Ballad of the End

Tuff blocks, sound, bodies

Ballad of the End was presented for the first time as part of the “Materia Nova” exhibition curated by Massimo Mininni at the Galleria d’arte Moderna in Rome on 8 February 2022 in collaboration with Jordi Pallarès and DITO Publishing and in the October 2022 hosted in the spaces of Fondazione Rusconi in Bologna, in collaboration with Hidden Garage.

Using the tuff brick as a trigger device to produce construction and deconstruction actions, the project reflects on the world, its weight and its end, as collective events driving a principle of sharing. It was possible to observe that a series of unexpected actions were added to the movements expected or suggested by the artist. The boulders were thrown, dragged, slammed against each other, broken and crumbled. They were used as pedestals, then as obstacle courses to jump over, or used as cushions and chairs to lie down or just sit on. The game and the breaks between the game determined some endemic balances in the space between those who acted and those who observed the action, between those who attempted vertical architectures, those who traced horizontal paths on the floor and those who produced sound, in any possible way.

One of the outcomes of the performance concerned the creation of sounds, of dragging, of percussion of the stone, of falls, and also the formation of dust and rubble, which, when crossed by the participants, creaked. The project, already strongly characterized by its material components of stone, also involves the sense of hearing as well as touch. The space is characterized in a multisensorial way. The co-presence of individuals, their bodies in movement, the sounds they themselves created.

Ballad of The End presents itself as an opportunity to glimpse the potential of working together with others to overcome some limits linked to our experience of the world, a world told through our presence, our action and co-action. We are together, within a choreography that is still being written, and we have the possibility of projecting our human value into the future, our need to leave free traces.

Freed from the weight of a narrow-minded identity, of a tradition blind to the new, to form and to balances that seemed unbreakable. As Jordi Pallarès writes, “Ballad of the End is a constantly unfinished work, endowed with life and infinite possibilities. It resonates every time the scenius is activated and when this does not happen it takes refuge in a suspended time waiting for the unforeseeable.” …in a slow process, the Work, this rhetorical and sometimes perceived excessively abstract mass, establishes here the very structures of which it is made, through the agents active at that given moment in that precise place, and claims its materiality archaic, pre-formal, in relation to the body that passes through it and determines it.

Excerpt from the essay by Martha Micali.