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'Sunday Was Already Today' by Ilaria Vinci and Leila Niederberger at WallStreet, Fribourg

At WallStreet, the staging freezes a dynamic of repetition. In Ilaria Vinci’s work, the carnivalesque and folkloric repertory is turned on its head, taking away all pretensions of procession and rite and turning them as a set of props for operations that require constant reenactments, waiting to be seized or for a customer to enter the carousel. These personal and subversive codes of emancipation therefore demand to be used, but the user guide remains absent: props, a stage and actors, but no script. In Leila Niederberger’s work, the airy and clinical ambiance reminds us of the economy of means of a place made to trigger a feeling of serenity. Characters projected in more or less domestic backgrounds also seem to be stuck in an in-between, nonchalantly acquiescing to repeated injunctions without fully adhering to their promises. Recharging one’s batteries means being able to convince oneself that one can escape the world for a moment: mantras multiply their supports to gain in argumentative strength. A conquest of territories, physical and psychological.

Here, repetition is not the one that provokes the return of the possibility of what has been, making the return of the possible. Rather, repetition is thought of as a musical rhythm or in the form of a mantra whose repetition precisely indicates the fulfilment of their promises. The Carousels increase the drama through repetition, and injunctions for patriarchal bliss are repeated by a mechanic of icy placidity. In both halls, the environment becomes oppressive, promising symbolic forms of escape that nevertheless never achieve a real flight. The narrative set up at WallStreet explores identity in the face of these environments and the roles of powers within an attitude of volntary passivity. The characters in these environments create so many images of the self that evades subjective agencies, comporting body and psyche to the codes of an imposing environment.

How then to turn the self-imposed environment upside down as conditioning? In both Ilaria Vinci and Leila Niederberger’s work, the staging seeks precisely to make the spectators aware that freedom and self-control is first and foremost a self-projection, a constructed image of oneself. The atmosphere of desire and anxiety that permeates the spaces then makes it possible to insist on forces that creep in and seek to create spaces of dependency, to better propose solutions that do not quite solve them.

I.W.W.T

— Paolo Baggi

25.7.20 — 23.8.20

In collaboration with Belluard Bollwerk / Co-curated by WallStreet & WallRiss

Photo by Guillaume Python

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