches are the indirect way towards divinity in modern history as religion yielded to culture.

Thinkers of all centuries find in nature examples of a moral co-living on Earth. Henry Thoreau, the author of the often-cited Civil Disobedience, did his living-in-nature-experience, reflected in his book Walden. And this is only one famous example in literature in which models of a just and disinterested society are set in nature.

We are using natural elements and qualities as a social model, like the grassroots to describe the activity and success of specific social activities, and the rhizomes as a horizontally structured society are since Deleuze and Guattari a common image.

We are in nature and in society with our bodies. Our body is a bridge, model and laboratory to experience and contemplate on the effects society have on nature, on the body, therefore on our mental processes and vice versa.

The social body has an imaginary content which diverges and meanders in different forms and outcomes, like our inner canals, nerve nets, and blood vessels.

Where to start?  With nature! Or better with the social body!