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Video Sound Art’s Open Call 2022 declines the research theme of the Festival’s 12th edition, The Life of Things, in the most open and dynamic way possible.

Research into the life and condition of objects, into the relations of use that connect them to beings, environments and over time, has already focused heavily on the mainly artificial materials of cities and industries in modern times.

In 1958, at the Galerie Iris Clert in Paris, Yves Klein with Le Vide depicts an invisible, yet diffuse and palpable pictorial state through the staging of a literally empty environment, painted white during 48 hours of isolation. His famous blue klein is only hinted at at the entrance to the exhibition space while the experience of colour is introjected, having offered the audience a mixture of gin, Cointreau and methylene blue. The painter of the space does not want to represent the world and objects through a personal interpretation of form, colour and purpose, but to arrive at knowledge beyond depiction. The limits of the gallery are those of the painting, where one can expand one’s sensitivity and come to perceive and perhaps understand an abstract concept.

Two years later, in the same gallery, Arman exhibits Le Plein, an accumulation of rubbish and various objects that makes access to the gallery premises impossible and the exhibition is  visible only through the window. With Restany’s beautiful words defining the research of a lifetime, here is the beginning of “The adventure of the object through all the fortunate and unfortunate cases of modern technology”. (Arman, exhibition catalogue Galleria Arte Borgogna, Milan February-April 1990).

In the course of the following decades, the poetics of the work without the work and of the fetishist, complacent, guilty, desiring, enchanting accumulations were further developed… The investigation of the superfetation of the object, both artificial and natural which is not just an organic debris or a waste product, goes hand in hand with its dematerialisation. There are no limits to the imagination, exploring the macro and the micro, to the point of abandoning the scale of the real.

These are extreme interpretations of a specific productive, capitalist context, which over time has exacerbated situations of social inequality and caused environmental imbalances, to which the artists have reacted – through the relational model – by taking an interest in experiences from other cultures and various communities. In their intentions, in addition to recounting the needs of the time in which they were born, the uses to which they have been put and the social ties they have defined, the objects become tools that look to the future, because they open the ability to plan  they carry to the possibilities of diversity, even through trial and error. The relational dimension is functional to new ways of knowing, to an existence that is defined as coexistence.

In this perspective, performance is the change of form, the time for reciprocity, the space for negotiation that the need for a new humanism imposes.

How do materials, natural and man-made, behave in a world where they are no longer considered instrumental goods? How do things function when they no longer occupy a position, when they cannot be touched, felt and are without contours? What do objects do when they are not used, when they do not interact with people? How do the invisible relations of matter manifest themselves?

The call for artists evaluates works centred on new problems, which each participant through the lens of performance will be able to decline in its sentimental, political, economic, social, environmental meanings, with the particular accents of their own research.

Francesca Colasante
Art historian, curator and coordinator of Open Call 2022

Open Call 2022

Opening of Open Call:
20 June – 30 July 2022

Announcement of winners:
20 August 2022

Residency and rehearsal period:
1 – 21 settembre 2022

Deadline: 30 July 2022.
To participate,
please write to:

Thanks to:
Teatro Carcano in Milan
Associazione Amici di Duccio

How to participate

How to participate