Sunday, December 15, 2013

Friends: Matteo Rubbi, "Let the stars sit where they will" at Studio Guenzani.

The book Fight Specific Isola coming to South Africa

I will be heading back to South Africa soon, and I can bring with me some copies of the books Fight Specific Isola. It is a great book for those interested in the role of art in urban transformation, urban theory and social movements. It has various contributors: Bert Theis (Isola Art Center), Charles Esche (director,Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven), Gerald Raunig (philospher, Vienna), Christoph Schafer (Park Fiction, Hamburg) Atelier d'Architecture Autogeree (Paris), Tiziana Villani (philosopher, Milan) and so on. A very particular case study worth reading. The book costs 20 euro, so about R 280. If anyone is interested in a copy, send me an email: 

"The publication traces the long history of the Isola area of Milan and the organic, spontaneous progress of the Isola Art Center over the past 10 years and more. 

Featuring texts and many images, the book tells the story of an artistic and urban transformation, led by artists, who often had to invent tools and concepts along the way. Fight-Specific Isola serves as an example of how to act on the ground in today’s urban condition. 

Different narratives of history, artistic intervention and action allow the reader to trace the complex idea of collectivity, solidarity and “fight-specificity”. 

Testing new terms such as “dirty cube” and “dispersed center” this book shows a possible way to respond to the constant pressure of neoliberal development and gentrification".

The contents:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Isola Art Center went to Ljubljana

With Isola Art Center I went to Ljubljana, a beautiful city in Slovenia, to participate in the exhibition 1:1 curated by Zdenka Badovinac at the Museum of Contemporary art (MSUM). We spent a week installing and preparing the space to for our Lab Fight-specific Isola.  In exhibition was also the prototype of the book I am working on. Some images from the installation and exhibition and workshop we did. There are more photos on Isola Art Center Facebook page and site.

In Ljubljana, from the roof of the museum.
Figuring out the installation and placement
 Me and Edith printing during the exhibition opening.
 Working on little portraits of the Lab Fight-Specific Isola crew member.
 Our space from one angle.
 Us working on the mural, citing an old mural in Isola, Milan from the 1970's. 
 We flew the cloud of Nicola Uzunovski
 The prototype of my book in progress.
 The stencils of me, Bert Theis and Edith Poirier along with the work of Tania Bruguera "Revolution is on hold"
 During the opening.
The crew in Milan before departure.

And to finish, a fun video made by Camilla Topuntoli of the week.
LAB FIGHT SPECIFIC ISOLA 4ACT from Camilla Topuntoli on Vimeo.

Moments and things.

I try to do a weekly drawing/ moment which I post on Instagram and Facebook.
The sea spew out everything. 

There are moments when it is hard to focus on work and one needs to be pulled back to earth.

Chocolate slogan cake

Inspiration: detail of Mountains by Matteo Rubbi


Friday, October 4, 2013

Lab Fight-Specific Isola for Stopover 1:1 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova

Lab Fight-Specific Isola

The rigid, isolated object (work, novel, book) is of no use whatsoever. It must be inserted into the context of
  living social relations.”
  Walter Benjamin, The Artist as Producer[1]

For Stopover 1:1 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (+MSUM) in Ljubljana, Isola Art Center presents Lab Fight-Specific Isola curated by Camilla Pin and Bert Theis
with Antonio Brizioli, Tania Bruguera, Angelo Castucci, Edna Gee, Grupo Etcetera, Maddalena Fragnito, out-Office for Urban Transformation, Maria Papadimitriou, Dan Perjovschi, Steve Piccolo, Camilla Pin, Edith Poirier, Christoph Schäfer, Mariette Schiltz, Sašo Sedlaček, Bert Theis, Camilla Topuntoli, Nikola Uzunovski, Daniele Rossi, Wei-Ning Yang and others.

Isola Art Center is an open platform of experimentation for contemporary art that has developed in the Isola neighborhood in Milan, Italy. Grappling for over one decade with an urban situation crossed by conflicts and widespread transformations, the project remains “no-budget”, precarious and ultralocal. Abolishing any vertical logic of labor, the process of Isola Art Center engages Italian and international artists, critics and curators, art collectives, activists, architects, researchers, students and associations of neighborhood residents. The Isola neighborhood has been undergoing processes of gentrification for some time, with policies of capitalist territorialization that directly undermine the social character of the zone itself, which is being increasingly privatized and deprived of shared, collective spaces, threatening fundamental rights of urban existence.
Isola Art Center operates with an instituent[2] practice that implements escape routes from the neo-liberal logic of financial and real estate speculation, working with art as a disruptive tool of revelation and exposure.

Lab Fight-Specific Isola in Ljubljana is a workshop that operates with elements from the 13 years of history and the present praxis of Isola Art Center, which are presented in 1:1 format. The workshop is structured around three types of components: situations, publications and materializations.
The situations we propose are collective works where artists and curators intervene in a horizontal way. A screen printing workshop, several wall paintings, moments of gathering, the flight of the Isola Sun-Cloud produced to create a new horizon against real estate speculation at Isola, and finally the presentation of the book “Fight-Specific Isola” which narrates the neighborhood struggle.
The publications shown in the space, besides the Fight-Specific Isola book, include prototypes produced by different artists, while the materializations are fight-specific works created in the context of the Isola neighborhood.

