Elapsing Time in Expanded Artwork. Practices of the unconscious through means of activism

Aria Spinelli
Núria Güell
07 Nov / 11 Nov, 2016
Cittadellarte, Biella
TOPICS/TAGS: Research, art, social movements, imagination, imaginary, visual culture, art history, participation, unconscious, responsibility, dream work, sounds, environment, deep mapping, institutions, alteration

Focusing on the relationship between emotion and activism, this one-week module looks at how practices of listening and wellbeing enhance collective sensibility within groups. The theoretical hypotheses here is that such an endeavour has a direct relation to artistic practices that act in solidarity with social movements.
Spanish artist Núria Güell will not only be a guest on the module but also the initiator of an elapsed time-frame of research in which participants will deeply map the social and political implications of her recent work, La Feria de las Floras (2015). Güell’s project is based on her collaboration with exploited sexual workers in Medellín. These young girls were asked to perform a guided tour through the exhibition spaces of the Museum of Antioquia and to explain the artworks of Colombian artist, Fernando Botero. Within such a project, the institution plays a significant role.
Such mapping will entail readings, improvisations and collective activities. This expanded way of analysing such a project will firstly initiate a discussion that will touch upon (but not be limited to) concepts such as emancipation, female subjectivity, performance and protest. Participants will then be asked to engage with these topics through bodily expressions, sound exercises and dream work developed by sound artists such as Pauline Oliveros, Ione and Ximena Alcaron.
The outcome of the workshop will challenge learning models in the areas of visual culture and art history by questioning the limits of visual representation. This workshop ultimately aims at widening the horizon of on-going debates around the relationship between artistic practices and social movements by performing and embodying emotionality in a temporary and communal environment.


November 7th
Guided tour to Cittadellarte (Curated by Elena Rosina), including the Pistoletto, Arte Povera collections and temporary exhibitions.
Introduction to the Theorem of Trinamics, the symbol of the Third Paradise and the concept of Demopraxy.
Presentation by Aria Spinelli on: Elapsing Time in Expanded Artwork: practices of activism through means of the unconscious.
Brief group presentation.
Presentation by Núria Güell, La feria de las Floras (2015).
Collective discussion.

November 8th
Warm-up exercises: the Spoon (Alan Kaprow).
Dream session I exercises (Ione) - recurring dreams / tell / interpret.
Group Reading: The Autonomy of Affect Author(s): Brian Massumi (reading groups - regrouping - collective discussions).
Dream session II: rituals (Amy Franceschini) objects of dreams / tell / interpret.
Collective brainstorming/ keywording: Núria Güell - La feria de las Floras (2015).
pre dinner
Participants presentations.

November 9th
Sound exercises (Ximena Alcaron) lying down/group heads vibration.
Group reading: Bodies in Alliance by Judith Butler (Reading groups - regrouping - collective discussions).
Collective brainstorming/ACTIONS
Collective actions session I.
Collective brainstorming/ keywording: Núria Güell - La feria de las Floras (2015).
pre dinner
Participants presentations.

November 10th
Exercises: Positioning (Ultrared).
Group Reading: The Emotions of protest James M. Jasper (reading groups - regrouping - collective discussions).
Brainstorming final restitution.
Collective actions session II.
Sound Exercises - transmission (Ximena Alcaron).

November 11th
Sound exercise (Ximena Alcaron) listen/sounds/repeat/create.
morning Dream Session (Ione) / nightmares/tell interpret.
Brainstorming Final Restitution.
Final restitution.


The mentor will prepare a reader for participants with key texts, some of which will be discussed during the week. The reader will include pieces by authors, artists, curators and intellectuals, such as Brian Massumi, James M. Jasper, Judith Butler, and J.K. Graham and Gibson.

Artists & Artists’ projects

Núria Güell
• www.nuriaguell.net/
• http://mde.org.co/mde15/es/2015/12/los-que-vemos-y-callamos-somos-responsables/
• www.elcolombiano.com/arte-para-contar-la-realidad-para-hacer-catarsis-KC3271851

Pauline Oliveros
• www.paulineoliveros.us/about.html

Deep Listening
• www.deeplistening.org/site/content/about

Ximena Alcaron
ximenaalarcon.net (Personal website)
listeningperformingtransforming.wordpress.com (Deep Listening workshops)
soundingunderground.org (Research project)
networkedmigrations.org (Research project)
soundmattersframework.wordpress.com (Research project)



Aria Spinelli is an independent curator and researcher, currently a PhD Candidate at Loughborough University with a project on curatorial practice and the social imaginary. Her primary area of research is investigating the relationship between art and activism. Her research suggests that the ‘assembly’, as both a curatorial format and exhibition display, will possibly activate forms of agonistic politics that can potentially affect the social imaginary necessary for capitalist reproduction. She holds a BA and a MA in Art History, Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies.

Since 2009 she acted as curator at “Isola Art Center”, an open platform of experimentation for contemporary art that has developed in the Isola neighbourhood in Milan, Italy. In 2009, she also founded the art and curatorial collective “Radical Intention” and created long-term research projects on socio-political issues related to art and its practices. Recent projects include: Decompression Gathering Summer Camp with Amy Franceschini (Corniolo Art Platform, FI, Italy); FLOAT residency at Luminary Art Centre, St. Louis (MO, USA); Marfa Dialogues, Pulitzer Art Foundation, St. Louis (MO, USA); Collateral Effects - Beyond a Radical Milan, Homesession, Fundació Tàpies, Sala d’art Jove Barcelona, Spain; Taking Positions-Identity Questioning Fare arte, Milan, Italy w/ACSL-Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory, Yerevan; Milano Radicale, Medionauta/Liceo artistico Caravaggio, Milan/Corniolo Florence, Italy.

Projects, positions, press (selection)

Núria Güell’s work analyzes how power oppresses and affects subjectivity through submission, specifically by mean of established legality and hegemonic morality. Núria Güell’s resources for artistic intervention are based on flirting with established powers, the privileges of the art world as well as those granted socially and on the complicity with different allies. Her practice mingles with her own life developing as disruptive tactics in specific contexts with the aim of subverting the imposed relations of power and questioning the commonly-assumed identifications.

• www.nuriaguell.net/ 
• http://mde.org.co/mde15/es/2015/12/los-que-vemos-y-callamos-somos-responsables/ 
• www.elcolombiano.com/arte-para-contar-la-realidad-para-hacer-catarsis-KC3271851

The residency fee includes accomodation and half-board.

Participation fee
570.00 €