With the workshop at the MSUM of Ljubljana, Isola Art Center sets out to share the specific terminologies and concepts developed during years of struggle, in the conviction that they can be useful as weapons in other conflicts or urban mobilizations. In particular, the idea of operating in a dirty cube, rejecting the distorting “beautification” of the occupied building; the encoding of a fight-specific art, able to take concrete forms depending on local necessities; and the notion of the dispersed center, which makes it possible to think of the art center not as a physical space, but as an attitude of the mind and body.
With Lab Fight-Specific Isola we want to trigger imaginaries of urban practices, calling forth another unconscious and the desire for other forms of relation.  /  tel: 0039 339 6057 111  /  facebook Isola Art Center

[1]Understanding Brecht, New Left Books, London 1973 , p. 87.

[2] Gerald Raunig sees the instituent practice not as an action against the institution, but as a flight from institutionalization and structuring. If the term institution suggests a static quality, the idea is to replace that static nature with the organization of a dynamic praxis.
See Instituent Practices, No. 2 Institutional Critique, Constituent Power, and the Persistence of Instituting, January 2007, available at

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Horizontal Newspaper in Sibiu, Romania

The artist Dan Perjovschi has created this ongoing project, the Horizontal Newspaper, which is a public wall that documents actual news and events, both in Romania, but also in the world. Along with his own politically sharp drawings, he invites others to prepare stencils and contribute to the content. He has invited Isola Art Centre as well, it  falls under the section Capital ISM critique. Among the stencils also one of my city pigeons in collaboration with Bert Theis, who provided the slogan. I will reveal more about my pigeons in the future, but for now just some of the photos of the  stencils on the Horizontal Newspaper in Sibiu.  Some of the other stencils by Maddalena Fragnito and Edith Poirier. All photographs by Dan Perjovschi.

In Sardinia

Sulcis Oddity 
5 Years of Cherimus at MACC, Calasetta

Isa Griese, Rainbow, Caro Giacomo 2009. Photo Credit: Béatrice Bailet

Fondazione MACC would like to invite you to the retrospective Sulcis Oddity, curated by Emiliana Sabiu

The exhibition documents the first five years of activities of Cherimus, an association active in the Sulcis-Iglesiente region of Sardinia, engaged in the diffusion of a form of territorial development linked to the realisation of contemporary art projects.

The exhibition recounts the reality of an association; one of its kind in Sardinia, that is able to work with artists from all over the world while actively engaging with the local fabric of Sulcis. The works exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Calasetta, describe the development of a special relationship between Cherimus and the territory it is active in: a place, Sulcis, which, from its marginalised position is transformed into an ideal centre for the development of new projects, defining, time after time new relational scenarios and possible new horizons. The retrospective intends to trace an implicit portrait of Sulcis-Iglesiente: through a selection of works designed and made exclusively for this territory, allowing for its distinguishing contradictions and complexities to be read. 

Sulcis Oddity. 5 anni di Cherimus
Opening Friday 2 August 2013, 19:00 – 22:00 
From 3 August to 29 September 2013

Museum of Contemporary Art, Calasetta 
Via Savoia, 2 
09011 Calasetta (CI) 

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday, 18 – 21 
Closed on Monday

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

BALERA at Fuorisalone 11 - 14 April, Zona Tortona, Milan.

BALERA is a range of handmade and hand printed bags, t-shirts and other accessories made in Milan. It is collaboration between Edith Poirier (Canada) and Edna Gee (South Africa), both artists, that combines the various influences and interests also found in their art.

Here it is a range of bags, tea towels, place mats I've made with my friend Edith Poirier. We will be at the [re]Vive, Impossible living space from the 11-14 April as part of Milan's annual design week, Fuorisalone. In Alzaia Naviglio Pavese 16.

Monday, March 4, 2013

La Tesi / The Thesis - Final Presentation.

The day has finally arrived for the final presentation. And with this I would just like to thank the people who  played an important part in this:

I would to thank my advisor Bert Theis for his guidance and inspiration. Then I would like to thank all the people who granted me interviews. Thank you to Ra Hlasane and Malose Malahlela from Keleketla!, Ravi Govender, Jacki McInnes, Louise van Zijl at Assemblage Studio, Francios Venter from Goethe and Hayleigh Evans and Bheki Dube from Maboneng Precinct. Thank you also to Joseph Gaylard,Alice Nevin and Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon for sharing your research with me. I would like to thank my dear friends Edith, Leah, Jessica, Wei-Ning and Sibi, for the humour, the support and just being my family here, without you I wouldn't have made it through with all my sanity in tact. Lastly but most importantly my parents for both the financial and emotional support for the two years studying in Italy.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Stuff lately!

Instagram obsessed!Some studio pics and a porcelain dog found on midnight excursions.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A pledge for Isola: Fight Specific publication

So one of the projects I've been following here in Milan and that has inspired my own research is the projects of Isola Art centre. They have tracking and resisting and fighting the neighbourhoods gentrification which has drastically changed the characteristic of Isola from an old industrial and mixed area to a skyscraper wasteland where any guy with a power trip seems to want a skyscraper erected.  So, Isola is publishing a book, called "Fight - specific Isola.
Art, Architecture, Activism and the Future of the City."  In order to get the book distributed and available at a low cost, they are making use of crowd funding to support the project. Make a pledge and if it reaches its goal of $5,500 dollars, transaction is approved. In return for your pledge, you will receive something back. The quilts from my Isola: Progress and development picnic; are also up for grab.These quilts are hand made and reflects the building skyline of Isola. So go to Kickstarter and make pledge..

Monday, January 7, 2013

My work for Isola Art Centre on Kickstarter.

In order to raise funds for their new  publication Isola Art Centre  has launched a Kickstarter. My work Progress and Development is one of the works that you can receive for making a pledge.